Matthew Chapter 17- Part 4
Unbelief, prayer & fasting- Read (Matthew 17:19-21)(Mark 9:28, 29)
When Jesus was on the mount where he was transfigured, a man had brought his demon afflicted epileptic son to Jesus' disciples, but they could not cast out the demon. Later after Jesus had cast out the demon and set the boy free, his disciples came to him privately and asked, "Why could we not cast out the demon?" Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."
Jesus stressed on 3 important aspects of the Christian faith here- Unbelief, solid faith and fasting as a vital addition to prayer.
Perhaps the gravity of the situation gripped the disciples with unbelief. When they saw the boy convulsing and being hurtled around by the satanic power, they must have questioned themselves whether they could command a deliverance. Jesus addressed their unbelief by telling them that if they could muster faith as a mustard seed, which is packed to it's maximum capacity with substance, indicating total faith with no space for unbelief, then it would have been possible for them to effect the deliverance; nothing would be impossible for them. There was the matter of being stronger than the enemy too and Jesus said that adding fasting to prayer would bolster their faith and make them overcome their unbelief and then victory over the enemy would become a reality.