On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. Just then a man from the crowd shouted, ‘Teacher, I beg you to look at my son; he is my only child. Suddenly a spirit seizes him, and all at once he shrieks. It throws him into convulsions until he foams at the mouth; it mauls him and will scarcely leave him. I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.’ Jesus answered, ‘You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.’ While he was coming, the demon dashed him to the ground in convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astounded at the greatness of God.
Luke writes of a great crowd, this is a few days after Jesus fed the five thousand, so we may be safe to assume that it was a crowd of several thousand people. How did Jesus even hear the voice of one distressed father in such a crowd? It shows how carefully He listened with a compassionate ear and He heard the cry of a person in distress. Did Jesus show a sign of temper when he said “‘You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you?” as Luke records the disciples being given authority over demons in verse one of this chapter and perhaps He is speaking to them or perhaps to the large crown who follow, listen, see miracles but show no sign of faith. Jesus shows compassion on the father and spoke firmly to the unclean spirit and healed the boy.
Who are we like today? Are we like Jesus annoyed at the lack of faith that we see around us? Are we like the father bringing problems to Jesus and begging for help? Are we like the large crowd, standing by and watching but showing no evidence of faith or belief in Jesus? We should be a mixture of the first two we should be concerned that in our world today there are many people who reject the truth of the gospel message and who use every opportunity to decry those who believe. We should also be like the father and bring our concerns to Jesus secure in the knowledge that He will help us deal with them. We certainly must not be like the large faithless crowd who listened and did not believe. We should also be like the boy, transformed by our contact with Jesus.
O Loving God I thank you for your compassion I thank you for your love to me I thank you for your patience with me I thank you that Jesus showed your love to the world I ask that you give me compassion, love and patience as I try to follow you in my daily life Amen.
John Collings is a Lay Preacher and member of Rutherglen URC
St. Andrew's United Reformed Church - The United Reformed Church in Monkseaton and Whitley Bay
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