by Rex Rouis
But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching. Mark 6:4-6
The text says in verse 5 that because of their unbelief Jesus ‘could’ do no miracles. It did not say that He ‘would’ not do miracles, but that He ‘could’ not do miracles. It appears that Jesus did not have a choice in the matter. That is astonishing, and other translations back it up. This means that our unbelief may be able to withstand the love and power of God. It seems that we are far more powerful than we might have thought, but in a negative way. Unbelief is an awesome spiritual force.
In a way, we are able through unbelief of withstanding God. It may not sound like good theology but it is a hard spiritual reality. After all arguments are said and done, and when the rubber firmly hits the road in your walk with God – either you believe Him or you don’t. You either believe Him and He is allowed to operate in your life, or you do not believe Him and He is not able. One might chafe at the use of the word ‘allow’ in this case, but God stated it in just this way in His word. He will act accordingly. He can’t honor unbelief because He has predetermined that He won’t honor unbelief. Look at what Pastor James says:
But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, James 1:6, 7
Unbelief is an awesome spiritual force.It says that Jesus ‘marveled at their unbelief’. Jesus also ‘marveled’ (same Greek word) at the great faith of the Centurion in Matthew 8:10. The Centurion saw Jesus as a Man of ultimate authority and he gave Him the respect He deserved. He trusted His word only, requiring nothing else. He knew that He was able to perform what he needed. The people of Nazareth did not honor Him, and they looked upon Him as a mere natural man. Guess who brought glory to God. Guess who got what they came for. Respect Him, honor Him, and plant His word deep in your heart, so that you can have a strong belief in Him. Go out and make Jesus marvel. See Also – Who Can Withstand God’s Power?
Often when we pray we pray with fear and trepidation hoping that God will hear us and answer our prayers. And that maybe because we don’t have confidence in our relationship with him I’m not sure, but clearly he does not want us to have any doubt whatsoever. He tells us that when we stand praying we are to believe so we can receive. He also says that in him all his promises are yes and amen. And then he tells us not to be anxious and instructs us to thank him while we’re praying which indicates to me that he is always fully intending to answer our prayers. And finally since he tells us that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man of God has great power, you have to wonder if maybe sometimes we’re not fully understanding the righteousness in which we stand, thereby allowing doubt to come in when we pray. So bottom line, I believe that doubt is as detrimental to faith, as a stubborn will that God will not violate is.
Stand strong in the faith!
Is Jesus unable to do a miracle because of the level of our faith?
No, the almighty Jesus (the one in whom “all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form”) is always able, but our decision of choice is a boundary that God has chosen not to cross – in this way we are responsible for accepting or rejecting Jesus when we stand before Him.
This article is incorrect imho alittle word study clears the matter. GOD is sovereign and his power is not dependent on anything you do, the phrase could not is not used in matthew telling the same story further more JESUS performed miracles but just a few and did no mighty work, i can say i could not do something that really iwould not do people do it all the time. the greek phrase ouk edunato is idiomatically used at times to denote in a forceful way what 1 deliberately purposed not to do. in 1 John 3:9 the same expression is used when it says ‘ whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he CANNOT SIN……’ obviously we can sin and will sin the power to sin did not just vanish its still there we overcome it submitting to the Spirit of God, Jesus did not mighty work because without faith you cannot please God and are unjustified to see a mighty work. It is bad theology to say unbelief is krytonite to GOD almighty….Almighty means something. 1 more note if they wouldve seen a mighty work they would receive the greater condemnation with seeing and not believing and mighty works would just prove what JESUS was claiming but they wouldnt believe(it was disrepectful hostile unbelief that made Jesus marvel) either way . GOD BLESS
actually a correction to my post(and not typo errors lol) in Matthew 13:57-58 say he did not do MANY mighty works there Because of their unbelief, so he did perform works there but again they were ‘offended’ by him….,so this ‘couldnt’ issue is more of a context language issue GOD is ALMIGHTY. And we should study not take a verse and run with it making bad theology because if your implying God is not ALMIGHTY or he NEEDS your belief to be almighty that is bad theology. God bless you brothers and sister in Christ
With what you just said brother Joseph Richardson, are saying then that your theology is the correct one and that your explanation is the absolute truth compared to what the person wrote and shared in this article?
Where did you read that the author said God is not Almighty? I guess you are judging this article base on your assumption.
I believe that God had predetermined to limit Himself when facing with unbelief, knowing the evil of the heart of those who were deliberate in their unbelief despite the evidence. But lack of faith will not stop Jesus since in others instances He reised the dead and in John 5 the paralytic who had been in that condition for 38 years had no faith in Jesus when they experienced the miracles. Unbelief is a choice, a evil one despite the evidence and lack of faith or sincere doubts can be realities in the lives of real believers. Ex Lord I believe, help me overcome my unbelief.
John The Baptist had doubts about who Jesus was in Mathew 11. Are you the One we are expecting, or should we expect another one?
Sergio – Thank you. Jesus can overcome a ‘lack of faith’ through an act of His mercy. Yes, He did it several times. But usually a lack of faith will hinder us just like it hindered His disciples many times. In Matthew 17:19, 20 He tells them that they could not drive the spirit out because of the ‘littleness of their faith.’ Faith is the currency of Heaven. Prayer is just the transaction. God bless you. Rex
The best explanation I’ve seen. God always answers prayers. God is never the problem. We are always the problem and unbelief and sin will block the blessing. A.A. N.A. Etc always prepare a soul to receive the blessing by forgiveness, repentance , repairing love relationships with others and faith building through hearing fellowship with others who have received sobriety blessing and breaking their pride by their professing their powerlessness over their curse. The people of Nazareth were the problem. Not Him. He Prabably knew they were unable to receive his miracles.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God…
Thanks for this.
I actually think this is one of the most hopeful texts in the NT. For all those who have prayed and not seen God work in their life – they must confront the disease of unbelief. Many – myself included – believed that God would do what is necessary regardless of our failings i.e. unbelief. That God would work around unbelief.
Belief in God is really binary. Its on or off. Luke warm believing does not put “rubber to the road” as you say.
But this is not the case. It brings unbelief to the top of all impediments and blockages that stand in the way of God working in your life. I thank God for pointing this out. Unbelief is a scourge.
Steve – Thank you. Well said. God bless. Rex
I think its not as if faith is telling God .. or even forcing God to act .((its the lack of faith)) -that . is preventing him to action but ..
by his own word God moves to action -because his word engages him to move!
Faith is simply reaction to a promise . God cant lie ..thats what faith is…the result of trust in promise. ..
This is difficult for me ..and many others ..but it is very clear he( could not ) or as some translation (was not able )chose not …not decided not ..no…their lack of faith.. prevented or …did not have ability due to lack of faith …its hard ..very hard but its there and its in context. ..and its plain ..and if anyone reading this without any outside interference to comprehend. .would absolutely know it …as could not …like humans cant fly
Yes Mike, I agree. Well said. God bless you. Rex
I like the clarification Mike. God bless.
A much clearer and better exposition of the text is found here…
Sometimes we don’t comment but please don’t stop posting these faith teachings. You don’t know what you are doing. God bless you mightily. Amen.
I really appreciate your amazing teachings on faith.keep up ,beloved of God
Very powerful insights. God bless you