Spurgeon Thursday

THE SECRET OF FAILURE

A SERMON INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD’S-DAY, MARCH 1, 1896.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON,
ON THURSDAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 25, 1886.

Then the disciples  came to Jesus privately,  and said, Why could we not cast it out? So Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Move from here to there and it shall move; and nothing will be impossible for you.  However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 17:19-21.

And when He had come into the house, His disciples  asked Him privately,  Why could we not cast it out?  So He said to them, This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” Mark 9:28, 29.

I put these two texts together  for this reason. Those of you who are acquainted with the Revised Version know that the 21st  verse in the 17th  chapter of Matthew is left out. There seems to be little doubt that it was inserted in certain copies by persons who thought that it ought to be there because it was in Mark’s narrative.  It is put in the margin of the Revised Version, but it is left out of the text. It is, therefore, very satisfactory to find that the omission from Matthew’s account makes no real difference Spurgeon1because we have the words in the 29th verse of the 9th of Mark, “This kind can come forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting.” Only there is this fact to be noticed—in the Revised Version this verse runs, according to Mark, “This kind can come out by nothing,  save by prayer.”  Whether the fasting was originally there, or not, I cannot tell, but putting together the two accounts in Matthew and Mark, we believe we have a full and true report of what the Master did actually say on this occasion.

I. Observe then, dear Friends, at the outset, without any further preface, that WE MAY BE THE SERVANTS OF GOD AND YET WE MAY OCCASIONALLY BE DEFEATED.  Those nine disciples who remained at the foot of the mountain when the Savior took the other three to behold His Transfiguration,  had, each of them, a true commission from the Lord Jesus Christ. They were nine of His chosen Apostles. He had elected them in His own good pleasure and there was no doubt about their being really called to the Apostleship. They were not only elected, but they were also qualified, for on former occasions they had healed the sick, they had cast out devils and they had preached the Word of Christ with great power. Upon them rested miraculous influences and they were able to do great wonders in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ—they  were not only qualified to do this, but they had actually performed many marvels of healing.

When they went forth,  girded with Divine power, they healed the sick and cast out devils everywhere, yet, Continue reading