Go Directly to Jesus!
When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”
“O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. (Matthew 17:14-18)
In our verses for today we discover a Daddy humbly approaching the Lord Jesus interceding for relief of his son’s suffering. The child’s condition is dire. The father draws near to the Healer empty handed begging for mercy. Indeed, the word translated “mercy” is from the Greek word eleeo meaning “to relieve affliction, alleviate suffering or distress, ease misery. It is the concrete expression of pity and compassion for the destitute or those in misery which undertakes to mollify or remove their suffering. It is used especially to signify God’s salvation in which He acts to reverse the adverse effects of sin and to relieve sinners of their moral and spiritual wretchedness, all that He accomplishes in delivering them from the miserable and pitiful (though deserved) condition of sin, guilt, and death” (Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible–New Testament Lexical Aids).
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7)
Jesus had previously granted His power to His disciples to cast out demons and they had been successful.
He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. (Matthew 10:1)
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8)
Yet here they failed, and there were nine of them present! The other three had been with the Lord Jesus. Thankfully, the failure of human instrument does not hinder the operation of Christ’s grace. We see Him chiding those around Him for their unbelief. Our Lord’s reprimand was not to His disciples, rather to the people and perhaps the Teachers of the Law in His hearing. Christ Himself could not do many mighty miracles among those with whom unbelief reigned. The blessings were withheld because of their faithlessness.
And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. (Matthew 13:57-58)
Take It to Heart
“The foundational principle of grace is that God’s kingdom priorities are completely inverted from those of the world. God’s plan is to magnify His saving mercy and grace not through human strength but rather through its weakness … The gospel of grace would remind us that we can’t be used until we operate not out of our own strength but in weakness, as we depend on Christ’s Spirit to show the reality of the cross.” (Paul Kooistra)