“… he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.”
Preparing for last Sunday’s message, these words from the Gospel of Matthew caused me to catch my breath. Like a physical blow, they had the power to stop me in my tracks.
Faith is a word with many meanings. Sometimes, like in ‘The Little
Engine That Could’, we almost chant to ourselves, “I think I can, I think I
can…”. We have faith in ourselves, our education, our team and so many other things. Or… sometimes we don’t have faith in anything. Some of us know people who believe faith in anything is useless. That too is a type of faith, just a very negative one.
In a Christian setting, we think of Faith in Jesus, but often we don’t give it a great deal of thought. In the Matthew text, Jesus was in His own hometown. At first the people were amazed at His teaching and the authority with which He spoke. Then as they realized who He was, “Hey, isn’t that Mary’s boy?”, they became offended, having “No Faith” that Jesus was anything but a carpenter’s son. The verse is translated in ‘The Message’, “Jesus said, “A prophet is taken for granted in his hometown and his family… He didn’t do many miracles there because of their hostile indifference.” Ouch… Still, to this very day, it is true. When we do not have Faith in Jesus, His power to heal, touch lives and do all that He promised, it amounts to “hostile indifference”.
Just like in Jesus hometown, without Faith, the miracles in our lives, our community and our churches will be few. Those that do take place can remain unnoticed because of our lack of Faith. Instead of expecting a miracle we end up expecting the worst as we slog along from day to day. Lack of Faith, like the viewpoint of a cynic, can cause us to miss amazing things, even the power of Jesus working in our midst.
“…truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” Matthew 17:20b
O Lord, may we find that kind of Faith that we may move mountains, change lives, change the world for Your Glory. Amen
In the Name of Christ,