A No Miracle Zone

I know it is a late post. I was without internet access until about 2:00 yesterday afternoon until about 5:30 this evening. Hopefully, I will be back on a regular schedule tomorrow.

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings
Feb 27: Numbers 15-16; Mark 6:1-29

MZTVLogoJesus left that place and came to his hometown. His disciples followed him. On the Sabbath, he began to teach in the synagogue. Many who heard him were surprised. “Where did this man get all this? What’s this wisdom he’s been given? What about the powerful acts accomplished through him? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t he Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” They were repulsed by him and fell into sin.

Jesus said to them, “Prophets are honored everywhere except in their own hometowns, among their relatives, and in their own households.” He was unable to do any miracles there, except that he placed his hands on a few sick people and healed them. He was appalled by their disbelief (Mark 6:1-6, Common English Bible). 

This past Sunday, I preached the parallel to this text, Matthew 13:53-58 (See Why Jesus: Who Is This Man?). After church Sunday, Cindy said, “I was thinking about the Scripture from today. Because the Scripture says Jesus was unable to do any miracles in Nazareth because of their unbelief, does that mean Jesus actually needs something from us?”

It is an interesting question. Today’s lesson actually says he did heal a few sick people. Was Jesus able to heal them despite the unbelief of the people around him? Was he able to heal even those who didn’t believe? Or, could it be that the people who didn’t believe, attributed the miracles to something or someone other than Jesus? These folks might be thinking, “Awe, it’s just a coincidence.”

Well, if I had the answers to these and many other questions of Scripture, I would have a writing contract with some great publisher that would have my retirement set for life. I don’t have a book (not yet anyway) and I don’t have all those answers (nor do I expect to ever be blessed with them this side of eternity).  I can, however, say what I think.

God can do whatever God wants to do. That is what being omnipotent means, and God is omnipotent. God has the power to do anything from healing the sick, to walking on water and having a mere mortal walk on water and/or feeding baseball stadium full of people a dinner of fish and bread that came from one boy’s sack lunch. I could go on, about water into wine and more but I will probably write on those eventually so I will save what I have to say on those for later.

I could be wrong about this, it wouldn’t be the first time and God’s ways are not our ways, but I can’t help but wonder, “Why would Jesus want to do miracles in the presence of those whose lack of faith he found appalling? Would we be willing to do miracles for a bunch of people who didn’t believe we could do them? Or, would we do them for people who didn’t believe in miracles to start with?

Well, I know I wouldn’t and it would be my guess that most of you wouldn’t do them either. But, would Jesus do them? Grace happens. Grace happens even when we don’t deserve it. Grace happens even before we believe grace to be a reality. John Wesley called that prevenient grace, grace that God gives us before we ever know God exists.

It seems to me, today’s lesson could easily be a case of prevenient grace. Jesus only did a few miracles, healing people.-Jesus liked healing people. He loves people, always has. And maybe, just maybe when someone might learn a thing or two about Jesus and grace along the way. After all, he is Jesus (and yes, I meant is), and he is (meant it here too) all about love and grace.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With joy and thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles
All Rights Reserved



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