Sermon on 10th Sunday Mat.17:14–27 2023/8/13 Osaka Church
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy God
A father came to Jesus seeking healing for his son suffering from epilepsy. But Jesus was away. So his father asked the disciples of the Lord. But the disciples could do nothing. The Lord, upon returning, immediately healed the son. When the disciples asked why they couldn’t do it themselves, the Lord bluntly said, “It’s because you don’t have enough faith.” And He added “If you had the faith faith as small as a mustard seed, even mountains can move,”
We must not forget that these words of the Lord were, above all, a stern rebuke to his disciples.
The disciples were called by the Lord and called to a life of working with the Lord. They lived with the Lord and received from Him “authority to cast out unclean spirits and to heal every disease, every sickness ” (Matthew 10:1). They were the first disciples of Jesus, a remarkable, popular and inspiring preacher who could see into men’s hearts. With heads held high and shoulders squared, they healed people in towns and villages, imitating the Lord’s teachings with pride. However, gradually they came to believe they were chosen because of their abilities, righteousness, or recognized faith. The Lord doused them with cold water. The “faith” that you guys were proud of was nothing more than the “dressing up” of a frivolous person, wasn’t it? On the other hand…
that’s right. “In return, look at that old man who came and clung to me with all his heart in wanting to help his son somehow!”He didn’t have any of those things like you have, but… He had faith as small as a mustard seed. That’s why he was able to bring out the healing of his child.”
Jesus put his disciples to shame by saying this.
We must be aware of what kind of human beings Christ is intently looking at, trying to pour his love into.
When people who give up everything and follow Jesus, become ministers of the church, become clergymen, become monks tell the Lord to “Look at me!” the Lord will say, “Yes, that’s fine. I’m a little busy, so I’ll see you later.”
Instead of those people, there are people like this father who are suffering from hopeless illnesses, people who have lost their jobs, are left alone in a long retirement, and are trembling with anxiety. Those who carry their children and siblings as a cross who cannot adapt to society, those who lose their loved ones and are about to lose the will to live, and those who are suffering from their own bottomless sinfulness. To those people, to us,, Christ is always watching, to find “faith as small as a mustard seed.” And he calls out to those who are so frozen in suffering that they can’t even look up, unable even to notice the Lord standing right beside them with outstretched hands. “Even a little faith, a humble faith, connect with me, and your despair will be turned into hope, your suffering will be a sign of joy. Your death will be the path to resurrection.” It will be.
When the disciples also abandoned the Lord on the Cross and fled, they were completely overwhelmed by their own cowardice, weakness, arrogance, and the ridiculousness of what they had prided themselves on as “my faith.” But then, for the first time, they were able to seek for themselves “faith as small as a mustard seed” and literally jump into the love of the Lord, who was waiting for them with open arms on the cross. The disciples eventually went out into the world as apostles to convey this joy. The works of the apostles have been inherited and are still here today, in this gathering. It is present in this gathering. It must be. Each and every one of you is a bearer of this legacy.