Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood!
And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?”
And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 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.”
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.” Mark 9:14-19
Jesus and the three (Peter, James, and John) return from the mountain of transfiguration where The Voice proclaims him the “Son of God,” and now they are faced with a demon possession requiring an exorcism. This sequence is similar to the exorcism following Jesus’ baptism (1:21-28), where The Voice also proclaimed him the “Son of God.”
In this case, a man in the crowd states that he had brought his son to the remaining nine for the exorcism, but they cannot do it. This result is interesting considering they had already been out on their internships and could perform such activities under his authority. You can hear the groaning exasperation (“O faithless generation”) and sense of urgency (“How long?” twice!) in Jesus’ voice. You get the impression that his frustration is a prayer of concern that he continues to be misunderstood by the people and his disciples.
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood!
Then Jesus’ compassion and grace kick in, and he commands the man to bring the boy. Aren’t you glad he doesn’t give up on them (and us)?
Thank you for being a patient God; somehow you are not finished with us yet!
I pray in the name of the Great Physician. Amen!