Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy

37The next day, after they had come down the mountain, a large crowd met Jesus. 38A man in the crowd called out to him, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, my only child. 39An evil spirit keeps seizing him, making him scream. It throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It batters him and hardly ever leaves him alone. 40I begged your disciples to cast out the spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”

41Jesus said, You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you and put up with you? Then he said to the man, Bring your son here.

42As the boy came forward, the demon knocked him to the ground and threw him into a violent convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evilh spirit and healed the boy. Then he gave him back to his father. 43Awe gripped the people as they saw this majestic display of God’s power.

Jesus sounds so harsh! Let’s admit it. You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you and put up with you?

“Sorry Lord, I didn’t realize I was being such a pain in the ____! I left everything and everyone to follow you around this god forsaken hill country. I’m trying here. I told that devil to leave the kid alone while you were up on the hill doing whatever you do when I can’t find you. Life here with you isn’t always a bed of roses you know!”

Don’t tell me you’ve never thought something like that. I have.

Sometimes Jesus shows us how far we have to go by letting us fail. And sometimes he pushes to greater holiness by challenging us to prove ourselves wrong. Jesus isn’t saying he wants to stop being with his disciples, he saying he wants his disciples to stop being faithless and corrupt. We can’t imagine them in that light, but words are always relative.

Think about it. If Bob has a mind that just doesn’t do well with math, and Larry is amazing at math, a C+ can be a far greater accomplishment for Bob than an A+ is for Larry. Our faith lives are like that. God will always try to move us to a higher level of faith and purity. Our faith and purity is not measured by where we are in comparison to other people, it is where we are in comparison to where God is calling us to be. It is entirely possible that Bob would be distancing himself farther from God by not giving a McDonald’s gift card to a homeless man, than for Larry to inject himself with heroine as a tear rolls down his cheek.

God just might tackle Bob and give his arm to Larry…and give, and love and die and live for both of them and all of us.

Lord, prod me on when I need it, which is probably now.

You pray some scary prayers dude.  


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