Dear GCI Family and Friends,
The writer of Hebrews says, “The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than a two-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). This verse reminds me to approach the Holy Scriptures with a “yieldedness” to the Spirit and a desire to relate more deeply to the Triune God. When we do this, the stories come alive and penetrate our innermost beings.
In my daily devotion, I am oftentimes surprised by things that never stood out previously. One of the recent surprises was noticing how even Jesus got annoyed and frustrated, especially with faithlessness and perverse thinking. One such example is his reaction after healing a demon-possessed boy.
“You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” (Luke 9:41)
Throughout the gospel accounts, Jesus was downcast by faithless responses. And it seemed to impact him most when his disciples displayed a lack of belief. This story takes place a day after Jesus, Peter, James, and John had come down from the Mount of Transfiguration. A great crowd met Jesus, and a father in the crowd begged that Jesus heal his son. The father tells Jesus, “I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” A key point to this story is found at the beginning of Luke 9.
Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal (Luke 9:1-2).
Though these disciples had traveled with Jesus, had seen many miracles, and had been given the power and authority over demons, their lack of faith prevented them from healing the boy. You can understand Jesus’ dismay, which he expressed in his words.
As someone who is challenged on many fronts, I find it encouraging that even though Jesus was 100% God and man, and was filled with grace, truth, and love, he could get a little irritated and disappointed. The expressions of annoyance and frustration are a minor piece of his earthly experience, but these mark the reality of his humanity and it makes him human enough to identify with. He really did take on flesh and blood and he had to wrangle through the daily grind just as we do.
Certainly, crankiness was not the daily demeanor of Jesus. His day-in-day-out earthly ministry shows us that he continued forward no matter the negativity he faced, and his driving purpose was to raise humanity out of the generational cycle of faithlessness. The faithless bystanders—even if they included his disciples—did not deter Jesus from healing the boy and there is nothing that will keep the grace, truth, and love of Jesus from moving through the crowd and reaching us.
Prayer: Jesus, you were both divine and human, and you eternally maintain your connectedness to us humans in your glorified body. We thank you for temporarily setting aside your glory to join us in our mess, fully embracing humanity as one of us, and being the perfect example and perfect sacrifice that saves us. Amen.
So thankful for his humanity,