Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Disciples Lack of Power

The Great Commission

Part 14 – The Disciples lack of Power

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – |


Jesus foretells His death to the Apostles

Peter tells Jesus He can not go! (he doesn’t understand Jesus’ Kingdom is Spiritual and mankind NEEDS saving through sacrifice)

Jesus is Transfigured on the mountain


If you remember, Jesus had just taken the Disciples Peter, James and John up to the mountain with Him.

When they arrived, Jesus had shown His Glory, what we call the transfiguration.

Moses and Elijah then appeared and spoke with Jesus about what was coming, the Crucifixion.

Peter then wanted to build Tabernacles for the three of them.

It is at this time that the Holy Spirit was present, and the Voice of the Father spoke and said, “THIS is my Son, in whom I am well pleased. LISTEN TO HIM!”

God will not allow the spotlight to be taken away from Jesus and the Cross, or even shared with the greatest of Saints!

No other name but Jesus is to be called upon, prayed to or worshipped.

God makes this clear in this scripture.

Christ alone!

This is where we are picking up today, just as the Disciples and Jesus are coming back from the mountain.


Matthew 17:14-18

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 "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." 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.”


They came down from the mountain and immediately met with a crowd.

I. They came to a crowd

a. A man approached Jesus (His action - He drew close to Jesus)

Jesus made Himself available by going to where the crowd was.


Jesus is where the need is…are you approaching Him? Are you drawing close to Him?

He is there. Waiting. Calling.

Revelation 3:20

20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

Jesus is waiting for you to answer…

We must respond to Christ and His invitation.

This is FAITH in ACTION!

This is our DOING part of Faith!

The scriptures tell us that we must be DOERS of the Word.

James 1:22 ~ Be Doers

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

2 Timothy 2:22-23 ~ Call on the Lord

22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.”

Romans 10:13 ~ Call on the Lord

"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

See…you must DO, if you do not call on the name of the Lord…you are not saved.

Or, if you call on anything else, you will not be saved.

Or if you do nothing…you will not be saved.

James 4:4-12 ~ Come close to the Lord and He will come close to you

4 You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

Do you know people who go along with this world and what it teaches?

Are you that person?

Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
"God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble."

If you are prideful, you are in opposition to God.

If you want to be in God’s Grace, you must humble yourself as this father in our scripture today did, he humbled himself to Jesus.

7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Washing your hands of something means to do away with. God wants you to do away with your double-mindedness.

You claim you are a Christ follower, but live like the world.

You claim you are a friend of Christ, yet love the evil of this world.

You claim that you follow the Lord, but you partake in things you know are a sin against God.

You are double minded.

You can not go along with what this world calls “acceptable”, and “tolerant”, and “normal” without becoming an enemy to God.

You will be called a bigot, hate mongering, archaic, religious fanatic…

But Jesus said, “They hated me first, they will also hate you.”

9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

11 Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?”

The boy’s father, came close to the Lord, AND humbled himself.

b. He knelt before Jesus (His submission & acknowledgement of Kingship)

c. He petitioned the Lord (Asking for mercy from the King) He called on the name of the Lord, “Jesus, have mercy on my son…”

The father sought out the Lord.

He humbled himself to the Lord.

THEN…he petitioned the Lord!

How many times we do not humbly seek the Father.

Hebrews 4:15-16

15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

So many times I hear this translation and think…Boldly?

So many misunderstand this word, they think it means to be bold!

So they do not approach the Lord in humility.

The literal does not say “boldly”, it states;

“We may come near then, with freedom to the throne…”

Not boldly, but freely because of the Cross.

We have the right to approach the throne.

But we must still do it in humility.

We need to remember, He is the Potter and we are the clay.

When does the clay direct the potter’s hands?

II. I brought him to your Disciples and they could not heal him

a. Of course not. Do not put your faith in men, but Jesus. Men fail!

The Father looked to men (Disciples), which if they would have had the proper faith, the father would have been doing the right thing.

James 5:13-16

13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

This is why we have Wednesday Night prayer, Sunday Service Prayer, and altar call at the end of each Sunday Service.

You see though, the scripture says the prayer offered in faith…

The Elders must have faith.

But it is not the men who are healing…the scripture says “the Lord will raise him up.”

b. The Disciples were inadequate because they lacked Faith

The Disciples lacked faith…their prayers accomplished NOTHING!

The power of God could not move.

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

Therefore, the prayer of a faithless man is weak and ineffective.

c. Perverse (deviation from what is right) generation – disciples were faithless, instead of being filled with faith!

Jesus was commenting about the Disciples here, NOT the man who came and humbled himself to the Lord.

III. How long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you?

a. Jesus is agitated at the lack of Faith on the part of His Disciples

Jesus must often get frustrated with us…

How many times in our walk have we lacked Faith?

How many times in our walk have we gone in the perverse direction, the wrong path?

We see throughout the scriptures God getting angry because of our choices, Jesus getting upset because we do wrong instead of what we have been taught, instead of what we KNOW to be right!

b. The father in our scripture reading today, did not lack Faith, the disciples did. And when the representatives of God failed, the father continued seeking…until he came to the source! JESUS!

IV. Bring him to Me

a. Jesus rebuked the devil (demon)

b. The boy was healed from that moment on

Demons MUST obey Christ!

They MUST obey the Word of Christ!

EVERYTHING in heaven and on earth and beneath the earth is under submission to the Lord.

Because of the Cross, and what it accomplished, and because of the Holy Spirit and the commission of Christ, we, as representatives of Jesus Christ, as the Body of Christ have been given this power and authority in the Name of Jesus Christ.

Our power is in no other name, and by the one Spirit of God, for the building and the edifying of the Body of Christ, for the protection power and benefits of the Kingdom, and for the witnessing of the Truth to the lost, which is, “Jesus Christ is Lord!”

Do not wait!

Seek the Lord today. You will find Him!

Humble yourself. He is calling and waiting.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if any man answer I will come in!


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