Matthew 13:58, “And he (Jesus) did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” (NIV)
Pessimism and frustration are prevalent sentiments for mankind. Christians are not immune to the downtrodden outlook the world clings to. We exhibit doubt, despair, and bitterness, especially when we consider God less, and the troubles of the world more. When we stray from an active relationship with the Lord our faith shrinks. The reality is we live in a global culture that is riddled with negativity. Jesus’ ministry encountered it. He continually met people filled with disbelief and cynicism. Many refused to place any faith in Him. One region of Israel in particular, Galilee, was fraught with non-believers. And Matthew 13:58 provided a pretty stinging commentary: the Galileans missed out on witnessing Jesus’ supernatural activity because they lacked faith. Other biblical passages note that some Galileans reverted to violence and revolt, rather than devotion and love (reference Luke 13:2 and Acts 5:37).
Nazareth, located in Galilee, was where Jesus grew up. Galilee, therefore, should have been a warm and inviting region for Jesus to visit during His ministry. But Scripture indicates that it was just the opposite. Instead of inspiring the Galileans, Jesus offended them. They could not see Jesus as anything more than Joseph’s son. Jesus was just a man, they thought. He had a mother: Mary. He had siblings. He was human. Jesus could be nothing more, in their estimation. But Jesus was so much more.
Today there are Galileans all across the world. They may not be from the Middle East geographically, but they reflect the Galilean mindset spiritually. They lack faith. They live life through an obstinate heart. They refuse to acknowledge God, or admit that He is supreme. They reject the notion that a loving God can exist in a sadistic, violent world. Disbelief prevents them from knowing, or appreciating, Christ’s fullness. Doubt, the antithesis of faith, is a destructive mentality. It can cause us to become unsatisfied in our vocations. It can cause us to become unsatisfied in our marriages. It can cause us to become unsatisfied with our lives in general. But when we sow seeds of faith in Jesus we reap abundant and contented lives. To put it another way, faith is a triumphant trust in God. It is a belief that the Lord is superior and sovereign. Faith is not based on emotions, which fluctuate with situations. Faith is a conviction. It is a confidence that the Lord’s ultimate plan will come to fruition.*
Kevin Orr (10/6/2018)
*This blog post is extracted from portions of my self-published, now discontinued, book titled “Love Has Come: A Twenty-Eight Day Journey Through The Gospel Of Matthew”, which was originally published in 2010 (Pleasant Word, a division of WinePress Group)