Matthew 17:14-21 Faith Looking for Mercy.
When Jesus, with Peter, James, and John join the multitude, a man comes kneeling before Jesus seeking mercy in the healing of his son. The disciples left behind did not have the faith of the man who was desperate for help (vv. 14-16). Faith often is only present when the situation is desperate. The demon was allowed to remain, because those who might have helped the boy did not have the same commitment as the boy’s father (vv. 17-18). Jesus made it clear – the difference was the disciples unbelief (vv. 19-20a). There are some mountains that will not move without a higher level of commitment, including “by fasting and prayer” (vv. 20b-21). Mountains in the bible often refer to powers, and Satan is a powerful kingdom that one’s faith must be committed to removing. Furthermore, the right attitude of faith is in seeking mercy, not what we think we deserve.