The day Jesus got angry with His disciples
Luke 9:40,41 -
And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not. And Jesus answering said, O faithless [unbelieving] and perverse [turned away] generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer [bear with] you? Bring thy son hither.
There were very few times Jesus got angry and showed His displeasure especially with His disciples. In today's scripture we read about the time when Jesus really got upset with His disciples. Luke shows this event happened the next day of Jesus demonstrated His transfiguration to 3 of His disciples. They were so impressed with what they saw that Simon Peter wanted to dedicate a temple for Jesus yet the very next day all including him showed no faith.
This disappointing event also happened after the apprentice training the twelve went through in Luke 9 where they went from village to village healing and performing miracles and also after the multiplication of bread to feed five thousand in which the disciples were party to performing the miracle.
There are two things Jesus accuses His disciples of being one unbelieving and other turned away. Even today we Christians are still the same a unbelieving and turned away people and even today if Jesus was physically present with us He would have been as disappointed as He was that day and would have said the similar words 'How long should I bear with you so called Christians who call yourselves My followers?'
We may have people among us of strong faith but yet they too lack consistency. When it comes to some areas they will demonstrate great faith but in other areas its helplessness. The reason also is given by Jesus in His accusation against His disciples as a unbelieving and turned away people.
Let us take an example - in the Gospel of Matthew connected to this incident Jesus says the one thing that will help overcome this weakness is prayer and fasting.
With regards to prayer most people think shouting and scream is a good prayer, the others think prayer is all about pleading and begging to God. If one realizes the most powerful prayer of Jesus was not the one in the Garden of Gethsemane, in fact it was Jesus' weakest prayer. The most powerful prayer was just the words 'thank You Father' by which Jesus did the greatest of miracles.
People do not know how to pray therefore praying 24x7 (day and night) is unthinkable as a concept; likewise praying even when one is asleep is unimaginable.
Another thing is fasting. Now that the Passover is at hand many people fast before the day of Jesus' crucifixion. The reason of them fasting is a mystery. Firstly they do not understand what fasting is, how to fast and what the purpose of fasting is. The ritual they do as fasting actually hardens their hearts and their spirits, taking them further away from the Truth.
Fasting is not done for the reasons the Muslims do. In the Bible fasting has only one purpose and that is to overcome disbelieve to discipline the heart to be rooted in the promise or Truth. It is at this incident Jesus speaks of faith like a mustard seed. If one asks any Christian what it means and they go 'even a small faith can move mountains', this is because they speak with the wisdom of this world and do not understand what Jesus meant to say. All of us have faith much greater than a mustard seed but we have not seen anyone of us move any mountains yet. The reason is explained in the mustard seed. The symbolism of the mustard seed is purity and not smallness. The construction of the mustard seed shows that it is one unique seed that does not have any air pocket like others do.
Let us not anger Jesus Christ any further by being a disbelieving people and people who use the wisdom of this world, turned away from the Truth. Let our fasting and prayer indeed be fruitful and powerful not in volume but in understanding and meaning. Let not Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane be our ideal prayer but let our ideal prayer be the prayer of Jesus which raised Lazarus to life or which multiplied the bread to feed thousands.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, your people suffer because of their unbelief and the infection of the corrupt understandings of this world. Lord, your people call themselves Christians but are far from demonstrating your power in their daily lives. Lord, help us know how to pray better and help us to overcome our faithlessness by growing in the understanding of your Kingdom and help us reject the understandings of this world...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
38 And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child.
39 And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and bruising him hardly departeth from him.
40 And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not.
41 And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither.
42 And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father.
43 And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples,
13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
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