14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. 16 "What are you arguing with them about?" he asked. 17 A man in the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not." 19 "You unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me." 20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
Thoughts: With father's day coming up, I have thought a lot about children going astray. It seems in my southern USA-western hemisphere culture- we almost expect our children to stray away sometime in high school and college and then come back. A number of my elders have testified that is what they did. The problem is that many do not come back. All three of my children have strayed away some time in their lives.
This miracle is a lesson in bringing a child back to faith and sense- and it does not always jibe with the prescribed method. First, it is so obvious the father was concerned about his son's spiritual and physical welfare. I am sure it cost him time, money, heartache and prayers. He did not give up.
Second he brought the child to Jesus. First through the church- the disciples of Christ. But that did not work. The father brought the son when the son could not bring himself. How many people do that today? When someone is sick physically and spiritually do we bring that person to a minister or to the church? I think we bring our children to everything BUT the church. Today we see no spiritual roots to physical and mental problems- we refuse to look into it- lest we be "over-superstitious."
Jesus response to the situation was to say something about an unbelieving generation. If that generation was unbelieving, what about our secular generation? One lesson learned from the Israel trip is how secular and how apart from God's power and faith we are in America. God is everywhere in Jerusalem, and spoken of often.
Today, we need to bring our children to Jesus- especially those who are spiritually hurting. We need to physically bring them to his disciples- to church. We need to spiritually bring them to him through prayer. If we love our children as this man did, we need to do all we know to do for them.
Prayer: Today, Lord, we pray for those young people who are going astray. We ask you to raise up some young, bold leaders who will help other young people. We pray for those who are not coming to you and ask that they would come this father's day.
Calvin Abridged: Jesus was not rebuking the man for his unbelief, but the generation of the Jews who had rejected God. Matthew speaks of him as a lunatic, but both agree that he was mute and had seizures. Thsi muteness was probably brought on by Satan later in life. Let us learn from this how many ways Satan has of injuring us were he not restrained by the hand of God. Our infirmities are darts/tools by which Satan wounds us. We are worst than stupid then, if we do not pray in the midst of our infirmities of soul or body. It is a consoling truth that Christ has come to bridle Satan's rage- and that we are safe in the midst of many dangers because our diseases are effectively countered by heavenly medicine.