Summary: Don’t limit God by unbelief, which can be caused by limited viewpoint and a doubting heart, and thus hindering the flow of God’s power and blessings. Have faith in Him.
How can I be sure not to miss out on God’s best for my life?
• How •can I avoid missing that door of opportunity which has been placed before me for me to walk through?
• How can I avoid limiting what God can do in my life, and thereby limiting what I can do through Christ?
None of us want to settle for second best. All of us as believers want to be all we can be in Jesus Christ.
• But there are attitudes which can either help or hinder us…
• We see that in our story today – one that can unleash God’s miraculous power, and the other to lock it up. One is faith, the other is unbelief.
This is the story of Jesus going back to his home town.
• Unfortunately, we see a climate of unbelief and wrong attitudes that limit the work of God.
• Can we limit God? Yes, by our unbelief. Not because He is unwilling or powerless – because we have chosen NOT to believe Him.
• The question for us to answer is, "Do we have similar attitudes? And if so, what can we do about them in order to assure that we do not limit the power of God to do His mighty works in our midst?"
As the story unfolds, we find Jesus coming back to His home town.
• As He and His disciples were there, He began to teach in the synagogue on the Sabbath day.
• As usual, His teaching was brilliant. He taught as one who had authority, and not as the Scribes.
• He gave them insight into God’s Word and they were astonished.
• They said, "Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him and such miracles as these performed by His hands?" (v. 2b)
Yes, they were amazed. And, in fact, they were asking some of the right questions.
• The problem came in their answers. Rather than allowing Jesus to answer for Himself, they answered their own questions.
• [6:2-3] He is just a “carpenter” who left town. He is just the son of Mary. He is just the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon. His sisters are here with us!
• In fact, the question was de-rog-atory, literally “Is he not a common worker with his hands like the rest of us?” And… they took offence at him!
• What they were portraying was not faith, but unbelief. Because in verse 6 “And he [Jesus] was amazed at their lack of faith.”
The message here is simple: Unbelief limits the power of God.
• Our text says that, "He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands upon a few sick people and healed them." (v. 5)
• In other words, because of their unbelief, Jesus was limited. The power of God was held back because people refused to believe Him.
Let take a closer look at THE CAUSE
• What was the cause of their unbelief? Look again at what they say and we see a limited view of Jesus.
• They were limited by what they could see, by what they know and what they could understand.
• What they had before them was the Messiah, the Son of God. What they saw was the carpenter, the son of Mary.
• Their limited views kept them from seeing who Jesus really was.
• They had stereotyped Jesus and could not see beyond their own natural understanding of the carpenter’s son who grew up in their own community.
When Jesus calmed the storm in Mark 4:40-41
40 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
41 They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
• A distorted view of Jesus - who He is or what He can do – robs us of faith.
• And we lose out because of this. Same thing happening here with these people.
In much the way today, we limit what God can do because of our limited viewpoint.
• We must learn to see beyond our own natural understanding.
• We do not have to understand how a thing works in order to receive it by faith and to receive the benefit it brings to us. I may not understand electricity, but I’m not going to live in the dark.
• Thank God that a lot of things are possible for me beyond my ability to understand them.
The Bible teaches us that we walk by faith and not by sight. Walking by sight limits what God can do.
• And though we have a tendency to want to understand the end from the beginning, sometimes, we like Abraham, must leave where we are and journey to a place of which God has not yet told us.