The Power of Unbelief
January 13, 2021
Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58).
There is a truth in this text we need to appreciate. The verse does not say Jesus could not do many might works in Nazareth because of the unbelief of the people, but He would not perform any miracles based on their unbelief. Remember the leper who approached Jesus (Matthew 8:2-3)? And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
It is true that Jesus did perform miracles in response to the faith of those who needed His help. It is also true that Jesus performed miracles regardless of any specific expression of faith. It is also true that Jesus chose not to perform miracles when there was the hardness of heart and willful unbelief. The point is, we may ask the Lord to heal, to open a door, to change a situation or circumstance, etc. believing in Him with every ounce of faith we have, but that is no guarantee that He will. He chooses how He will answer our petitions. Remember Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)? And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
In Nazareth Jesus chose not to perform miracles because of the unbelief of the people. It was a barrier to His will to demonstrate grace and mercy to the people. It was His choice to work in response to faith and not to work in response to the lack of faith. Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces (Matthew 7:6).
“An empty vessel capable of holding water, if tightly corked, none can enter it, though water is poured upon it in great abundance; nay, it may be thrown into the sea, and still remain empty. So it is with our hearts; unbelief closes them, so that the water of life cannot fill them, however abundantly it may be poured upon and around us . . . Unbelief hinders grace. This sin not only locks up the heart of a sinner, but also binds up the hands of a Saviour” (Anonymous).
“Lord Jesus, it is a sobering thought to realize the power of unbelief and the devastation that brings to the heart and life of a person who refuses to trust in You. Yet our world, nation, state, and communities are filled with people like the Nazarenes. Is this why we do not see revival as we once did? Is this why conviction of sin and repentance is on the decline? Forgive us Lord, and keep us working for those few precious souls that will believe. In Your name I ask, Amen.”