Luke and The Lost
As teachers we know when our students lose focus. We see it in their eyes. The light might be on, but no one is home. Their minds dart everywhere but where you want them to be. Most our work as teachers is to pull them back into focus and help them to learn.
Case in point. I was teaching a small group of first grade kids around the kidney shaped table designed so that eye contact can be made with every student. I was in the center, behind the table, passionately telling the story of the importance of vowels in forming words. I felt like they were focused, all eyes on me, listening intently. There is no greater feeling than when you think learning is following teaching. I finally asked a question about vowels for clarity. A little girl leaned in, eyes bright with wonder. I leaned it with excited anticipation of her answer. She passionately responded, “Mrs. Callaway, I love your necklace!” My bubble burst. I thought I had them. It was going to take more than one lesson to teach these kiddos how to read.
Some adults are the same way, aren’t we? We lose touch with the important because our focus is on the putting out the immediate fires in our schedules. We have no margin for error when we overbook our time. We say yes to everyone but God. We lose focus.
Does Jesus get frustrated when we lose focus and just don’t “get it”? Apparently, yes.
The chosen disciples have just returned from a mountain-top experience of seeing the glory of God, being with God, watching Jesus, Son of God talk with the saints of tradition. They cannot, however, seem to draw out an evil spirit possessing a boy. The boy’s father is overwrought and pleaded for Jesus to step in and restore his son. Jesus, frustrated by the lack of focus and understanding in his followers, heals and restores the boy. God’s glory, greatness, power and majesty was seen by all. Focus is restored.
Luke 9, The Message
37-40 When they came down off the mountain the next day, a big crowd was there to meet them. A man called from out of the crowd, “Please, please, Teacher, take a look at my son. He’s my only child. Often a spirit seizes him. Suddenly he’s screaming, thrown into convulsions, his mouth foaming. And then it beats him black-and-blue before it leaves. I asked your disciples to deliver him but they couldn’t.”
41 Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! No focus to your lives! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring your son here.”
42-43 While he was coming, the demon slammed him to the ground and threw him into convulsions. Jesus stepped in, ordered the vile spirit gone, healed the boy, and handed him back to his father. They all shook their heads in wonder, astonished at God’s greatness, God’s majestic greatness.
What will help us?
Satan is the author of confusion. He wants us too busy, extremely overwhelmed and over scheduled with no margin for error. He does is best work in us at these times, guiding our focus away from all that is God. Tempers flare at the slightest circumstance, life gets harder, and everything good turns sour and bitter. When this happens, stop. Let us fall to our knees and ask the Father to defeat the foe within us, in Jesus Name. He will do exactly that and bring us back to focus on Him. Every. Time. He has done it for me.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We need you every hour. Every hour, minute and second, we need You. Turn our thoughts and our eyes upward. Help us to focus with understanding and clarity on things of You, on You. Defeat the foe within us who wants to take away all focus on You. Calm the confusion in our lives. Bring order in the chaos. Help us to say yes to You. Help us to say no, even to good things, if it is not what You want in our lives at the moment. Comfort us with your peace.
In Jesus Name, Amen