Jesus heals the epileptic boy (Mt 17:17-17:18)

“Jesus answered.

‘You faithless generation!

You perverse generation!

How much longer

Must I be with you?

How much longer

Must I put up with you?

Bring him here to me!’

Jesus rebuked the demon.

The demon came out of him.

The boy was cured instantly.”

 

ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Ὦ γενεὰ ἄπιστος καὶ διεστραμμένη, ἕως πότε μεθ’ ὑμῶν ἔσομαι; ἕως πότε ἀνέξομαι ὑμῶν; φέρετέ μοι αὐτὸν ὧδε.

καὶ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ τὸ δαιμόνιον, καὶ ἐθεραπεύθη ὁ παῖς ἀπὸ τῆς ὥρας ἐκείνης.

 

Problem solved, as Jesus cured the epileptic son.  However, he also reprimanded his disciples at the same time.  The healing of the man with the uncurable epileptic son can be found in the other synoptic gospels.  Mark, chapter 9:19-27, has an extended detailed version of this story, while Luke, chapter 9:41-42, has a short version of this story.  Jesus called them out (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν) as a faithless, corrupt, and perverse generation (Ὦ γενεὰ ἄπιστος καὶ διεστραμμένη).  Almost in desperation, he wondered how much longer he was going to be with them (ἕως πότε μεθ’ ὑμῶν ἔσομαι) and how much longer he had to bear with or put up with them (ἕως πότε μεθ’ ὑμῶν ἔσομαι).  He told them to bring the boy to him (φέρετέ μοι αὐτὸν ὧδε).  Finally, Jesus rebuked the demon (καὶ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  Once the demon came out of the boy (καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ τὸ δαιμόνιον), he was cured instantly or at that hour (καὶ ἐθεραπεύθη ὁ παῖς ἀπὸ τῆς ὥρας ἐκείνης).  There was a clear equivalence between the illness of epilepsy and demonic possession.  Once the devil or evil spirits had left the boy, he was cured of his illness.

The bad leaders (Zeph 3:3-3:4)

“The officials within her

Are roaring lions.

Her judges

Are evening wolves.

They leave nothing

Until the morning.

Her prophets

Are reckless persons.

They are faithless persons.

Her priests

Have profaned

What is sacred.

They have done violence

To the law.”

Zephaniah rebuked not only the city, but the leaders in the city of Jerusalem.  Their officials were like roaring lions.  Their judges were like evening wolves preying on people at night.  Their prophets were reckless faithless people.  Their priests profaned the sacred things, by doing violence to the law of Yahweh.

A land sins (Ezek 14:12-14:13)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

When a land sins

Against me,

by acting faithlessly,

I stretch out

My hand

Against it.

I break

Its staff of bread.

I send famine upon it.

I cut off

From it

Human beings

With animals.’”

The word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. Yahweh spoke about the sins of a faithless land. Yahweh would stretch out his hand against this country. He would break its bread supply. He would send a famine to that land. He would cut off all humans and animals from this country. This was the common view of the power of Yahweh.

 

The repentance (Jer 3:21-3:23)

“A voice on the bare heights

Is heard.

The plaintive weeping of Israel’s children

Is heard.

Because they have perverted their ways.

They have forgotten Yahweh

Their God.

‘Return!

O faithless children!

I will heal your faithlessness.’

‘Here we come to you.

You are Yahweh

Our God.

Truly the hills

Are a delusion.

The orgies on the mountains

Are a delusion.

Truly in Yahweh our God

Is the salvation of Israel.’”

The weeping of the children of Israel can be heard on the mountains from the useless pagan sites. They admit that they had perverted their ways. They had forgotten Yahweh, their God. Jeremiah wants these faithless children to return to Yahweh, their God, since they would be healed. In a remarkable response, these Israelites cry out that the hills and the orgies on the mountains were a delusion. They wanted to return to Yahweh, the God of salvation for Israel.

