What a Disappointment

disappointment - head in hands

I’ve heard 3 main topics on the passage Mark 9:14-29:

  1. Doubt
  2. All things are possible with God
  3. Casting out demons (powerful ones you have to fast and pray for to leave first)

Honestly, I really don’t want to go into the 3rd one, not because I’m scared to or anything, but because if you read some of my other posts, you’ll see that I tend to deal with such a type often, and really would prefer not to put any more unnecessary attention onto them. Also, I don’t think the 1st and 2nd can be separated. So I would also like to look at a 4th option, which always came to mind when I read this: why was Jesus so upset at the crowd?

Notice the insults that Jesus heaped up on them:

  • “You Faithless People!”
  • “How long must I be with you until you believe?”
  • “How long must I put up with you?”

Harsh words, none of which you’d expect to hear from Jesus, or not the always friendly “What would Jesus Do?” bubblegum and rainbows image that we often have for Him. Yes, Jesus spoke a lot on loving our neighbors and sharing His message out of compassion, but He also told us to kick off the dust from our feet as a testimony against them if they reject the Gospel; He cursed a fig tree for not bearing figs at a time when they were out of season; He knocked over and chased merchants out of the Temple; He basically became used to asking His 12 why their faith was so low, and being disappointed with them. But He also had very good reason for all this. Notice, for a couple years now, Jesus had been spreading news about the Kingdom, the Father, who He was (without directly revealing it), casting out demons, healing people, showing all the signs of the promised Messiah, and yet, people disobeyed Him: argued with Him; He got mad and plotted killing Him; saw Him only as a healer; some Gentiles had greater faith than His own Jewish people; and even at this point, just after coming down the mountain where His transfiguration took place, His own disciples couldn’t even cast out a demon from a guy; and now the fellow asking for help is doubting (or not fully trusting) Jesus to do what he had brought his son to Him for in the first place…do you get the picture? Of course Jesus was upset.

One of my pet peeves is when I answer somebody’s question, or say something, and seconds later, they ask me the question whereas if they’d heard what I’d said, they’d already know the answer to their question…I just told you. If you were listening, you’d know. Jesus had been spreading the same message for almost 3 years now, and is soon to be killed for it. Yet, many still just didn’t get it.

I know that everybody had to reject Him as they did, especially the Sanhedrin, but I wonder if sometimes Jesus still became disappointed with them? I mean, theologically-speaking, He put them into that position, raised them up to their status’, and if anybody should recognize Him when He arrived, it was them. But they were blind as bats, full of pride and denial, and even when the answer stared them straight in the face, they rejected it. What a disappointment.

I think the father’s response to his own lack of faith says something to the rest of us. We know Jesus was upset also at him when he said, “If you can”. But when Jesus responded to his lack of faith, the father instantly cried out, “I DO believe! But help me not to doubt!” (Some translations say “Help me with my unbelief”). This is huge, for how many times do we sometimes doubt things about Jesus’ ability, especially when we know better?

In another one of my posts, I mention that it’s more to just know, but we must also respond to what we know about Jesus. But we do sometimes doubt.

Reflection:

  1. Why do you think we sometimes doubt in our faith?
  2. How do you get passed doubt in your faith?

Please leave a comment or a word of encouragement on in the comments below for whoever should read this and who might be struggling with doubt.

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