Shonebarger

The popularity of Jesus was increasing as He traveled from city to city. The citizens were captivated by His miracles as He healed diseases and raised the dead. Numerous Jewish people came to believe that this was indeed the promised Messiah of the Old Testament prophets. He had come into their presence at this appointed moment of history. Lives were being transformed by Jesus’ anointed work of the Holy Spirit of God. They beheld His glory and praised His name.

Jesus’ journey of ministry would lead Him to the place of His youth, where He learned the carpentry vocation in the home of His mother, brothers and sisters. It was the place where He worshipped in the synagogue, and the community He socialized in for His first 30 years. His life was here until the moment of His transition to the ministry for which He was sent by the Heavenly Father to fulfill. It was Nazareth. Now He would take the disciples for a short visit.

Jesus, the incarnate Word of God, entered the synagogue, opened the Scripture and preached with power and authority. The Scripture came alive as Jesus trumpeted the truths from its passages. The congregants were in shock at the brilliance of His eloquence. They whispered among themselves, wasn’t this Jesus, the son of Mary? Wasn’t this the same Jesus who was brother to James, Joses, Juda, Simon and His sisters. (Mark 6:3).

They were offended by Him! They rejected His message and authority. They would not believe that He was any one else but a man who grew up among them, poor and humble. Jesus perceived their rejection and declared that a prophet was not without honor, except in his own country, among his own kinsmen and his own family.

It is truly amazing that the siblings who grew up in the same home as the sinless Jesus would reject Him. Nonetheless whether it was a result of jealousy, rivalry or bitterness, the siblings of Jesus had not believed on Him. His mother Mary with James and Jude, the authors of epistles of the same name, are known to have believed on Him as their Lord and Savior. The brothers would come to believe after His resurrection.

Jesus marveled at their unbelief!

The hearts of the people were as hard as stone as they rejected His power, preaching and presence. The opportunity to behold Jesus, by God’s grace, was substantially greater for Nazareth than any other city in the land of Israel. They denied the revelation of God’s word preached by the Word of God Himself! They refused to put their faith in Him as their Savior.

As a result of their unbelief the Scripture declares that no mighty work could be accomplished there, with the exception of a few minor healings. It is profoundly important for latter-day believers to comprehend this significant spiritual truth: it is faith in Christ that generates miracles and answers to prayer. It’s faith that generates mighty works of God.

Consider the men who sat in the synagogue and listened to Jesus. They possessed no faith in the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Were they religious? Sure. Were they frequent attendees to the place of worship? Yes. Did they have a relationship with God? No. As the Scripture testifies, nobody can come to the Father except through faith in the Son, Jesus Christ. Moreover, nothing supernatural could be accomplished in that community because of their denial of the Savior.

Faith is the key. But, it is the object of our faith that makes the difference. The object of our faith must rest solely in the Savior, Jesus Christ. What are you trusting in? Have you trusted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Are you seeing mighty works accomplished for you because of your dependence and faith in Christ? We must trust in Scripture alone, by faith alone and by grace alone. As a child of God, we will experience the mighty hand of God in our lives every day. Let Christ marvel at our faith!

Have a great week and remember, God loves you.

Contact Jon at jtshonebarger@gmail.com.

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