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He wondered at their unbelief
Mark 9:23 Why do we doubt miracles?
“And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.”
Mark 6:5-6 NASB1995
My random method of picking scripture to dig into for Heaven On Wheels usually isn’t so random. I feel God’s hand in the process, pushing me to write about certain topics when they don’t seem particularly relevant to me. That means, however, that He is trying to reach one of you with a message.
Today the “random” pick was about doubt, a topic that has come up a few times over the past week or so. In this verse, the Gospel author Mark is writing about Jesus’ visit to His hometown of Nazareth, where He was not well-received.
Mark says that all Jesus could do is lay “His hands on a few sick people and (He) healed them.” I think that’s the very definition of a miracle, yet it didn’t impress the people of Nazareth. I can imagine that Jesus would be received in a similar manner in our time; laying His hands on someone with cancer, for example, and bringing about a miraculous cure, yet He would not receive the glory He deserves!
One line of commentary from Enduring Word points out the reason that Jesus was unable or unwilling to accomplish “great miracles” in his hometown. From David Guzik, “This was in respect to God’s principle of partnership with man. God may work with no belief, but not with unbelief.”1 In other words, God’s power can work on both believers and those who are ignorant of God, but not on those who know of Him yet do not believe in Him.
Jesus chose to spend more time in Nazareth and other villages teaching nonbelievers about God than working to heal those who would not believe in Him. Those in Nazareth were witnessing miracles of healing, yet were actively denying His power. In His mercy, He directed His attention to those who needed Him the most.
How about you? Do you find it difficult to see miracles that are happening in your life, and are you seeing miraculous things but refusing to give credit to God? Don’t be a Nazarene in the bad sense of the word!
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
God, it says a lot about the sad state of humanity that Your loving acts of kindness were often rejected, ignored, and unwelcome. As Your servants, may Your Spirit overflow in us, giving us support in spreading Your Word in an unbelieving world. We ask for Your blessings daily, in Jesus’ name. AMEN.