Trusting in God's Power, Not Our Own (Matthew 17:19–21) - Radical

Trusting in God’s Power, Not Our Own (Matthew 17:19–21)

“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. Nothing will be impossible for you”
– Matthew 17:19–21

In Matthew 17:19–21, Jesus’ disciples are unable to cast a demon out of a boy. Jesus comes and he casts the demon out. Then the disciples, in verse 19, came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” Jesus said to them, Mathew 17:20, “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. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Nothing is impossible for those who trust in the power of God to accomplish the will of God.

Matthew 17:19–21 Focuses on The Trust In Jesus

Quite the promise to these disciples who, I’m guessing, had begun to almost look at ministry casting out demons, healing the sick, as kind of mechanical depending on our own ability, our own strengths. “What do we need to do? What do we need to change up in order to be able to cast this demon out?” Jesus looks at them and says, much like we saw Jesus say to Peter back in Mathew 14, on the waters. Peter was falling. He said, “Put your focus on me as the object of your faith. Trust not in yourself, but in me. Not in your ability, but in my ability. Trust not in your power, trust in my power.”

He uses this figurative picture of saying to a mountain, “You move there,” and it will move. The reality that Jesus is communicating here to his disciples is that nothing is impossible for the man or woman who trusts in the power of God, to accomplish the will of God.

This Verse Prays To Trust In God’s Power Instead Of Ours

We pray.

“Oh, God, today help us to live with faith. May it not be said of us that our faith is too small, or to help us to look to you, to see in you your infinite power. Your infinite glory, and greatness, and grander, and majesty, your infinite ability. Keep us, oh God, from trusting in our power. Help us to trust in your power. Help us to pray accordingly as we pray, even right now. God, help us to realize we’re talking to you, the king of the universe that has all authority and all power, who’s sovereignly ruling and reigning over all things. Help us not to underestimate you in our praying. As we pray for others, as we serve others, help us to do that cognizant of your power.

“We don’t want to lead our lives to do ministry to others in our own power, in our own strength, in our own ability. Forgive us, oh God, for our tendency to do that. Lord, help us to trust in you. Help us to seek you. Help us to believe you. God, give us greater faith, we pray. Lord, help us to live with trust in your power to do that which would be impossible otherwise. We think about things that we’re praying for, I’m guessing and supposing, in each of our lives right now. That we know if you don’t come through, if you don’t do it, it won’t happen. We trust, oh God, that you have the power to do it. You have the power to answer these prayers, so we pray that you do it in a way that displays your glory. Give us faith like that.

“We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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