By Lou Coleman
“You unbelieving generation, Jesus replies, “How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you…?” Mark 9:19. I have done everything for you! I’ve healed, I’ve preached, I’ve saved, I’ve loved, and I’ve taught you, and you still refuse to believe much of anything I say. After all I’ve done up to this point to display My power, there is still a question as to just how powerful I am… “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you?” “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword, Matthew 10. You uncircumcised Philistines! “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I wish thou were cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16… Wow!
Is there any doubt as to why Jesus spoke in such a manner to His disciples and speaks to us in this manner today…? I think not! We’re just not accustomed to think of Jesus in this light: frustrated with us, irritated, disturbed, annoyed, dissatisfied. And please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying; I’m not suggesting in any shape or form that the Lord spoke these words unduly harshly, or in an extreme or unreasonable manner. But surely you’ll have to agree with me that we tend to think of the Lord’s winsome characteristics, His grace, His love, His gentleness – we’re not accustomed to thinking of Jesus as being frustrated with His people, and rebuking His people. This is what we have, I believe, before us in Luke chapter 9, specifically in verse 41 and the verses that follow. He is grieved at the failure of His followers, and He says: ‘How long do I have to put up with you?” Put up with your unbelief; your lack of faith; your failure; your lack of prayer; your spiritual blindness; your pride; your lack of love towards the brethren; your lack of dedication? How long? Tell me….
You know in Numbers 14:11, God complained to Moses about the stubbornness of the Israelites, “How long will these people despise me? And how long will they not believe in Me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? I want you to know that throughout the Bible, God rebukes humanity for the problem of unbelief. For the greatest problem you and I struggle with, whether we detect it or not, is the problem of unbelief. We are like the Israelites who doubt, “Can God spread a table in the wilderness?” Psalms 78:19. Hear me and hear me good…. Jesus was severe with the people of His day because of their unbelief. He even criticized His disciples when He frankly told them that they had littleness of faith Matthew 17:30, but He promised them that if they would have faith as a mustard seed they could move mountains, that is, they could do things which, with people, are impossible. As believers, we face threats to the life of the kingdom of God. Jesus and the disciples encountered these threats as well, but trusting in Jesus allows us to overcome. Do you hear what I’m saying to you? Jesus is grieved because of our lack faith. He was grieved then and He is grieved today when we lack faith. They had no faith and no spiritual perception and apparently neither do we. We should be running to the altar, I tell you…. Frustrating the grace of God is a great and horrible sin. God says, “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Y’all Going to Make Me Go Off, Up In Here, Up In Here!”