“I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.” (Matthew 17:16)
The man had brought his son to Jesus’ disciples, hoping that they might be able to heal him. But he was disappointed. “They could not cure him.” This is not that unusual, even today. People often come away from disciples of Jesus with a feeling of disappointment.
This is true even for many of us even in the church. How often we are disappointed with the response we get from those who are supposed to be disciples of Jesus in His church: but rather than reflecting Him, they act selfishly; don’t care about our need; demonstrate a lack commitment and faithfulness; or somehow treat us in an ungodly way. Jesus’ disciples are often disappointing — even to other disciples.
But this passage also reminds us that Jesus Himself never fails. “Bring him here to Me!” Jesus said in the next verse. This is the answer — not only for that man, but also for us today. Look past the inadequate, failing disciples around you, and “bring (it) here to Me” — your salvation, your problem, your need. Jesus’ disciples can and WILL fail you — but Jesus Himself will not. Come to HIM!
This is a key for people who have longevity in churches. It is not that they have never been disappointed by people in the church — they undoubtedly HAVE, again and again. But they realize the frailties of people, that disciples will disappoint; and they have remained faithful NOT because the disciples they know are so faithful, but because JESUS is.
If you are attending a church now, or are considering it, you will probably experience this at some point. Jesus’ disciples WILL fail you and disappoint you. If you focus your attention on them, you will soon be discouraged and quit. But keep your eyes on HIM, and continue to serve, not because Jesus’ disciples are so faithful, but because HE is worthy of your devotion and service!