Jesus and The Father with the Epileptic Son –
With Father’s Day approaching, I want to focus on stories from the Bible that feature fathers. The story I am lifting today is the one of a father who brought a sick son to Jesus. He began with the disciples, but they were unable to heal the boy. Jesus heals the boy and tells the disciples that the boy’s illness was such that only prayer and faith could heal him. The concluding remark from Jesus was that “nothing is impossible with God.”
14 When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him, 15 and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” 17 Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17)
Here are some of my reflections and lessons from this story. First, the father brings the child to Jesus. The mother could have brought the boy, but it is the father. In America today, the father often gets a bad rap. However, in this story from the Bible, it is the father who is the advocate for the son.
Second lesson from the story – when the disciples cannot heal the boy, the father keeps pushing until he has a face to face encounter with Jesus. You and I should press on until we have a personal encounter with Jesus.
Third lesson from the story – Jesus tells the disciples that when their faith and prayer life is enhanced, all things will be possible. The same is true for us. As we develop our faith-life and prayer-life, all things are possible!
Matthew 17: 14 When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him, 15 and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls into the fire and often into the water.
Questions for Reflection:
- What can we learn from the father of the sick son who came to see Jesus?
- What does this story tell us about the love and power of Jesus?
Prayer: Lord, grant me faith to believe that you can do all things. When I am afraid, bless me to believe that all things are possible. Teach me to love my children, even as I love myself. Through the wind, through the fire, through the storm and rain, happiness and pain, I give my heart to you. Lord, have mercy on me. Lord, shine upon me. Lord, save me. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
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