Frustrated at Faithlessness

June 8, 2021

And Jesus answered and said, "You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? (Matthew 17:17).

Adding to His indignation, the Apostle Matthew reveals the frustration of Jesus over the faithlessness of the disciples, the father of the demon possessed boy, and the crowd that had gathered at the foot of Mt. Tabor. These are emotions we rarely see in Jesus, but we must remember He is human as well as divine and the emotions of His humanity are just as real as yours and mine.

John MacArthur speaks of an anxiousness in Jesus rarely thought of. “No doubt He was becoming increasingly anxious to return to His heavenly Father, with whom He had just experienced a unique time of fellowship on the mountain. In His humanness, He must have been tempted to doubt whether His soon-coming suffering and death would be worthwhile.”

Ministers, whether pastors, evangelists, missionaries, etc., know the frustration and anxiousness that comes when there is little or no response to the Gospel. It is difficult to understand why and how people can witness the power and authority of Jesus Christ and not believe in Him as Lord and Savior. It is a testimony to the power of Satan and our human flesh, of worldliness and of the spiritual blindness of people that someone like Jesus can stand before us and demonstrate God’s love, power, glory, mercy, and grace and yet illicit little or no response from us.

People are drawn to Jesus and to the Gospel out of curiosity, out of personal benefit, and out of the encouragement of others. But being drawn to Jesus is the first step in salvation - not the only step, or the final step. People who are drawn to Jesus must believe in their heart that He is God’s Son, the only Lord and Savior who died on a cross and rose from the dead according to the plan and purpose of God for our salvation if they are to be saved. Mere acknowledgment of His uniqueness is not enough to save.

The people came to see Jesus out of curiosity and for personal benefit or for the benefit of someone they knew who was in need. The Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees followed Jesus around for the purpose of finding fault in Him that they could capitalize on and condemn Him. Even the disciples were not sure about Him and were frequently stumped by His power and teaching. How frustrating it must have been for Jesus to know that in 6 months He would offer His life on a cross for the salvation of those who saw Him, heard Him, witnessed His power and glory, yet still had serious doubts about Him. I used to say people are fickle. In truth they are simply faithless.

“Lord Jesus, may we be like the father of the demon possessed boy and confess to You, ‘I believe, help my unbelief.” To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”


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