Day Three Hundred Seven, Matt. 16-18, Mark 8-9, Luke 9, Luke 17
At the beginning of Matthew chapter 17 is the story of the Transfiguration, in which Jesus appears to three of His closest apostles in majestic glory with Moses and Elijah. The apostles are stunned as they see the glory of the Lord. Moses and Elijah disappear, and a voice from heaven says, "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to Him." Very powerful, very exciting. After this incredible mountaintop experience, Jesus comes down to this:
"When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them...'What are you arguing about?' He asked. A man in the crowd answered, 'Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.'"
That's one heck of a transition from His transfiguration, wouldn't you agree? You can hear the frustration in Jesus' voice:
"'O unbelieving generation,' Jesus replied, 'how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.'"
When the boy is brought to Him, He asks the boy's father, "'How long has he been like this?' 'From childhood,' he answered. 'It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.' '"If you can"?' said Jesus. 'Everything is possible for him who believes.' Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, 'I do believe! Help me overcome my unbelief!'"
That statement by the boy's father has got to be one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture, because I can identify with it so well. I do believe. Yet sometimes I still struggle. The good news? That tiny, mustard-sized belief? It's enough for Jesus to work with.