Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Matthew 21:10-11 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” At the Triumphal Entry many who observed the grand entrance wondered who this celebrity was. The answer given? The prophet from Nazareth of Galilee. This was a micro-definition of Who He really is. He is a prophet; His name is Jesus, and His hometown was Nazareth. But this description falls far short, and, as we are told elsewhere, for many the auto-response would have been "can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Such an answer would keep people at a distance, not draw them to learn more. What answer would you give to describe Who Jesus is? When people are "stirred up" enough to ask, may we be prepared to answer well.
Monday, September 29, 2014
Matthew 21:1-9 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Say to the daughter of Zion,‘Behold, your king is coming to you,humble, and mounted on a donkey,on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” For many of us, this exclamation does not have dramatic impact. The pictures that should rush to our minds when hearing those words have lost their punch. Some may remember Elvis; some may have visited European Monarchies, but most of us would not think "I've got to go see him right now!" That's what these people would have thought and felt and acted upon. They were drawn to him, surrounding Him with shouts of praise and hope. May we seek to draw near to Him today, also giving Him shouts of praise, and hearts of hope in Him.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him. (Matthew 20:32-34 ESV) As Jesus continues to show and tell us what His Kingdom is like, He comes across two blind men, begging at one of the richest cities in Israel: Jericho. Though they had the best place to beg, they could not receive what they needed most: to be healed. Not only would the kingdom of this world not do what they could, there were things they could not do: heal and forgive. Only Jesus can. And He still does.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Matthew 20:29-31 And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” These two men had lost the sense of sight. But their ears worked very well - they heard that Jesus was passing through town. They had the spiritual sense to realize this was their golden opportunity - not to make a quick shekel, but to plead with the only one able to heal them. They persisted despite negative public opinion. They had the sensibility to recognize Christ as the Messiah, the merciful Son of God. If you are able to read this, you have sight. How well can you see who Christ is and what He is able to do in your life?
Friday, September 26, 2014
Matthew 20:24-28 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The disciples kept falling into the comparing and questioning: "What's in it for me? Surely, I deserve more." That line of thinking has no place in the Kingdom of God. It definitely was not something Jesus taught or demonstrated. To think or act that way is not following Jesus, but a pagan line of thought. If we are going to truly follow Him, we will be characterized by servanthood - sacrificial servanthood. It's not about position or power or personal glory, but experiencing the thrill of true living - being used by God to serve others and doing it well for Him. Who can I serve today?
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Matthew 20:20-23 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” It might seem at first glance that this was an innocent question asked by an intruding mother, who had no idea what Jesus had been teaching. But the mother of James and John was one of those women who faithfully had been following after Jesus, and the parallel account in Mark makes it clear that this was not just her - it was the Sons of Thunder themselves who wanted this. They were, after all, two of the key three disciples. They just didn't get it; we often just don't get it - Jesus abhors all this comparison and vying for position that characterizes the world in which we live. It is not part of his creative design or His Kingdom. And those positions? Don't even think about it; they are already filled. Let's just take up our cross and follow Him; He's good with that.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Matthew 20:17-19 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” This is the third time Jesus reminded His disciples of what was going to go down once they were in Jerusalem. Third time was not a charm; they really did not want to think or hear about it. Each time He gave more details: he would be betrayed, given to the Jewish authorities who always opposed Him, and here; the Gentiles would become involved. As Jesus is saying this, He has just left behind those Gentiles on the East Side of the Jordan River who followed Him while they took the highway down the coast. During that leg of the Journey many of them had listened, been healed, and journeyed along. All of a sudden, no one around them is not suspect as one who could be a part of handing Him over. There is only one white sheep.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Matthew 20:8-16 And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ So the last will be first, and the first last.” In Jesus' parable, those who served (worked) the shortest were paid the same as those who had labored all day. This brought complaints from those who served the longest, even though they got what they had agreed on. Why the complaint? Because they were comparing to others, thinking they deserved more. In context, the disciples were being rebuked for always asking "What do we get?" and implying that they deserved more because they had left all to follow Jesus. We often miss the big picture. The Kingdom of God is given by Gracious God. He owns it, and therefore is in His full rights to give it to whomever He choses, whenever and however He chooses. He doesn't have to give us anything at all. Whatever He gives is at least what we deserve, and often so much more. May we stop complaining.
