“You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the impure spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. (Luke 9:41-43)
I was at Barnes and Noble one day when someone boldly walked through the Christian book section saying to their friend, “How can these people believe the lie that there’s an all-powerful God.” I heard God whisper, show them My love. I could’ve offered to buy them a latte or simply asked how their day was going, but I chose to do nothing. I lacked faith I could make a difference, when God told me I could.
In the same way, the apostles let down Jesus. He gave them the power to drive out demons and heal, and they didn’t because they lacked faith. Can you imagine what the Pharisees, looking for ways to discredit Jesus, might have said to Jesus. “Well this time you sure promised more than you could deliver.” Or, “that poor desperate man, how could Your men treat him that way?”
Peter, James, and John now knew that Jesus was the Son of God, but they didn’t know who they were. When they failed, they didn’t have the courage to say, “We want to help you, but we can’t. Let us show you the One who can. Jesus cries out to his apostles in desperation, “How long shall I put up with you?” These are the men who within a year are to take over His ministry. Jesus puts his frustrations aside and tells the man to bring his son to him, he heals the boy, and faith is restored in the greatness of God.
Lord, I’ve frustrated you as the apostles did. You gave them so many opportunities to build their faith. Please do the same for me, so I don’t blow it again. Let me have enough faith to make a difference. Help me offer my gifts and love to others. If it’s not enough, tell me, and give me the courage to bring them to you. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.