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"Bring the boy here to Me." Matthew 17:17
The disciples had failed in their effort to cast out the demon — but there yet was hope. The Master Himself was now at hand, and He could not fail. There should be a great deal of encouragement in this, for all who are trying to change people's lives into spiritual beauty.
When parents have done all they can to make their children true and beautiful in their character, and have failed — they can take them to Jesus. He can cast out the demon which is in them. He can give them new hearts. He can put His own Holy Spirit within them, and thus transform them into Christlikeness.
When teachers have incorrigible scholars in their classes, on whom they can make no impression — their discouragement and failure should lead them to bring them to Jesus, for He is yet able to take them and change them into noble beauty.
When troubled souls have sought in vain for comfort and help from the Church and from Christian ministers, they should go to Christ Himself, for He can comfort. No matter in what we have been defeated — Christ stands ready to take our humiliation and turn it into victory. The disciples had toiled all night in vain — but when they dropped their net at the Lord's bidding, great was their success. So always in the shadows of our human failure, He stands to give blessing.
There is another thought here. It is to Christ — and not merely to the school or the church or the minister — that we should try to lead our children and our friends. The teacher cannot regenerate the child. The church cannot renew its nature. The minister cannot cast out the demon in the child's heart. Unless we bring our children truly to Christ — they must remain unchanged. Baptism does not wash the heart. The Lord's Supper does not put grace into the life. We must bring our friends and ourselves directly to Christ.