God of Possibilities
Updated: Mar 7
Matthew 17:14-20 There have been many misapplications of this text in Matthew 17:20. There is a belief amongst Christians today that if you can name it, you can claim it, and if you claim it, you must declare it and so it will be. Some claimed healing in their prayers and truly there were healings. Some have declared success and true enough there was success. But on the other hand, there were those who claim healing, and yet sickness persisted. Some declared to stop this pandemic, and yet it continues to this day. Many prayed to prolong someone’s life, they claimed it in Jesus’ name, and yet the person passed. Do we blame our lack of faith for it, or simply blame it on our misapplication of God’s word? My suggestion is that we put some work in trying to understand what Jesus meant when he said, “Nothing will be impossible for you.” I would like to expand the text a bit more to provide the context. So, I’ll work from Matthew 17:14-20, and share with you a few lessons about this passage. 1. Cast your limitations to God. “14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” 17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:14-20. • “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” The mountain in this passage is a metaphor for human limitations. • “Because you have so little faith.” Learning to live within your limitations will allow you to align your beliefs with the will of God. 2. Align your possibilities with the will of God. “20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20. • We can do more when we rely on God for knowledge, wisdom, guidance, and strength. See also John 15:4-5. • Faith in Christ is a necessary ingredient for life and ministries, for without it, it is impossible to please God. See Hebrews 11:1-2. • The Holy Spirit expanded our ministry’s possibilities. See Acts 2:1-4. 3. Climb your immovable mountain. “19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed…” Matthew 17:19-20b. “28 When He came into the house, His disciples began questioning Him privately, “Why could we not drive it out?” 29 And He said to them, “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.” Mark 9:28-29. • Jesus just came down from the Mountain where he transfigured and witnessed by Peter, James, and John. • Fresh from the disciples’ mind, Jesus uses the mountain to teach that nothing is impossible with God. • However, “telling the mountain to move” can also illustrate the impossibility of a given task. Romans 8:35-37, “35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” • We are more than conquerors; thus, we can climb our mountains, or anything that hinders us from growing in the Lord. • Mountains can also be places of victories. See Moses victory over the Amalekites in Exodus 17:12-14. • God wants to give us victory, so we can tell others about God’s amazing accomplishment.