And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.”Matthew 17:17 ESV
Jesus makes this comment in view of His disciples’ inability to help a man who’s son suffered from epilepsy.
As the story progresses, Jesus actually casts a demon out of the boy and he is healed entirely.
So who are those Jesus is referring to as “faithless and twisted?”
The disciples. THEY are the examples of faithlessness and twistedness He is speaking about.
Apparently He expected something more of them.
What a painful rebuke!
These men who have left all to follow Him are said to be without faith – at least the kind of faith that is able to force a demon out of a little boy.
There’s a lesson in the rebuke that I don’t want to miss.
Faith does not consist in intellectually believing something. Faith ACTS based on belief – so as James says, faith is completed BY work/action. (James 2:22)
I don’t want Jesus calling me “faithless and twisted,” yet I’ve not been the instrument by which He has healed anyone or moved a mountain lately.
It’s a sobering passage, one that makes me ask myself a number of questions…
- What does this account reveal about the faith I possess?
- What more is needed in order for me to have the type of faith Jesus would commend (and obviously, there is a LOT more needed)?
- What more do I need to understand and appropriate?
- Am I guilty of passivity regarding the things I say I believe? If so, my faith is not being “completed.”
- What are the things that hold me back from practicing an active faith?