Limited By Our Unbelief

“And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:58)

These words were written about the people in Nazareth, Jesus’ home town. Verses 53 and following tell us how the people there questioned Jesus: “Is this not the carpenter’s son?”, etc., and “took offense at Him.”  Consequently, the scripture says, Jesus did not do much there, and the reason was their own failure to believe.

This is more than a mere historical note, however. It calls for some soul-searching on our part.  Whether God will do a great work among us is not mere a matter of our “waiting to see if The Lord is willing do something.” According to this scripture, we have a role in it. We are responsible to believe God.

Thus we do have a share in determining what happens. How often do we shut off God’s power because we do not believe?  It is sobering question: how many times is He willing to do something marvelous — in our lives, our church, our nation — but we are not willing to believe?

And we should ask ourselves: what would “believing” look like for me?  How would I PRAY; what would I SAY: what would I DO, if I had faith in God?  No, we are not to be like those who try to “work up some feelings” in order to attempt to manipulate God to do something on our behalf, but on the other hand, we see clearly in this scripture that there are times when God will not work, and the only reason why is our own failure to believe.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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