This blog post is part 51 of the series Seven Invisible Barriers to Spiritual Growth
The goal of today’s post is to stir you to a greater faith in God. I want to encourage you to believe that God is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. I want to call you to a higher place in God.
I want to declare what the word of God says about Jesus.
Declaring Who Jesus Is
Jesus Christ is your savior. He was nailed to the cross to bear your transgressions. He is the only one who can restore your relationship with God the Father.
Jesus Christ is your Healer. He was beaten and whipped in His body so that He could bring healing to yours. The Scriptures say that by His stripes you are healed.
Jesus Christ heals your broken heart. Jesus also bore the weight of your emotional pain as he was being mocked, beaten, and nailed to the cross. He took them upon Himself that you could be emotionally whole.
Jesus Christ is the deliverer. He has broken the power of the enemy. He has all authority in heaven and on the earth. He proved His power by binding the strongman and plundering his house. He has conquered. He has disarmed the rulers and authorities by making them a public display and triumphing over them.
A Call to Believe
I call you to fix your eyes on Jesus and trust Him for all the promises revealed in the word of God. Your faith allows you to receive all that the Lord has for your life. Believe Him. Trust Him. Receive from Him.
The reason I'm getting a little excited at the start of this post is that unbelief destroys the life of God. Unbelief will shut down what God wants to do. Unbelief will rob you of the promises of God.
Every good thing that comes from God is received by faith. Unbelief refuses to believe what God has said. Unbelief refuses to trust Jesus.
I want to show you from the Scriptures a case where unbelief actually blocked the miraculous power of God. In Matthew 13:54-58 we read:
54 He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”57 And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” 58 And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.
The People Are Astonished
Jesus comes back home and steps into the synagogue. As He taught the people things began to happen. Jesus was speaking words that totally amazed the people. There were also miracles taking place.
The people were astonished. This is a forceful word that means to be so amazed as to be practically overwhelmed. If we were to say in today’s language, we might say we were totally blown away,
People from the city were seeing Jesus do some amazing things. We don’t know exactly what took place but His words and some of the miracles He was doing blew them away. They couldn’t believe that Jesus, who grew up in this small village where everyone knew everyone, was doing what He was doing.
Can you see them looking at one another and shaking their heads in disbelief? The discussion then begins. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Don’t we know His mother Mary? His four brothers and all of his sisters that live here.
As they talk amongst themselves all the astonishment leaves and they are offended.
The People Are Offended
It is hard to believe that a group of people so overwhelmingly blown away by Jesus’ words and deeds could so quickly and completely be offended by Jesus.
They were shocked and angry at Jesus. Their shock was not in a good sense. They were shocked to the point of anger. We can see what made them reject Jesus and rise up in arms against Him by what they said and Jesus’ response to their anger.
This was not the first time Jesus had been to Nazareth and preached in the synagogue. He had been here once before and things did not go well then.
Luke tells of this first encounter in chapter 4:16-30. Jesus goes into the synagogue and finds a passage in Isaiah 61 to read. He reads:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed, 19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19)
He then tells them that the Scripture is fulfilled in their hearing. The people were amazed and began to say is this not Joseph’s son?
Jesus then spoke about a prophet not being welcomed in his own home town. He gave two examples of how two of the great prophets of old, Elijah and Elisha were treated.
He spoke of how there were many widows in Israel, but Elijah went to a foreign widow. He also said there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha, but a foreigner came to be healed.
The people understood that Jesus was speaking about their unwillingness to accept Him as a prophet was the same as the happened in the past. The Gentiles recognized that there was a prophet in Israel, but the people of Israel did not.
This enraged the people of the city and the crowd went wild. They drove Jesus out of town and to the edge of the cliff on which the city was built so they could throw Him off and kill Him.
Jesus passed through their midst and traveled on to the city of Capernaum.
Their Unbelief Stops the Miracles
The rejection of Jesus had some terrible results. The unbelief of the people caused the miracles of Jesus to slow down to a trickle.
Everywhere Jesus went miracles, signs, and wonders followed Him. Matthew tells of many of the works of Jesus. There were so many works that he often summarized what was taking place. Here is what he says:
Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of sickness among the people. (Matthew 4:23)
The news about Him [Jesus] spread throughout all Syria; and they brought Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. (Matthew 4:24)
When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED OUR DISEASES.” (Matthew 8:16-17)
Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. (Matthew 9:35)
. . . many followed Him and He healed them all. (Matthew 12:15b)
When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick. (Matthew 14:14)
And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them. So the crowd marveled as they saw the mute speaking, the crippled restored, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel. (Matthew 15:30-31)
And large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there. (Matthew 19:2).
And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. (Matthew 21:14)
I wanted to read all of these Scriptures to show you how massive the crowds were and how many people were being healed by Jesus of every sickness and disease. Now I want to read you two verses that describe the results Jesus had in Nazareth. One from Matthew the other from Mark:
And He did not many miracles there because of their unbelief. (Matthew 13:58)
And He could do no miracles there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. (Mark 6:5)
What an amazing contrast. Everyone healed to only a few sick people.
The village of Nazareth missed its opportunity to receive the life of God through the healing power of Jesus Christ. Their unbelief in Jesus shut off the flow of healing power that was being manifest everywhere Jesus traveled.
Unbelief destroys faith and the life that comes through it. Unbelief erects a barrier to the flow of God’s life and cuts us off from the blessing God freely gives. Unbelief is an enemy of our soul and must be cut off at all costs.
If you are struggling to believe the promises of God, be like the man who brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus. When confronted with the evidence of his son being tossed on the ground by the demon, he cried out to Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief.”
Jesus is calling you to believe what He has said. His promises to you are true. The only thing that can hinder His desired results is unbelief.
Ask the Lord to show you any place where unbelief may have entered your thinking. If He shows you any area of unbelief, repent of it and turn in faith once again to the Lord. His promises are true. can count on Him.