And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
Matthew 17:16 (KJV)
Cure – In the book Jehuda Halevi by Isaak Heinemann, an interesting metaphor is made describing those men, who meaning to do good, set out to do it on their own terms and not necessarily according to divine ordinances. In a conversation between the Khazari and a Rabbi, the Rabbi is explaining how the root of belief is the same as the root of unbelief. He goes on to describe the scene at Mt Sinai and the golden calf, or rather, those involved with the proposal of building the golden calf.
He brings offerings and burns incense in accordance with his own analogic deductions and conjectures, being in reality ignorant of that which we should do, how much, in which way, by what means, in which place, by whom, in which would lead us too far. He is like an ignorant man who enters the surgery of a physician famous for the curative power of his medicines. The physician is not at home, but people come for medicines. The ignorant man dispenses them out of the jars, knowing nothing of the contents, nor how much should be given to each person. Thus he kills with the very medicine which should have cured them. Should he by chance have effected a cure with one of the drugs, the people will turn to him and say that it helped them – till they discover that he deceived them; or they note the accidental success of another drug and turn to it. They do not notice that the real cure was effected by the skill of the learned physician who prepared the medicines and explained the proper manner in which they were to be administered, and also taught the patients what food and drink, exercise and rest, sleep, ventilation and kind of bed, etc., was necessary. Men before the time of Moses, with few exceptions, were like these patients. They were deceived by astrological and physical doctrines; they turned from doctrine to doctrine, from god to god, or adopted a plurality (of doctrines and gods) at the same time; they forgot the guide and master of those powers and regarded the latter as helpful factors, whereas they are in reality mostly harmful factors, by reason of their construction and arrangement.
Jehuda Halevi, p.40-41
These men, wanting to do good, offered ineffective prescriptions that caused more death. If they were more learned and had prescribed the medicines according to proper administrations, they would have healed instead. This is how the root of belief is the same as the root of unbelief. One can believe on the name Yeshua as did Simon in Acts 8 and accept the truth, but when Simon desires to do good on his own terms – offering to pay for the Holy Spirit – he becomes like the unlearned physician, practically resorting back to the practices by which he was known and respected. As the quote from Jehuda Halevi states, the men who erected the golden calf sought out to do good – to worship Elohim – on their own terms.
Even the disciples of Yeshua struggled with this. They could not cure the boy of his illness in Matthew 17. Yeshua attributes this to their unbelief. While they believed on the Son of God, and they wanted to cure the boy, they couldn’t perform the miracle required of them. They hadn’t became learned in their skill, nor in Scripture, enough to warrant a believing and powerful miracle.
Is this where we’re at today? I see plenty of people claiming to be in the Spirit, bring out water or bread or salt or a handkerchief, with no real results. Could it be that these items had contributed to a healing in the past and through ignorance we now endeavor to repeat the action in hopes of the same outcome? Are we in so doing, killing the faith of those affected? Have we become the ignorant fool passing out medicine and acting on our own terms hoping for a chance miracle?
Can you think of an incident in the Bible when a man gave a sick person some physical item and said this is for strength, or for spiritual help, rather than the healing itself? It didn’t happen. When men sought to heal someone, they either did, or as in the instance from Matthew, they didn’t. No one ever offered a sick person something else other than the obvious healing they required. But we’ve become so weak that in our ignorance, we’ve diminished the Spirit of God to become a glass of water that may or may not offer strength to a suffering person rather than just healing that individual on the spot as the Spirit is fully capable of doing.
So where do we go with this? Do we just keep performing that we might chance upon some miracle, or do we become the learned physician? Return to the Word of God and immerse yourself in His teachings. Only in this way will the fruit of belief grow from the root.