Summary: Unbelief is detrimental to living the abundant life.
A Messiah You Can Believe In
Text: Matt. 13:53-58
1. Illustration: One of the greatest tragedies for people would be to live in darkness when they could live in the light…
Rose Crawford had been blind for 50 years. Then she had an operation in an Ontario hospital. She said, “I just can’t believe it,” as the doctor lifted the bandages from her eyes. She wept - when for the 1st time in her life she saw a dazzling and beautiful world of form and color greeted her eyes and she could now see.
The amazing thing about her story, however, was that 20 years of her blindness was unnecessary. She didn’t know that surgical techniques had been developed, and that an operation could have restored her vision at the age of 30.
The Dr. said, “She just figured there was nothing that could be done for her condition. Much of her life could have been different.”
2. It is sad that Rose continued in blindness because of ignorance. However, what is even sadder is that some people choose to live in the darkness by continually rejecting Jesus the source of real light.
3. Unbelief does many sad things to us.
a. Unbelief makes us Capt. Obvious
b. Unbelief makes us unjust critics
c. Unbelief makes us unreceptive to the power of God.
4. Read Matt. 13:53-58
Proposition: Unbelief is detrimental to living the abundant life.
Transition: The first thing it does is...
I. Unbelief Makes Us Capt. Obvious (53-54).
A. Where Does He Get This...?
1. Jesus was use to rejection and unbelief. So it is no surprise that his ministry in Capernaum ended the way it did.
2. Matthew tells us "When Jesus had finished telling these stories and illustrations, he left that part of the country."
a. Jesus had been ministering in and around Capernaum for about a year, using it as His home base.
b. But the majority of the people who saw and heard Him in that region eventually fell away, manifesting their rejection either by indifference or direct opposition.
c. Because of that rejection, His last teaching there was done entirely in parables, in order that, "while seeing they [would] not see, and while hearing they [would] not hear, nor... understand" (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Matthew 8-15).
d. So Jesus moved on to minister to people who would receive Him.
3. During the interim between Capernaum and the next phase of His ministry, "He returned to Nazareth, his hometown."
a. Sometimes going home is a good thing. However, sometimes it isn't.
b. When we lived in IL and AR I used to look forward to coming home to Akron, but what I looked forward to was the Akron I remembered.
c. Unfortunately, Akron didn't stop just because I moved away.
d. When we would come back we would find that many of the places that we used to go to no longer existed.
4. Jesus had a similar experience in coming back to Nazareth. When he came back this time, "he taught there in the synagogue, everyone was amazed..."
a. Jesus had been away only a short while and was still a familiar figure in the synagogue, where it was "His custom" to be every Sabbath.
b. The crowd assembled on this particular Sabbath was essentially the same as it had been for many years; but Jesus was not the same.
c. It soon became evident on this trip to Nazareth that their basic attitude about Him had not changed.
d. In a town of probably five hundred or fewer inhabitants, everyone would have thought they knew Jesus already; indeed, Nazareth was a small town from which even Nazarene's would not expect a great prophet.
e. They never expected the kingdom to come in a hidden way or to come as close to them as it did; hence those closest to the kingdom did not recognize it, and it passed them by (Keener, IVPNT: Matthew, 249).
f. The word amazed carries with it the idea to be "overwhelmed" (Rogers and Rogers, 31).
g. They were absolutely dumbfounded that Jesus had such wisdom and power.
5. As a result they said, “Where does he get this wisdom and the power to do miracles?”
a. They were still astonished at His wisdom and His miraculous powers, and they still refused to recognize the obvious, asking again, Where then did this man get all these things?
b. Like the scribes and Pharisee's, the people of Jesus' home town synagogue refused to make the logical and obvious connection between His power and His divinity because they were willfully unbelieving (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Matthew 8-15).
c. At first glance, we might think that they question was genuine intrigue.
d. However, v. 57 shows us that this is not the case. They were suspicious of Jesus because he was one of their own and did not have any more education or training than they did.