A Few Miracles
28 March 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matthew 13:53-58 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
53 When Jesus had finished telling these stories and illustrations, he left that part of the country. 54 He returned to Nazareth, his hometown. When he taught there in the synagogue, everyone was amazed and said, “Where does he get this wisdom and the power to do miracles?” 55 Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers—James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. 56 All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he learn all these things?” 57 And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.” 58 And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief. (Matthew 13:53–58 NLT)
Jesus had been in Capernaum, his adopted home base, on the Northwest shore of Lake Galilee and now returned to Nazareth in the western region of Galilee. It was great to be back home again and see family and old friends (or at least it should have been)! He went to the synagogue on Sabbath, and the leaders wanted to hear about his recent ministry tour and asked him to preach that morning as well.
When he began teaching the things we’ve been thinking about for the past couple of months, and talking about the Kingdom of Heaven, they started doing this small-town jealousy thing and saying stuff like, “Who does he think he is, anyhow!? He’s just a local boy and here are all his brothers and sisters and his Mom. Nothing special about them, nothing special about him!” Life Lesson: Don’t let jealousy, envy, and small thinking keep you from recognizing greatness in others.
“And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.” Sad words: “Only a few miracles” (because of their unbelief). Here’s an aspect of faith we may overlook, that our belief or unbelief can actually impact the ability of God to interact supernaturally in our world. One of the reasons some of us tend to stay away from this is that this idea has been taken to harmful extremes. Another reason is our theology. We tend to over-emphasize God’s part and under-emphasize our part. Is that laziness? Is it a desire to not dishonor God? The reality: Our desire for God and our faith in his desire for us can impact what happens. We’re partners with God!
Father, I’ve been thinking what the people of Nazareth missed because of their small thinking, envy, and unbelief. They could have had every sick person in town healed! Please help me and my friends not to miss what Jesus could do if we believe! Amen.