To read the texts click on the texts: Habakkuk 1:12 – 2:4; Mt 17:14-20
This miracle story of the healing of an epileptic boy is found also in Mark (9:14-29), but Matthew has shortened it considerably by omitting many of the details found in Mark. This also results in a change in the focus of the story.
In Matthew, the exorcism proper is narrated so briefly that it is clear that the exorcism is subordinated to the pronouncement on faith. The inability of the disciples to exorcise is because of their little faith. The father of the boy addresses Jesus as “Lord” which is an indication that he is a believer and thus Matthew omits the dialogue between the father and Jesus in Mark 9:21-24, where the father expresses doubt in Jesus’ ability to cure his child.
Each of us has been given the power to heal and make whole. We can do this by a kind word or a loving gesture. However, on the one hand we are not convinced that we possess this power and so are loathe to use it, and on the other hand we think that a miracle is only something extra-ordinary or stupendous, and so we are not capable of it.