“. . . And, He marveled because of their unbelief.”
There are two things that caused Jesus to marvel. One was faith and the other was unbelief.
Perhaps you recall the faith of the Roman army officer. The centurion displayed such faith that it moved Jesus to action. The officer’s faith was marvelous.
But todays passage is different. Jesus marvels, but it’s in response to their lack of faith. Kingdom work is hindered because of their unbelief.
Do you remember the setting?
Jesus has been about Kingdom business. He was preaching the Kingdom to the people of Galilee. As the Kingdom is proclaimed, lives are changed. Lepers are cleansed. Lame people walk. It’s exciting to watch as the power and possibility of the Kingdom is revealed!
Today, Jesus has gone to His hometown. This is the place where He was born and raised. He had played in the streets. He worked with Joseph in his carpenter shop. They knew his family and they knew him . . . He was a home. And, this was the problem. You do realize that when someone has changed your diapers, you’re always the little mess that they cleaned up. It just seems you never outgrow that. Because Jesus was ‘home’, they rejected Him. After all, He was just one of them. How dare He claim to be anything more? It’s the old story of a prophet honored by strangers by rejected own. Tragic.
Their logic was condemned by their own history. God had raised up deliverers in Israelfrom humble families and obscure places. Think about Gideon. And, what about David? Aren’t you thankful that God is not impressed by human pedigrees and wealth? He reveals Himself to the lowly and longs to use the humble to accomplish His purposes. It’s frightening to think of how many blessings we might have missed because we failed recognize the humble messenger in our own pride and arrogance!
The tragedy is this: Because of their unbelief, Jesus was unable to do any mighty works there. Stop and read that again: Because of their unbelief, Jesus was unable to do any mighty works in Nazareth. Maybe it’s better stated like this: In the absence of faith the Lord does no mighty work. His challenge to all who seek His help is whether or not we believe that He is able to do in our lives what needs to be done.
Do you believe?
He would even ask that question of those who sought His touch. We’re faced with that same question over and over on our Christian walk. And, our response – how we live – will oftentimes determine outcomes. (There’s so much that could be said here. Maybe we’ll visit the subject another time.)
Jesus response is this: According to your faith, be it unto you.
It’s easy to point out the lack of faith in Nazareth. What about us? In our hearts, in our homes, in our churches, is Jesus able to do His mighty works? I wonder, does He marvel at our faith or at our unbelief?