Sermons

Summary: When you face any challenge in life, you're going to approach it with either doubt or faith and it's your choice.

INTRODUCTION

Throughout history there have been many examples of misjudgments. Here are seven of my favorite famous misjudgments:

(1) “Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground and try to find oil? You’re crazy.” (Hibernia Bank’s response to Edwin Drake’s request to borrow money to drill for oil in 1859)

(2) “That contraption is nothing but a toy. It will never catch on.” (William Orton, president of Western Union who turned down the opportunity to buy the rights to Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone patent in 1876)

(3) “I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable falling on his face and not Gary Cooper.” (Gary Cooper on his decision not to accept the leading role in Gone with the Wind)

(4) “Guitar groups are on their way out.” (Dick Rowe of Decca Records who turned down the Beatles after they auditioned for him in 1962)

(5) “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” (Thomas Watson, IBM Chairman, 1943)

(6) “There is no reason that anyone would want a computer in their home.” (Ken Olson, President, Digital Equip. Corp, 1977)

(7) “Stick to driving a truck because you’re never going to make it as a singer.” (Musician/agent Eddie Bond, who auditioned Elvis Presley in 1954)

But the greatest example of misjudgment happened in the ministry of Jesus. After His great miracle tour where He performed a quartet of amazing miracles, He returned home to Nazareth. He preached in His home synagogue.

In the early 1980s, I had the blessing of being invited back to my home church in South Alabama to preach at a homecoming service. I got to see some of the men and women who had taught me in Sunday School, choir, and R.A.s. I had been a pretty rambunctious, mischievous kid who was always getting in trouble. We didn’t know the term ADD then. I was just called a little stinker. So they were all surprised and glad to see I had grown up and turned out relatively well. So my homecoming experience was wonderful.

But Jesus didn’t receive that kind of reception at His homecoming. You would have imagined that Jesus would have been welcomed as a hero but instead, they treated Him like a zero.

Mark 6:1-6. Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him (The Greek word is skandalon. His presence stirred up a scandal). Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village.”

The word “amaze” or “amazing” appears frequently in the New Testament. In every case except twice, the word is used to describe how people were amazed by the mighty works of God. Now Jesus is amazing, but I suspected that, as God, He was incapable of being amazed, that He was unamazable (if that’s a word). But there are two times in the New Testament when we read that Jesus was amazed. So what Amazes Jesus? Let’s see.

I. JESUS IS AMAZED BY DEAD FAITH

The Bible says, “He was amazed at their lack of faith.” (Mark 6:6) The word is really unbelief I could have called this weak faith, feeble faith, fake faith, or no faith. But I’ve chosen to call it dead faith because that’s a term that James uses in his letter. He wrote, “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26) There is a kind of pseudo-faith that people claim to have, but their actions don’t match their words. The members of Jesus’ home synagogue were afflicted with this kind of dead faith. Is your faith dead? Let’s examine two characteristics of dead faith.

A. Dead faith questions the authority of Jesus

The people started asking a lot of questions about Jesus. “Where did this man get these things… isn’t this the carpenter?” He should have been the object of their adoration, but instead He was the target of their accusations. Actually they asked six questions, but they never gave Jesus a chance to answer them; they weren’t looking for answers, they were making accusations.

It has always been a favorite tactic of Satan to question the things of God. The devil is a crook, so he puts a crooked question mark where God has placed an exclamation point. For example, in the Garden of Eden, God had spoken clearly. He told Adam and Eve that they could eat of all the trees of the Garden, but if they ate the fruit from just one tree they would die. Period. Exclamation point. Satan slithered into Eve’s presence and asked a question. He said, “Did God really say that you couldn’t eat of any of the trees of the Garden?” That wasn’t what God had said at all. But it got Eve to wondering and that’s when Satan slipped in the lie. “You won’t die. In fact, you’ll be like God.” There’s nothing wrong with asking questions about God and the Bible; just be aware that Satan is always ready to slip in a lie to your questions.

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