"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."
Mark 9:19 (NIV)
Love is the greatest of all things given to man. However, loving people is not always easy to do. Not for me. Not for you. Not even for Jesus. Love includes sacrifice, struggle, and even frustration.
In Mark Chapter 9, Jesus asks the disciples, “How long must I put up with you?” You can sense the frustration He must have had. A man had brought his son to the disciples hoping they would drive out the evil spirit that had possessed his son, but they could not. Where was their faith? Jesus said they had no faith. The disciples, men hand selected to become followers of Christ who had witnessed His miracles, walked with Him daily and had listened to His teachings, could not muster enough faith to cast out an evil spirit. That had to have been very frustrating for Jesus. It is almost as if I can hear Jesus saying, “What is it going to take for you men to believe, REALLY BELIEVE? What else is it going to take?
How long did Jesus have to “put up” with them? It was long enough to be called a lunatic and a liar by the brothers and neighbors. It was long enough to be run out of His own town and even His Temple… Until He had been betrayed, arrested, denied three times, flogged, humiliated, mocked, spat upon, and nailed to a cross with an audience of demons celebrating a dying God. He “put up” with it long enough for every sin to be absorbed by His perfect, spotless, and sinless soul… Long enough to feel complete separation from His Heavenly Father and verbally announce, “It is finished.” The question was, “How long must I put up with you? And Jesus answered…Until it kills me.
Love is not easy. We choose everyday whether to love or not. It is not a simple emotion. Love is an action, and it takes a toll on us sometimes. Jesus has told us to love others as He has loved us. I challenge you to think of the one person that irritates you the most and pray for them every day for the next week. If you have direct contact with that person make a genuine attempt to show them love in some way. Love like Jesus.
Written in service to my first love – Jesus Christ,
I look forward to your comments. If you accept my challenge, please share your results. It may encourage others:
Twitter - @disciplekp
Email – kporterADOS@gmail.com