Summary: Faith has great power. It has the power to bring to bear the Kingdom of Heaven upon the earth as I believe and receive eternal life. But UNBELIEF ALSO HAS THE POWER TO RELEASE THE POWER OF STUPIDITY. Psalms 53:1 (NLT) says "Only fools say in their hearts,
Matthew 13:53-58 - THE POWER OF STUPIDITY - Part 22
It’s the end of the world! Despite Acts 1:7 (NASB) where Jesus makes it clear that "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority", recently some Christians predicted the world would end on May 21, 2011, spending millions of dollars on an advertising campaign. Christians can so misrepresent Christ and His message at times! The power of stupidity!
However, the pendulum swing away from Christ and His message in the so-called "separation of Church and state" is just as ridiculous. Those who are not followers of Christ are just as guilty of intolerance and stupidity as Christians wearing signs about the world ending on a certain day. It seems we are no longer free to speak openly about false religions, conversion, believers, unbelievers, church, the cross, crucifixion, Calvary, Christ, the blood of Christ, salvation through Christ, redemption through Christ, the Son of God, or the Christian life. In other words anything that speaks of believing in Christ is considered offensive. The arrogance and power of stupidity!
In Australia Chaplains are restricted from sharing the message of Christ in schools because such a message might affect young lives. A message of unselfish living, discipline, absolute standards, loving God and your neighbour and the very foundational principles of being human emotionally, physically and spiritually are apparently no longer welcome, or only welcome in doses that don’t offend. Such intolerance draws me back to a place called Nazareth and to the nature of unbelief itself.
It seems that UNBELIEF STILL HARBOURS DEEP RESENTMENT AGAINST JESUS. "They were deeply offended and refused to believe in Him...." (Matthew 13:57 NLT). The literal meaning of offended has to do with stumbling. His neighbours and friends stumble as much over Jesus then as they do now. "Familiarity breeds contempt". Strange that familiarity with Him can become an obstacle to knowing Him personally.
In Nazareth UNBELIEF personified, dresses in a multicoloured coat in order to please everyone, knocks at many doors but is unwilling to wait for anyone to come, asks the right questions but is averse to hearing any of the answers. Bizarre! "Where does He get His wisdom and power?" (Matthew 13:54 NLT). No, don’t tell me!
The obvious answer in neon lights only makes unbelief turn away. A worldview set in cement. Jesus spoke of hard, stony ground in His parable of the soils. UNBELIEF IS ALL TOO WILLING TO LIMIT THE PARAMETERS OF UNDERSTANDING to what I have always known or to whatever the social norms are for our society, no matter how twisted and perverse they may be.
A man declares that all he knows is that once he was blind but now he can see, but UNBELIEF remains blind and RIDICULES THE POSSIBILITY OF THE MIRACULOUS. Mark 6:5-6 (NLT) tells us "because of their unbelief, He couldn’t do any mighty miracles among them except to place His hands on a few sick people and heal them. And He was amazed at their unbelief." UNBELIEF AMAZES GOD!