Summary: Shows that Jesus works his miracles through our faith.
“The Day Jesus Couldn’t Do a Miracle.”
October 14th, 2001
A. Even though Jesus had miraculous and marvelous powers, there is recorded a time when Jesus was unable to do something.
B. In his own hometown, Jesus was unable to do any miracles.
C. Why? Because although the people were amazed at Jesus’ words (for such a common person) they lacked faith in his power.
D. We are no different: Jesus will be unable to do anything in our midst if we do not believe.
E. On the other hand, look at the verses where Jesus promises to be able to do anything if we would only believe and call on him.
F. Are we missing out on Jesus’ power: are you missing out in your own life?
There are a lot of theological concepts which we accept on faith but which are incredibly difficult for us to understand. The Trinity, in which God is three natures in one person. The eternal nature of God in which we believe that God has always existed, knows all things, and has complete power over this universe. The grace of God which allows Him to freely forgive us for our sins yet allows Him to still show perfect justice in His dealings with us through Jesus Christ. Free will, in which God lovingly allows us humans to reject Him and to make a mess of the world, yet which also allows us to return to Him with merely a hint of faith and repentance. These are all difficult things to understand and I would be lying to you if I tried to tell you that I had any of this figured out. Yet, there is one concept that I firmly believe in yet have a more difficult time wrapping my puny brain around. It’s called the dual nature of Christ. Simply put, this is the belief that Jesus was at the same time 100% human and 100% God. The math doesn’t add up, but that’s the best equation that we have to understand how Jesus did what he did on earth. He had to be completely human in order to take our place on the cross and get credit for living a perfect life, yet he had to be divine since he came from God and was able to live such a sinless life. We say that a person got their brains from their mom and their looks from their dad. In Jesus’ case we would say that he got his humanity from Mary, his divinity from the Holy Spirit.
I try to make sure in my understanding of Jesus as I read his life story in the Gospels to keep both of these characteristics of Jesus in mind. I can try to live like he did because he was human just like I am. He was tempted by the same things that I am tempted by. He had the capacity to sin just like I do. He had emotions, feelings, reactions, and weaknesses just like I do. When someone struck him, he could have gotten angry. When someone betrayed him he could have sought vengeance. When people misunderstood him he could have gotten frustrated. But he didn’t, and that is my hope that I too can be holy like he was in my life. I believe that because of his humanity he really felt grief when he saw people suffering or sad. He felt real compassion when he saw someone in need. He felt real anger when he saw people putting up stumbling blocks in the name of religion. He cried real tears and felt real anxiety when faced with the cross. On the other hand, he was the Son of God, divine in nature. He knew the will of God because he was with God in the beginning. He spoke the words of God because he was in complete communion with God. He was able to take my sins upon his back because he was perfectly holy.
I have a feeling that most of us have an easier time believing that Jesus was divine than believing that he was human. A friend of mine was preaching one time and he mentioned that Jesus was like us in his humanity. He grew tired when he was up for a long time. He got hungry when he hadn’t eaten in a while. If he hit his thumb with a hammer, it hurt like the dickens. After working in the shop all day, he sweated and had body odor. Well, after the sermon a woman came up to him spitting mad. “How dare you say that Jesus had body odor! After all, the bible says that cleanliness is divine!” Not only did she misquote the bible, but she misunderstood Jesus’ humanity. This woman could not understand that Jesus was human like you and I are, even to the point of having sweat glands.