Mighty Works

Monday, July 20, 2009

I think one of the saddest situations Jesus found himself in is found in Mark 6:1-6. My pastor, Rev. Mark, used this passage in a sermon illustration a few weeks ago and I have thought of it often since then.

Jesus had been away from home ministering to the multitudes, teaching through parables, healing the sick, and driving out demons. Then he returned to his hometown and was joined by his disciples. I imagine they were ready to do mighty works in Nazareth just as they had done throughout the countryside. Jesus gave a lecture on the Sabbath and everyone was so impressed they wandered how he became so wise. I imagine the homefolks began to look at each with great puzzlement and talk among themselves. “How did he get so smart?” “I didn’t know he was so wise.” Well, their awe turned to awful pretty fast when in the next breath they began to criticize him. I can hear them now, “He’s just a carpenter.” “How can he perform a miracle with those hands?” “Who does he think he is?” “We know his whole family.” “There’s no way he can do these things.” They were offended by him.

(Before we get too highhanded, I guess we need to ask how many of us have the same reaction to our own small town men and women who do well.)

Crowds had swarmed around Jesus throughout the countryside wanting to hear him teach and to receive healing, yet in his own hometown he was rejected. Jesus told them, “A prophet has little honor in his hometown, among his relatives, on the streets he played in as a child.” Now as sad as that is, for me it is not the real tragedy. You see, the real tragedy is seen in verse 5, “Jesus wasn’t able to do much of anything there –he laid hands on a few sick people and healed them, that’s all.” That’s all! Just imagine the things Jesus could have done if they had not rejected him. Jesus knew these people better than anyone anywhere. He knew their hurts and their weaknesses. Imagine the miracles he could have performed, the healings that he could have done, the knowledge he could have shared. They rejected him and in so doing, they rejected hope. Look at Jesus’ response to those in Nazareth.
“He marvelled because of their unbelief.” (KJV)
“He couldn't get over their stubbornness.” (The Message)
“He was amazed at their lack of faith.” (Today’s NIV)
Because of their unbelief, their stubbornness, their lack of faith, they missed out on mighty works. They missed out on miracles, so Jesus left home again and went around to other villages, teaching, preaching, and healing.

Jesus wants for us the same thing he wanted for his hometown friends. He wants to do mighty works. As I meditated on this passage, I began to do some soul searching. Is there any area of my life that is preventing God from doing a mighty work within me? Do I have an unbelief or stubbornness or lack of faith in any area of my life? What am I preventing God from doing in my life? My prayer is that I will give my all to him so that he can do all within me and through me that he wants to do.
Is your unbelief, stubbornness, or lack of faith keeping God from doing a mighty work in you?


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