Matthew 17:14-27 | “Do you think I’m always going to be around? Do you think I’m always going to be here to heal people? I won’t.” Jesus was frustrated. It was one more instance of his disciples not getting it.
The crowds wanted healing. They had been experiencing the power of God’s kingdom breaking into ours – the power of grace, love, forgiveness, reconciliation, healing, wholeness, life. Today, the disciples had given it a go, but they were unable to heal a suffering boy.
But Jesus wouldn’t always be here to be the one through whom the kingdom would be poured out. While Jesus would be the only Messiah, Jesus didn’t intend for him to be the only one through whom the glory of God’s kingdom could be experienced.
“That’s why,” Jesus says to the disciples, “I’m pouring my life into you. I’m giving you everything I have. I want you to be able to do what I do. God’s kingdom is here – through you.”
It is their birthright as children on God. It is your birthright, too. You are God’s kids. Therefore, you are heirs (Romans 8:14-17). Everything that belongs to God, our Father, our Abba, Daddy, belongs to you.
But the disciples didn’t have faith in this promise. That is, they weren’t claiming their kingdom authority as God’s kids representing their Daddy in the world. How were they – and how are we – to claim that authority?
“The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. (John 5:19)” The Son is about what the Father is about. This is where kingdom authority comes from. Staying alert to where God is and to what God is doing in the world, and then going there and being about what God is about.
And we are only able to do this through humility. We must give up our own agendas and put on God’s agenda. We must surrender our need to be in control in order to recognize that God is in control. We must empty our hands, releasing everything we carry – all that weighs us down, all that holds us back, all the hurdles we put in our own way, all our struggles, all our joys, all our competency, all our skills – we must release everything we carry and allow God to sort through it and then give back to us the tools we need to do the job God is calling us to accomplish.
Your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom (Luke 12:32). And we can only receive what God has to give us if our hands are empty.