What Got Jesus Frustrated
by Tom Goodman
September 10, 2008
Jesus once looked at his disciples and said, "How long shall I put up with you?"
Yikes. Do you think he sometimes says that of his disciples today?
According to Matthew 17, what provoked his frustration was his disciples' inability to meet a father's desperate need. "I brought my troubled boy to your disciples," the father complained to Jesus, "but they could not heal him." And Jesus
looked at his men, shook his head, and said, "How long shall I put up with you?"
There are only two times in scripture where Jesus came anywhere close to discouragement:
It wasn't when he faced his great temptations. Nowhere in that passage (Matthew 4) do we hear him say, "How much longer do I have to put up with this?"
It wasn't when he faced the crowds with their pressing needs. As a boy I remember watching the film version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical Jesus Christ Superstar. In one scene the crowds with their constant needs are pressing
in on Jesus and Webber's Jesus is backing away saying, "Get away from me!" Even as a boy, I knew enough from Sunday School to know Jesus never looked at the crowds with their needs and said, "How much longer do I have to put up with this?"
Even in the agony of the cross, Jesus never said, "How much longer do I have to put up with this?"
There are only 2 times in the Gospels were Jesus speaks with this kind of, well, annoyance. In both instances it is when he sees how little faith his followers have.
Think of that. What frustrates you about your church? Some of us get frustrated when the time of service changes. Some of us get frustrated when the length of service changes! Some of us get frustrated when the style of music doesn't suit us. Some of us get frustrated when the way we've always done things gets changed.
Let me clue you in: None of that frustrates Jesus. But when he sees a church with a feeble faith, according to this text we can be sure he is throwing up his hands and saying, "How much longer do I have to put up with this?"
This Sunday, we'll look at Christ's promise that faith as small as a mustard seed can accomplish great things for God's glory! Join us in this challenging study at 9:30am or 10:45am.
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