In The Word

Read: Matthew 16:21-17:13

The Demoniac

14 When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.” 17 And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” 20 And He *said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to 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 to you. 21 [But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”]

22 And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; 23 and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” And they were deeply grieved.

The Tribute Money

24 When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?” 25 He *said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?” 26 When Peter said, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are exempt. 27 However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.”

New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Walking In The Word

Jesus and three of the disciples came down from the mountain where Jesus had met with Moses and Elijah. They walked into a situation where there was an upset father with his demon-possessed son. The father had brought his son to the disciples, but they could not cast the demon out. Jesus cast out the demon and explained to the disciples that they were not able to remove the demon because of their lack of faith. Later, Peter is questioned by tax collectors about paying the temple tax. Jesus had him get the necessary money by catching a fish that had a coin in its mouth.

We learn from these accounts that faith is the key to unlocking God’s power. In Mark 9:24, we see that while the father had faith in Jesus, he asked Jesus to increase his faith. The father had faith for Jesus to heal his son, but the disciples did not have the necessary faith. Jesus taught Peter about faith in Him; He is not limited and has supernatural ways to provide for our needs.

You may be facing a difficult situation, maybe a health or financial issue; do you have faith in God that He will take care of your needs, even miraculously? God is not limited in how He can take care of you, but your faith can limit how God works in your life. If you are struggling with your faith, like the father in the story, ask God to help increase your faith.

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