DayBreaks for 2/23/16: Frothing and Faith
The story of Jesus healing the demoniac, frothing boy in Luke 9 is an interesting one. Jesus, Peter, John and James had just come down from the mount of Transfiguration only to be confronted by a large crowd and a man pleading with Jesus to heal his only child, a boy who was possessed. Apparently, the other disciples of Jesus had tried to heal the boy but had been unable to do so.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the father or the crowd was skeptical about whether or not Jesus could do anything to help. After all, his followers had failed. Why should it be any different with this Nazarene rabbi? Perhaps there wasn’t anything different about him. But the father’s love for his only child caused him to hope against hope that there was something different about Jesus, something that made him greater than his followers.
Jesus rebukes the crowd (and possibly in particular, his disciples) for their lack of faith. His compassion for the child causes him to heal the boy and return him to his father. The passage concludes “Everyone was amazed at God’s great power.”
Several things to note here:
- In spite of his frustration with the lack of faith of the people, Jesus’ compassion dominates the situation;
- Jesus power is greater than the sum of all the combined efforts of his followers to deal with the problem in this young boy’s life, and His power wasn’t limited by their lack of faith;
- The power of God amazes all who see it, but it sometimes takes eyes that are open to see it as His power and not some “freak” of circumstance.
I’m glad that Jesus’ work in our lives isn’t limited by the lack of faith of people around us. I am concerned, however, that I limit what I let Him do in my life by my own lack of faith. When I am not ready and willing to step forward when He calls unless I have a “safety net” of my own concocting in place, I limit His ability to do with me what He chooses. Not only does that affect me, but others He may bring into my life.
The lack of faith in the crowd could have prevented them from asking for a healing for the boy. But it didn’t stop them from asking and it didn’t stop Jesus from giving. As “The Promise” bible version put it: So often we are ashamed of our little faith. But how glad we are to find out that Jesus understands and puts our broken hearts and lives back together even when our faith seems gone. What is the greatest problem facing you right now? You answer, “I know, but my faith is gone.” Just tell that to Jesus! He will understand.
What is the greatest problem you face today? Give it to Him, even with a weak faith, and watch what He does with it!
TODAY’S PRAYER: May we respond to you in faith, but thank you, Lord, that Your mercy and grace are not dispensed to us in the same measure as we demonstrate our faith. Make us bold, Lord, to seek great things from You that further Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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