When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying, “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. “I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.” 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.” And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” 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. [“But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”] – Matthew 17:14-21 NASB
This is an interesting part of the Bible; Matthew 17:21 is a unique verse in the bible it is similar to the last part of the last chapter in the book of Mark. Most scholars agree that the ORIGINAL book of MARK ends at Mark 16:8, yet we have verses 9-20? If you don’t know why these 2 are similar, then you need to spend more time IN YOUR WORD! How will you know WHO JESUS is, what JESUS WANTS us to do and HOW we get to be more LIKE JESUS and WHY we go through the trials and tribulations…we must READ GOD’s MANIFESTO- the BIBLE.
Leader, not only do we need to study, and seek deeper understanding in the WORD of GOD, we also need to be constantly working on our SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES. Our Faith is a dual engine process. We build our Faith by knowing our LORD and SEEKING HIS WAY and we also build SPRITUAL MUSCLE by WORKING out our SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES of Prayer, Bible STUDY and FASTING! In the early manuscripts there is no MATTHEW 17:21, but somewhere along the way it was added. I suggest you seek your own meaning for that, but it is interesting that in many bibles there is no Matthew 17:21. It seems MAN realized the NEED to be actively involved in FAITH! “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also”. (James 2:26). Faith without works is a dead faith because the lack of works reveals an unchanged life or a spiritually dead heart.
Conduit; Romans 8:28 is clear; And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. It is an interesting study as to understand why we have MATT 17:21 in some versions and not in others- but might I suggest that it is pleasing to God, when we DESIRE to know HIS WORD and we spend our valuable commodity called TIME seeking HIS WISDOM. Whether Matthew 17:21 is inspired from God or not, may I suggest that it is not the point. What matters is do you consider your SUSTENANCE the WORD of GOD, or what you put in your stomach? Do you DESIRE GOD’s WORD and WAY more than you basic need of food? For Jesus told us in John 4:24; Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Today, seek HIS WORD, HIS WAY and HIS WILL and also work on your EFFORT to grow spiritually and practice, Practice, PRACTICE; Prayer, Bible Study and FASTING! When we sacrifice FOOD for the WILL OF GOD, it feeds us, and it feeds our relationship to our LORD! It shows Him, our valuation- of HIS RELATION!