You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you and put up with you?
Luke 9:28-50 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. 30 And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, 31 who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him. 33 And as these were leaving Him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not realizing what he was saying. 34 While he was saying this, a cloud formed and began to overshadow them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent, and reported to no one in those days any of the things which they had seen.
37 On the next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met Him. 38 And a man from the crowd shouted, saying, “Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, for he is my only boy, 39 and a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly screams, and it throws him into a convulsion with foaming at the mouth; and only with difficulty does it leave him, mauling him as it leaves. 40 I begged Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not.” 41 And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” 42 While he was still approaching, the demon slammed him to the ground and threw him into a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy and gave him back to his father. 43 And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.
But while everyone was marveling at all that He was doing, He said to His disciples, 44 “Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement.
46 An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest. 47 But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side, 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.”
49 John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you.”
In today’s text it says: On the next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met Him. And a man from the crowd shouted, saying, “Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, for he is my only boy, and a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly screams, and it throws him into a convulsion with foaming at the mouth; and only with difficulty does it leave him, mauling him as it leaves. I begged Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not.” And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” While he was still approaching, the demon slammed him to the ground and threw him into a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy and gave him back to his father. And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. Previously, in Mark 6:7-13 it said: He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits; and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belt— but to wear sandals; and He added, “Do not put on two tunics.” And He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town. Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.” They went out and preached that men should repent. And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them. Why was it that the disciples had been given power and authority, and that they had previously seen the results of that power and authority in healing and casting out demons, but in this case, they could not? Why is that we, like the disciples, sometimes see the results of our prayers manifested powerfully and other times we cannot? Jesus initial response to the father may reveal at least in part the reason. He said: “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you and put up with you?” We live in a fallen world. We live, as Jesus said, in an unbelieving and perverted generation. In John 16:33 Jesus says: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” We live in this natural and physical world. The kingdom of heaven is spiritual. Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth. He has overcome the natural with the spiritual.
Look again at today’s text. Hear what God said on the mountain about Jesus: “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” In John 16, before saying that He has overcome the world, Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.” In order for us to listen to what Jesus is saying; to know what the Father is doing, we need to hear by the Spirit. In order for us to overcome the things in the natural world that are against us, we must walk in the power of the Spirit within us. In Luke 17:21 Jesus says: “Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” We live in an unbelieving and perverted generation. Jesus taught us to pray saying: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” What we are really praying then is that the circumstances and situations of this natural, fallen and perverted world will come into alignment with what already exists in heaven. In Mark 16:15-20, Jesus instructed us and commissioned us. It says: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. The signs and wonders are meant to confirm what Jesus has said. They are to convince the world to come into alignment with the kingdom of heaven. Jesus, through the Spirit has given us power to heal and authority over demons. In Acts 1:8 He also says: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” The power of the Spirit is also to testify of Christ in our local places, our region and throughout the world; that it would come into alignment with what Jesus said; with what already exists in the kingdom of heaven.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit, thank You that You have overcome the world. That You have authority in heaven and on earth. Thank You that You have given us authority through the Holy Spirit within us; that the kingdom of heaven is within me. May I listen to You and testify of Your goodness and greatness. May I call the world to come into alignment with what You have said. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.