Monday, September 22, 2014
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ (Matthew 20:1-7 ESV) Earlier in His ministry Jesus had commented that the harvest is plentiful and the need for workers is great. In this parable, He indicateiins that God is still calling workers. Even when it seems that it's near the end of the day, and the end of the world, the need for workers will be great. He is still calling. It's not too late to join in, and take part in the purpose God has for you. If you will respond to Him, you're hired.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first. (Matthew 19:23-30 ESV) You can't buy your way in. You cannot enter by good behavior. There is nothing you do to deserve it, or any of it's blessings. It comes when we run away from everything and everyone else in whom we trust and run to Him, trusting in Who He is and what He has done. He is the way in, and it is only by living for Him that the pieces all fit together.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Matthew 19:16-22 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. This "rich young ruler" had everything going for him, and everything one would need or want, except the security of his soul. It was not that he was rich that was the problem, but that his riches ruled his heart and life. For some of us riches are not the problem. There are other things we allow to keep us from letting Christ rule and reign. It's not what we've got, but what's got hold of us.
Friday, September 19, 2014
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away. (Matthew 19:13-15 ESV) In just the last chapter, Jesus had used a child to illustrate a major faith lesson, and told the disciples to emulate that example. Yet, here, they are still demonstrating the culture of the old Kingdom - the kingdom of this world, that Children are a bother and not a blessing. Our mindset, our worldview, needs constant reminder and remolding. We need to remember that following Jesus is counter-culture - that we are pilgrims on a journey, learning every day what it means to follow Jesus. May we not be thick-skulled or hard-hearted as He speaks to us today, renewing our mind, rebuking our failures, reshaping our lives.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.” (Matthew 19:10-12 ESV) Jesus' strong words about divorce startled the disciples and made them wonder if it were best to avoid marriage altogether. That was not Jesus' intention at all. The problem is not with marriage, but the hardness of men's hearts. Marriage is wonderful and best for most; it is God's creative design. What we are called to as His followers is to correct all the corruption of marriage and see His grace at work, and not take the easy way out. Just because man has made marriage bad does not mean marriage itself is bad.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Matthew 19:7-9 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” The scribes and Pharisees took every opportunity possible to discredit Jesus. Once again they are trying to pit Him against the Law of Moses, as if He were contradicting him and the Old Testament. Lying beneath the surface was yet another motive: guilt. They were always looking for loopholes, trying to live for themselves, yet look squeaky clean to those around them. This was one area in which they had a poor track record. They had twisted a gracious allowance on God's part to make it a "command", as if God MADE them divorce a wife they did not want. Jesus corrects their vocabulary and their vice. The real issue is our harness of heart.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Matthew 19:3-6 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” It's amazing how much difference one little word, or emphasis on a word, can make. Are they Pharisees asking if it is lawful before God to divorce one's wife for any reason at all, or are they asking if there is any reason at all for which God permits it? In our culture, we often confuse and interchange "any" for "every". Of course, the reason they ask is not for an answer, becuase they know whatever He says, someone will not agree, because this is such a hot topic. It can be a surefire way to get a preacher fired! Much like our culture, divorce was being accepted for any old reason at all, but back then there was one condition: if you were a man. Jesus rightly answers the question with the Word of God. That is the real issue: do we want to live by man's rules, or God's? Do we want to please ourselves or look out for others? A lax attidute about divorce is simply a symptom of a a deeper issue.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Matthew 18:23-35 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” Jesus had hit a sore spot: Do I really need to forgive one who offends me? Over and over again? Yes. Forgiveness is one of the overriding characteristics of the Kingdom of God. He has forgiven us everything; why should we forgive only some things, when we want? The parable shows the extreme inconsistency we often show in refusing to forgive. When we fail to forgive, we show that we really don't get it - that we do not take the price of our salvation and forgiveness very seriously.
Friday, September 12, 2014
Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. I am a math person - used to teach it, still like to. I like to see things kept in balance, symmetrical. I had to memorize zip codes when I worked for UPS and often memorized lists of phone numbers. But what Jesus is telling Peter here is downright crazy - to keep a tally up to 490. I would never bother memorizing such a list, nor do I think I could. And it would be a bother to keep a tally sheet in my pocket or set up a database on a computer or phone. Yet that is what we often do with people: we make the list of wrongs they have done us which we refuse to forget and to forgive. This is not spiritual accounting; it is violating the spirit of the community of Christ. Peter thought he was being generous. The rabbis taught you had to forgive three times; he made it seven. That falls far short of the glory of God in our relationships.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Matthew 18:15-20 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” As Jesus is talking to His disciples about how to run the Church, He promises them authority to carry out decisions, much like the Sanhedrin, which included the Scribes and Pharisees, had in their society. But the emphasis was not on the power entrusted to them, but the mutual accountability they had to watch out for one another. The authority was given to keep relationships in order. They were to have a heart for one another which would keep any authority or power from going to their heads and getting out of hand. The community of Christ is not an institution with levels of hierarchy, but a band of believers intimately living in harmony.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. (Matthew 18:10-14 ESV) The disciples had asked him about the leadership positions in the Kingdom of God. So Jesus is addressing them as such. Rather than looking out for themselves,and who would be the "greatest", they (and we) are to look out for those who in childlike faith are seeking after God. They are to look no further than the will of God: that he desires that none of them should perish, none of them would be lost, none of them be kept from following Him. Our job is to go after them, to draw them safely home, and watch over them well.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Matthew 18:6-9 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. Having rebuked the disciples for their desire for status instead of serving others, Jesus gets to the core: we live in a world swimming in sin, and we need to live in such a way that we do not help pull others down into the ocean. Our lives need to be lived so much in caring, loving and serving others, that we would see harm come before ourselves before we would want them to be drawn away from Christ. It's not just how our sin affects us, but the influence we have on others.
