Read: Exodus 7-8, Matthew 17
Have you ever tried to teach a child something that seems so simple, but they just can’t seem to grasp the concept? It’s frustrating, isn’t it? I think Jesus felt that way sometimes with his disciples. They listened to him teach. Walked with him. Talked with him. Watched him perform miracle after miracle. Yet when it came to simple things, they just couldn’t seem to get it.
“O 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.”
Matthew 17:17 (NIV)
In my mind, Jesus sounds like an exasperated parent. Will I never be able to leave you alone to take care of yourself? Left on their own, the disciples couldn’t even cast out a lowly demon. Jesus calls them out on their little faith. And this isn’t even the first time Jesus has accused the disciples of having little faith. It must have been really small.
I don’t think that Jesus was necessarily speaking to the size of their faith—we have all been given a measure of faith, but rather the potential of it that they failed to realise. If faith the size of a mustard seed has the potential to move a mountain, just how small was their faith?
While Jesus walked with them, the disciples had their issues, but once Jesus had ascended into heaven, suddenly things changed.
Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
Acts 2:43 (NIV)
They couldn’t perform a miracle when Jesus was right there, but once he was gone, no problem! So what changed?
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…
Acts 1:8 (NIV)
I believe that the Holy Spirit within us reveals the potential of our faith. It is the partnership of knowing who we are in Christ and what he has made us capable of along with the help of the Holy Spirit that allows us to use our little faith to do big things.