You unbelieving and perverse generation
“You unbelieving and perverse generation”
The curing of an epileptic boy is one interesting narration about a miraculous healing that seems on the surface to be just a simple healing miracle along many others. Yet, this miracle is unique and hides a lot more treasure than what is obvious on the surface (Matthew 17:14-21). During this healing Jesus did not conceal his displeasure and unhappiness with the father of the boy who had come to him seeking his mercy. And if God who is patient and long suffering (prayer of Manasseh 1:7) expresses displeasure, then the act of the boy’s father must be gravely wrong.
The approach of the boy’s father is a great lesson to teach all prudent people about how to get Jesus’ attention. The father moved Jesus’ compassionate heart by asking him for mercy rather than just healing.
The holy gospel does not give us the impression that Jesus healed every single sick person that sought healing, but certainly it does give us the impression that Jesus Christ did not reject or turned his face away when he was asked to show mercy. “Because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked” (Luke 6:35)
The father explained his need to be helped in order to protect the endangered life and integrity of his son. He also managed right after that to cast blame and include an accusation against the disciples of the Lord for not being able to help him.
Despite Jesus’ displeasure with the boy’s father attitude, lack of faith, and accusatory tone; Jesus healed the boy, however without missing the beat in rebuking the father for his unbelief and perverse attitude.
Later; when they asked him about the reason of their failure in helping the boy, he explained to the disciples that it was because of their inadequate faith. He also, prescribed to them the remedy of healing the weakness of the faith through praying.
The resemblance of the failure of healing the boy by the apostles and the disciples of Jesus that is narrated in this story due to their little faith is amazingly similar to the failure of the church today to help in bringing a healing to this kind of situations or other type challenges faced by the youth.
If Jesus is correct, and he is correct, then the failure of the church in this age is caused by the lack of the faith on the part of the today’s parents that is amazingly similar to that which the father of the boy had demonstrated in front of Jesus.
The attitude of today’s parents just as it was with the father of the boy do not seem to find a lot of value in children prayer and communication with God. The prayer of children is not seen as one of the ways of receiving love and mercy from God and is not seen as one of the fruits of teaching prayer to children.
Furthermore, God is not viewed either as necessary, valuable, or even capable to connect with children and benefit them. This underlining approach becomes apparent through the emphasis that parents lay on cultivating the educational path of their children.
They focus heavily either on filling their children schedules and giving priority to physical, social or intellectual activities while steering away or giving very low priority to the religious or worship services and spiritual activities.
This emphasis clearly demonstrates the lack of faith on the part of parents that God is as essential to children as air, water, and food. The reason cannot be other than that the parents themselves never believed that God is essential to their lives as air, water, and food, and they never tasted God’s love, as they never perceived or got to know God as love or loving person.
God is perceived or seen more as a concept rather than a person. Even when God is talked about being “Love” he is approached more as an idea rather than a person. This explains why religion is seen more as a moral and ethical system rather than an order that brings adults and children alike into a personal relationship with a loving God.
Therefore, infants, toddler, and children in general are believed to have no real use for God at certain stages of their lives because their intellect is considered not ready to tackle the concept of God as if God is a math subject, calculus, or algebra.
This explains why children are not present in churches before they are considered ready to get engaged in activities, and that is the same reason as why they disappear after becoming adolescent, and are ready to move on to different types of activities that are found elsewhere.
This explains as well their return after they themselves are married and have their own children who are ready to get engaged in activities. This intellectual and materialistic approach is nothing other than a carefully concealed form of atheism. God is not an idea, and the church is not an exclusive place of activities.
This approach fits under the atheism category as it cancels and invalidates God as a person. It denies the need of the creation to have a personal relationship with him and it prevents it from receiving this pure love and be nurtured by it.
No wonder that religious life is on the decline, as the most important need of the human being that is to be loved is not found in it and through it, and how can God be found through religion when religion introduces God as an idea or a concept that is not much different from math, algebra, or calculus.
No wonder that people are dissatisfied with the church life because of the weak and faint faith of her clergy who have consented to let the churches be reduced into cool social and athletic centers rather than be what God intended for them to be; the place of worship and spiritual life where the power of God is manifested by the miracle of changing lives performed in them.
Today we are rebuked by Jesus Christ as a faithless and perverted generation; we are instructed to bring the children to God so they would know and experience for themselves that God is a person, he is love, he loves them, and regardless of their age God is the most essential need in their lives just like air, water, and food. Failing to nurture children by the love of God as they grow up physically eventually would cause them to suffer from various grave inner spiritual deformities, even though on the surface they might look healthy and complete.