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 “You 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 at that moment.
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:14-21
Here was an instance where someone brought someone else to the nine disciples not at the Transfiguration, but they couldn’t help him.
They tried but to no avail.
Jesus told them it was their lack of faith.
They had a modicum of faith to believe they could to it, but evidently not in the One who could make it happen for them.
Was it something they need to learn personally from Jesus as they watched the Master minister?
In similar scenarios, Jesus stated that the demons couldn’t be exercised without prayer and fasting, two disciplines necessary for the removal of demonic activity.
So, how does a passage like this relate to us today?
Does Jesus heal and cast out demons today through us? Yes.
Admittedly, praying for people to be healed or released from demonic possessions is complicated and not as straightforward as some would have us believe.
I would submit that fasting and prayer must accompany the action as a starting point. It seemed to be the minimum disciplines for Jesus and His disciples.
And of course, we pray for God’s will to be done in those situations.
What is God’s will for the person and for the person praying? He is working in both people during those times.