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I humbly submit that this scripture is often misinterpreted as to the true meaning and the simple message within it for the creation. In the preceding chapter we are told of three people seeking the Lord, that two people were healed and one is even raised from her death bed. (Mark 5:6; Mark 5:22; Mark 5:33) (Mark 6:5) Reading in various translations it appears to suggest that the limitless powers of the Lord were somehow, now limited by the creation in miracle healing? Is it even possible to limit the power that has created all known and unknown things and even raised Jesus from the dead? (Mark 5:36) I submit for your consideration on this very important message that the people themselves were operating in the temporal kingdom of this world and thus had little faith in the things of God. (Mark 6:3; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 10:5) Having heard the wisdom of God's kingdom in their own ears and even seeing it's miracles with their own eyes, they willingly chose to remain within this world kingdom unmoved. (Mark 6:2; Mark 6:6) It's not that their unbelief somehow limited Jesus in anyway, it's that it limited their own minds and faith to chose correctly and then act when the truth was before them! (Deuteronomy 30:2; Matthew 22:29) These foolish world kingdom dwellers operating in their unbelief, didn't even bother to bring their needs or sick before the Lord, choosing instead to handle it themselves. (Mark 6:5) The second part of the verse shows that some present were indeed healed, operating in kingdom faith and then having stepped forward into the kingdom for their need. (Matthew 9:20; Mark 5:34) (Malachi 4:2) The prophesy of when the Messiah comes, He will bring healing in His wings (the four corners of a Jewish prayer shoal are called wings) from which tassels hang translated as fringe (Mark 5:27; Mark 6:56; Matthew 14:36) Bottom line: the Lord Jesus is the unmoving cornerstone, all powerful and able 24/7 and that my friend, you can count on, we just need to trust in Him and step forward. (Psalms 91:15; Psalms 23:6; Psalms 20:6; Psalms 144:2) In the Lord's freedom a sheepdog standing...............warrior on
Oh, Jesus had the power to do anything He wanted in Nazareth. Matt 13:54-58 indicates that He came and taught there and that the citizens were "astonished" at his wisdom and "might works." However, familiarity breeds contempt and they could do get over having known Him from His youth. His family members still lived there. So the people of Nazareth could not accept who He was--the Son of God--because they knew Him as the son of Mary and Joseph. They were "offended" at Him. Jesus said, "a prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house." It is thought that none of his family members believed in who He was either until after He appeared to them when He was resurrected. They knew Him too well as a boy and did not take Him seriously as the Messiah. Because of THEIR unbelief, not His inability, they did not accept Him for who and what He was. They knew of His miracles and He healed people while He was there but they rejected still Him. Miracles do not make believers. They just get people's attention so they then might listen to the true miracle--that God wants to reconcile Himself with man through Jesus Christ, His Son.
I believe these are the two verses relevant to the question. Matthew 13:57 “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Mark 6:5-6 “And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.” If we let scripture speak for itself and simply accept what God’s Word says, the answer to the question is clear, concise, and easily understandable. Although it may not align with a particular belief system (yours or mine) there is no gray area concerning what was actually, literally stated. What God actually SAID is not subject to human judgment. It was prophesied that many would not believe. Why? The passage below in John 12:37-41 states they could not believe. The Lord Jesus clearly stated in John 6 that all given to him by the Father “would” come to him. He further stated that all given to him would not be lost but raised at the last day. He concluded by saying that “no man” can come to him without the Father drawing him and if drawn, he would raise him up at the last day. John 5:44-47 “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” John 12:37-41 “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.” John 6:37 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:39 “And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (Matthew 11:27)
Anthony, that is a great question. It's not that Jesus didn't have the ability, though, it's that the people in His hometown lacked faith. Keep this in mind as we get into this: Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Consider these verses: Mark 6: 4 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” 5 And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And he marveled because of their unbelief. The key verse is vs. 4, he wasn't accepted/received in His home town, given His familiarity. We learn in verse 5 that there were some that were healed (had belief/faith) and then in verse 6, He "marveled because of their unbelief." So the general public rejected Jesus as Messiah, but not everyone. In Luke 4, we see an account (of the same event) with more detail... 24 And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. 25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” Notice that He compares Himself to Elijah and Elisha in that Elijah was sent out of Israel to serve the widow at Zarephath and Elisha cleansed only Namaan the Syrian from leprosy. Contrast that to... Mark 5: 25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.... 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” key verse is 34: "your faith has made you well" And, just for another example, and there are many, here is Jesus ministering to a Centurion: Matthew 8: 10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. key verse is: "with no one in Israel have I found such faith." This is my understanding, God does not heal people without being received. He will not heal us against our will. So therefore, it takes two parties for healings, the Healer and an individual that has faith. Not necessarily the sick, but the intercessors. The dead have no faith, of course, but those praying for the dead can intercede as we know from Lazarus/(Mary & Martha) and Jairus, who came to Jesus on behalf of his daughter. I would make this statement: "God does not heal people without being received. He will not heal us against our will." dogmatically, but I think it's His general way of doing business given the Scripture we have. I think the issue of being a local applies to anyone in ministry and it is simply an insight to human nature that we need to be aware of. This is why missionaries are crucial to spreading the Good News of Christ. I hope this helps, God bless you! -Larry
God is sovereign and He can do anything. His power is endless yet we have a passage that teaches us that God Himself through the ministry of the Spirit in Jesus could do no mighty miracles In Jesus’ hometown. In the beginning of Christ coming to His hometown He indeed was working miracles but something put a stop to them. Literally their unbelief stopped the flow of the Spirit to benefit them. Look at the difference that Jesus made when He travelled across to Gennesaret, they demonstrated their great faith and brought everyone they could find any that were ill to Him and so many were healed. Nothing hindered His power flowing but where there was unbelief it quenched the Spirit and cancelled the blessing. Mar 6:2,. One might say “God is sovereign He can do anything” but God’s sovereignty is limited to operating according to the individual’s faith when it’s to benefit them personally. God does not impose His miracles or His salvation on people and knowing this fact one should not doubt that He is able to do those miracles or save those souls. He can do anything but He won’t force Himself on unwilling humanity. If He loved everybody as John 3:16 declares, He would simply use an irresistible grace and demonstrate that love by forcing all to believe. When you look at the ministry He wanted to share with those in His hometown you see them suddenly resisting grace and thus quenching the Holy Spirit cancelling the Mighty Works of God. This brings me to another point. Jesus was shocked at their unbelief. They chose not to believe which is everyone’s right. Every person has the divinely given right to accept grace or reject it. If the human will was conditioned by an irresistible grace the miracles and salvation would have been performed regardless of the free will of man. Why was Jesus astounded at their unbelief? Because He knew that if they had chosen to freely believe in Him they would have not quenched the blessing He wanted for them. God plans blessing for all of us but it takes acceptance and faith to have any of it flow into our lives. Though these in the passage are resisting grace it does not mean to say they are saved by their own works if they choose to accept it. Accepting a gift or rejecting a gift is not any kind of works. How could you justify God’s love by Him imposing the gift on people? It would not be love it would be control and manipulation. So in this passage where it says Jesus was not able to continue doing mighty miracles in the region simply means He could not force His will on an unwilling people. They had the chance and they could have come running under the sheltering wings of the mother chicken which is what God wanted but they refused His plan for their lives.
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