The prostitute (Prov 23:27-23:28)

“A prostitute is a deep pit.

An adulteress is a narrow well.

She lies in wait like a robber.

She increases the number of the faithless.”

Once again there is a warning about prostitutes and adulteress women who are trying to lure young men. They are like a deep pit or a narrow well. They will rob you since they lay in wait for you. These evil women are the cause of the increase in the number of the faithless. It is never the fault of the men, only the women. There are no admonitions to young women about males attempting to rape them. Perhaps they were more protected in this society.

The generous ones (Prov 22:9-22:13)

“Those who are generous are blessed.

They share their bread with the poor.

Drive out a scoffer!

Then strife also goes out.

Quarreling and abuse will cease.

Whoever loves a pure heart,

Will have the king as a friend.

Whoever is gracious in speech,

Will have the king as his friend.

The eyes of Yahweh keep watch over knowledge.

But he overthrows the words of the faithless.

The lazy person says.

‘There is a lion outside!

I shall be killed in the streets!’”

The generous people are blessed because they share their bread with the poor. Get rid of the scoffers, the mockers, and strife will go away. Arguments and abuse will cease if the mockers are gone. If you have a pure heart and gracious speech you will have the king as a friend. Yahweh watches over knowledge, but he overthrows the words of the faithless. The lazy person is afraid to go outside because he says that he is scared of being killed by a lion.

The results of actions (Prov 21:16-21:18)

“Whoever wanders from the way of understanding

Will rest in the assembly of the dead.

Whoever loves pleasure

Will be poor.

Whoever loves wine and oil

Will not be rich.

The wicked are a ransom for the righteous.

The faithless are a ransom for the upright.”

If you wander from the way of understanding, you are headed for rest in the assembly of the dead. If you love pleasure, you will be a poor man. If you love wine and oil, you certainly will not be rich. The wicked ones are a ransom for the righteous, while the faithless ones are a ransom for the upright. Actions have consequences.

Hope and knowledge (Prov 13:12-13:19)

“Hope deferred

Makes the heart sick.

But a desire fulfilled

Is a tree of life.

Whoever despises the word

Brings destruction on themselves.

But whoever respects the commandment

Will be rewarded.

The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life.

Thus one may avoid the snares of death.

Good sense wins favor.

But the way of the faithless is their ruin.

The clever do all things intelligently.

But the fool displays folly.

A bad messenger brings trouble.

But a faithful envoy brings healing.

Poverty and disgrace come to

Whoever ignores instruction.

But whoever heeds reproof is honored.

A desire realized

Is sweet to the soul.

But to turn away from evil

Is an abomination to fools.”

When hope is deferred, it brings on sickness. However, when a desire is fulfilled, the tree of life grows more. If you despise the word or commandment of God, you will bring on your own destruction. If you respect the commandments, then you will be rewarded. Listen to the teachings of the wise ones because they are fountain of life to help you avoid the snares of death. Good sense will win you favors, while the faithless way leads to ruin. The clever smart ones do everything intelligently, while the fools tend to be foolish. It is better to be a good messenger than a bad messenger because that will bring healing to people. If you ignore instruction, you will end up poor and in disgrace. If you follow instructions, you will be honored. Realizing your dreams and hopes is sweet. The problem is that the evil ones have a hard time turning away from evil since they are so attracted to it.

God rejects Israel (Ps 78:56-78:59)

“Yet Isreal tested the Most High God.

They rebelled against him.

They did not observe his decrees.

They turned away.

They were faithless,

Like their ancestors.

They twisted like a treacherous bow.

They provoked him to anger,

With their high places.

They moved him to jealousy,

With their idols.

When God heard,

He was full of wrath.

He utterly rejected Israel.”

When the Israelites got to the holy land, they tested God. They rebelled against him. They did not keep his commandments. They were faithless like their ancestors in the desert. They provoked God to anger when they established the high places dedicated to idols in the countryside. When God heard this he was angry. He then utterly rejected Israel.