Monday, September 8, 2014
Matthew 18:1-5 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. It's amazing how often the disciples and we just ask the wrong question. We live by comparision, wanting to know who is the biggest and best, while Jesus is thinking little. The greatest is the one who is thinking the least about his or her self. The greatest doesn't think of him or herself as the greatest, but things about others - about how to serve them and to share with them a relationship with God through Christ. The right question is not "how can I be the greatest?" but "Lord, how can I serve you today?"
Sunday, September 7, 2014
However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast 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 me and for yourself.” (Matthew 17:27 ESV) Peter was up against the wall. He and Jesus owed the temple tax. He had stuck his neck out and said Jesus would pay His, and he was not sure where either of them would get the money. After a lesson about Who He really was(which basically said Jesus was tax-exempt as the Son of God...) Jesus takes care of it all with one simple... but overwhelming solution. Matthew does not record what happened, as with the other Gospels, but by now Jesus has a proven track record. Peter caught the fish, paid their taxes, and learned a lifetime lesson: Christ will take care of it.
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Matthew 17:24-26 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” “Yes, he does,” he replied.When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?” “From others,” Peter answered.“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. Jesus paid His taxes, and encouraged his followers to do the same. But there was a spiritual lesson to be learned in this situation. First, Jesus knew Peter's question before he even asked it: "Where are we going to get the money to pay this tax?" But more importantly: "Does Jesus owe the temple tax?" The Jews paid a lot of taxes to Rome and resented it. The Romans taxed heavily for their roads, armies and building projects. They were outsiders. But the Jews did not resent the temple tax; it was not to outsiders. But Jesus did not owe the tax. The Temple was His. He was the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Heaven. His Father "lived" there. He was tax exempt, yet He would pay it. Just as He was sinless, yet died for our sins.
Friday, September 5, 2014
When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” (Matthew 17:24 ESV) Jesus and His disciples had been away up north for a time of refreshing and further instruction. As soon as they return to their home base, they are greeted by those looking for something to accuse Jesus of. According to the Old Testament, Jesus, as a man over twenty, was to pay a per capita tax to the temple. Since He had been out of town, He may have missed the usual time for it to be taken. The tax we associated with the atonement that took place at the temple, so this time approaching Passover may have been a common time to pay the tax. At any rate, the way things are stated, the collectors presumed Jesus would NOT pay the tax, because He and the temple leaders did not see eye to eye. Viewing Him as some sort of revolutionary, they expected Him to be a conscientious objector. We must beware the same attitude we can often acquire: always thinking the worse about someone, thinking we know their inner thoughts and motives. As we will see, they were very wrong...
Thursday, September 4, 2014
As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed. (Matthew 17:22-23 ESV) This is the second time Jesus unfolds some details about His coming "departure". His words are quite distressing at this time because as they are "gathering", they are getting ready for this journey to Jerusalem, which Jesus had told them earlier would result in His death. As they are packing their bags, the uncertainty, and in a sense certainty, weighs heavily upon them. "How will this come down? What will happen to us? What is Jesus not telling us?" Yet, they pack and prepare. Why? They have learned that Jesus knows what He is doing, and they can trust in Him to see them through. May we learn the same lessons today as we follow Him.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of 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 17:19-20 ESV) Some of the disciples had failed at faith... again. As Jesus challenged them, He also promised them about the rewards of faith - mountain-moving faith. But it's not just any old mountains. There behind Him as He spoke, he pointed them to Mt. Hermon, one of the great mountains physically and in spiritual history. It was there big as life. The mountains God promises to move are not those pie-in-the-sky, halfway-across-the-world mountains; they are the ones right in front of us now. Those are the ones we need to pray about and entrust to Him today, and see Him work. We cannot move those mountains; He can.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Matthew 17:15-18 “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. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” “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.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment. How embarassing! The disciples were publically found out: they could not heal this son. But that's the fact. We cannot; He can. He can do in moment what we cannot do over time. He can do completely what we can only do in part. We need to face that facts that our faith often fails, and He never fails. We need to bring our problems, and our failures to to Him, and not hide them. They will surface, and be bigger. And He can still handle them.