14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.”
19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out [with tears] and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”[and fasting]
Sunday, April 8, 2010
Jesus told us to be Salt and to act as the Light of God's Holy Spirit.
When we think of someone being salty, we think of someone being larger than life. Loud, exuberant. Auntie Mame, Popeye.
Then again when we think of Biblical salt, there is Lot's wife looking back and becoming a pillar of salt.... not a desirable state.
Salt and pop culture go hand and hand. Salt looses it's flavor when exposed to the air. It becomes stale, tasteless and isn't even good fertilizer or pesticide. What we become when we soak in pop culture without a discerning heart.
Salt wasn't unavailable at any time in Israel. Without salt, one could die in the desert of Judea without some travel planning and having some salt. Without salt, food is flavorless. No one would want to eat salt by itself. No one enjoys having religious talk, religious ideas crammed down their throat.
Let's look at Jesus asking the father of the boy ill with a demon, “How long has this been happening to him?” Recently, in another reading for Scripture for Today Blogspot, we talked about Jesus not being recorded as being a huge conversationalist. Yet Jesus is Love. Jesus is not looking for data. Jesus is not looking for a long debate with the boy's father. Jesus is making contact with this man. Jesus is not browbeating him, He is opening up the conversation. Jesus is hip deep in an emotional experience Himself, returning to the grind of all too human disciples - Jesus has just come from the Transfiguration. Jesus is taking time with someone looking to Him. Jesus is opening up the man's choices in his thoughts of God. Jesus is being Himself, there aren't any basketball moves where the hips have to be watched to understand where He is going. Jesus is getting to the point. Jesus teaches us to live at peace with one another in this whole passage.
One of the most touching verses is “I believe; help my unbelief!” In this cry, Jesus is there. It is not a perfect situation. Not the tidy, steam cleaned virtue we hope to see surrounding Jesus. Nothing is quite right, they are not saints, but Jesus is there.
Read the passage once more, Jesus is teaching us salt and light - to live at peace with one another. Jesus did not live in a peaceful world and His words were not always soothing. It is like Psalm 23, surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. Jesus forgave everyone from the cross; goodness and mercy was not always given to Jesus, but goodness and mercy were the Grace upon Grace He gave us.
Blessed be the children of God, Jesus. Help us to be Your creation of salt and Light. Protect us from the root of bitterness within us when goodness and mercy do not come our way in life. Let our words be seasoned with the salt of Your Healing and Your wisdom. We always ask for Your help. In the name of Jesus. The highest name of Jesus, Abba. Amen.