The Book of Luke, O Faithless and Perverse Generation, Part I - Lesson 121
We need to go back to the beginning of this chapter in order to have a better understanding of what is taking place in our passage for today.
At the very beginning of the chapter you will recall, the disciples were sent out with authority and power to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God, to heal the sick and to cast out devils.
We know that in this mission they were successful for Luke tells us that they went though the towns preaching the Gospel and healing every where.
This mission was their initial ministry which they conducted apart from the physical presence of the Lord Jesus.
But what was it that had taken place or had not taken place since that successful campaign to result in a failure to bring healing to this boy?
They have participated and witnessed the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, and they have been a part of the great confession of Peter when Jesus was revealed as Israel’s Messiah.
But now while the three other disciples, Peter, James and John, observed the transfiguration of the Lord Jesus Christ, along with Moses and Elijah, and heard the testimony of the Father, the nine disciples that are left below are failing miserably in the ministry that they have been given.
This failure is obvious to us by the rebuke of the Lord Jesus Christ of those whom he met when he came down from the mountain for he said to them upon hearing of their inability to bring healing to this boy:
O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you?
It is interesting to note that Jesus used the phrase “how long shall I be with you” at the very time he was not with them physically.
This was another reminder that though he will not be with them physically he will still be with them for he will later say “Lo I am with you even unto the end of the world.”
But this phrase is included with a stinging rebuke.
It is obvious from this stinging rebuke that they were an offense to Jesus Christ for their lack of faith.
He called them perverse which means -turned aside, distorted from the right, obstinate in the wrong, disposed to be contrary, stubborn, untractible.
Perverse means the same as pervert, which means to turn from truth.
He basically called his disciples perverts.
Wouldn't that make you mad but that is what Jesus said in regard to their turning away from the right, their turning aside from the way of faith.
There was no attempt on the part of Jesus Christ to mitigate or take the edge off his rebuke of their unbelief.
There was no “lets sit down and talk about this problem that you are having” and see if we can come to some compromise.
There was no “Perhaps I am expecting more from you than I ought.”
So we can learn by this stinging rebuke that God tells us that belief in His word is to be the norm and any deviation from belief is to be abhorred and we must know that it is an offense to God.
We must learn from this how God feels about your faith and my faith or your lack of faith or my lack of faith.
There are no more stinging rebukes in the Bible then those that are given for the lack of faith.
We are so easily offended by sins that others do that we do not do, but God is offended when His word is not believed.
God is offended when faith in His word is not exercised and He makes it clearly known that it is an offense unto Him.
Each man, each
women has a place in hell and only belief in
You will not go to heaven because you do not commit adultery, because you do not lie or cheat or steal, or because you do not smoke or drink or swear or cuss.
You will only go to heaven by believing God’s word and God’s word is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Faith is supreme and only faith will be honored by God.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.
And believing means practicing the word of God.
If the mouth gives ascent to the word but the feet don’t move in tune with the mouth, if the hands don’t move in tune with the mouth, if the heart is not the resting place and the mover of the body then that belief is vain and without merit before God.
We believe that the Word of God is infallible and authoritative and is our only rule for faith.
But what is missing in that statement. It should have the words added to it “and practice”.
We not only believe that the Word of God is infallible and authoritative and is our only rule for faith but it is also or rule for practice.
Advertising people have to be extremely smart and creative because advertising involves great expenditure of money with expectations of great return for the investor.
Those who represent the phone companies have come up with a advertising scheme that says:
Let your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages.
They have it right when they bring the fingers into the process.
What good is a yellow pages phone book that just sits around without fingers going though it page by page allowing the eyes to look at the yellow page ads and to gain knowledge.
They know that a book that does not have eyes looking though it and pondering the contents is worthless so they emphasize letting your fingers do the walking.
And what good is a Bible without fingers turning its pages so that it may be read and studied?
True faith always demands practice.
Because the disciples did not practice the Word of God this stinging rebuke was heard from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
So what happened to bring about their inability to bring healing to this epileptic boy?
I think is was a confidence in self that showed though here, for they were rebuked by Jesus Christ for lack of prayer and fasting.
We are told this in Matthew 17:21 where Jesus said: Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
But lack of prayer shows a dependence on self.
It was an “I can do it, why bother God with this when I am so capable, attitude”.
They perhaps saw this need for healing as a golden opportunity to show off or strut their stuff.
When that father came along, begging them to cast the demon from his son, they must have felt absolutely capable, fully equipped to handle the situation.
After all, they had already cast out all demons when they were sent out.
How hard could this one be?
Sure. No Problem,” I can almost hear the nine saying.
Bring your son here. We’ll handle it.” What could possibly go wrong?
But there was no power in themselves.
They had not filled up their tanks with the power of God through prayer.
The more they tried, the more people gathered and the more aggravated they became at the disciples’ lack of power.
From Mark’s Gospel account, it appears that the Jewish religious leaders, the “teachers of the law” were glad to be witness to their impotence and took advantage of the circumstance to harass the nine disciples.
Mark 9:14, And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.
The word questioning means to dispute with.
The scribes took advantage of their powerlessness, for the disciples could not produce any results.
Folks outside of Christ are always looking for you to stumble so they can add good reason to their unbelief.
They always need to be propped up and your stumbling can be a prop.
So all the disciples could do was to debate, which Mark tells us they did.
The disciples were not having a good day defending themselves but the final blow must have been the stinging words of our Lord,
Luke 9:41, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you?