Spiritual Smallness, Fasting, Prayer
The Lord spoke of having faith “as a grain of mustard seed.” So I want to first deal with the spiritual meaning of behind the “smallness” of the mustard seed. It’s important to understand this so that our faith can manifest the qualities of the mustard seed and how it affects our spiritual fasting and praying.
“And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could we not cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:14-21)
The last verse in this Scripture is one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. For a long time a lot of Christians had accepted the teaching that verse 21 was saying that the kind of evil spirit inside the child could only be cast out through prayer and fasting. Over the last months, I started to feel very uncomfortable in Spirit about this interpretation of verse 21. I read the passage over and over again. I wondered why the Lord said “because of your unbelief” when the disciples asked him why they could not cast out the evil spirit. If the type of evil spirit inside the child was so special that it required special prayer and fasting, why didn’t Jesus say, “because you haven’t prayed and fasted enough?” Jesus simply referred to their “unbelief,” their lack of faith, and then proceeded to say that they needed to have faith as a “grain of mustard seed.” What does verse 21 really mean? After much prayer…