Faith of A Mustard Seed

Barbara Woods Washington

Barbara Woods-Washington, M. Div.

“And I brought him to your disciples and they could not heal him.”  Another look at ‘The Epileptic Boy Healed’ faith event (Matthew 17:14-21) (Mark 9:14-29) and (Luke 9:37-43).

At what point does a childhood disease that the family— most likely at the diagnosis of a physician is treating as epilepsy, equate with demon possession??  The symptoms were real: He falls into the fire!  He falls into the water!  Though it is not within the Physicians realm ‘to see’ an ‘unclean spirit’, Jesus calls this one ‘deaf and dumb’.

Jesus Calls, is Teaching and Preparing the disciples not only ‘to See’ but to Take Authority over ‘unclean spirits’.  So among the other ‘misunderstood acts’ of Jesus on the part of the disciples, add ‘the rebuke command’— their authority over ‘unclean spirits’.  For the father said to Jesus, “I brought him (my son) to your disciples and they could not heal him.”

It occurs to me that the limited capabilities that we as humans have in the use of the ‘rebuke command’ is directly related to motive.  Double-mindedness, hidden agendas and the like have rendered the modern disciple of Jesus great personal gain at the expense of a ‘demon controlled’ church.  “Why could we not cast it out?”  The ‘unclean heart’ cannot affect an ‘unclean spirit’.

Much talk about how many Christians who worship with a high level of commitment, leave the church Sunday after Sunday without ever having experienced any ‘God given attention’ to our diseases.  So many church folks suffering with diseases that go unseen and unknown because it is only Jesus who can ‘see and heal’ our ‘deafness and dumbness’!   The disciples just didn’t get it.

Christians go from Church to Church, seeking, looking for healing from our diseases and infirmities, turning over our resources to ‘disciples’ who gain wealth and lay up treasures on earth, but just ‘don’t get it!’  “Why could we not cast it out?”

No matter how ‘you Call or Teach or Prepare or Defend this ‘cyberspace religious life’ in 2020 it is —a Wake Up Call; for a Church that has long been powerless against the systematic evils of this society.  The double-mindedness, hidden agendas and the like has rendered the Church of Jesus Christ great personal gain at the expense of a ‘demon controlled’ church.  “Why could we not cast it out?”  The ‘unclean Church’ cannot affect an ‘Unclean Spirit’.

It is no small thing that in each of the faith events that we have look at, there is this urgency to ‘get to Jesus’.  Whether the disease was physical, spiritual, mental, social;  whether it was for personal healing or on the behalf of a loved one— the ‘singleness of mind’ gave rise to a ‘by-passing’ of all who were ‘in the way’ of ‘getting to Jesus’.  The Centurion had this ‘mind set’, as did the Paralytic’s loved ones.  This mind existed in the woman who had been hemorrhaging as well as in the Syrophoenician woman who sought healing for her daughter.  The Epileptic boy’s father had this mind— ‘if I can just get to Jesus…’

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