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? What are these remarkable miracles He is performing? 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. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” HE COULD NOT DO ANY MIRACLES THERE, EXCEPT LAY HIS HANDS ON A FEW SICK PEOPLE AND HEAL THEM. HE WAS AMAZED AT THEIR LACK OF FAITH…” (AMPC)
One of my absolute favorite childhood memories is going fishing with my dad. Now, I haven’t done as much fishing over the years as an adult, however, I still have friends who really love to fish! So, in their honor I’ve got to tell you this great fisherman story. It seems that two men were out fishing in separate boats. And one was watching the other with growing curiosity because he’d catch a fish, he’d keep it, then he’d catch another fish and he’d throw that one away. And he just kept doing this, catch after catch. The really strange part was that it was always the BIG ones that he threw away. The other fisherman couldn’t help but wonder, what kind of fisherman is this? Well, finally, the man watching all of that couldn’t contain his curiosity any longer, so he called out the obvious question, “How come you’re throwing away the BIG ones?” The man answered, “Oh, because I only have an eight-inch frying pan!”
Wouldn’t it have made better sense to simply buy a larger frying pan? One that made room for something BIGGER!
I guess if small is what you’re prepared for, then small is all you’ll ever get. Well, that’s what the people of Nazareth found out when Jesus came home. In Mark 6:1-6, the Bible says, “Jesus left and returned to his hometown with his disciples. The next Sabbath he taught in the Jewish meeting place. Many of the people who heard him were amazed and asked, “How can he do all this? Where did he get such wisdom and the power to work these miracles? Isn’t he the carpenter, the son of Mary? Aren’t James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon his brothers? Don’t his sisters still live here in our town?” The people were very unhappy because of what he was doing. But Jesus said, “Prophets are honored by everyone, except the people of their hometown and their relatives and their own family.”JESUS COULD NOT WORK ANY MIRACLES THERE, EXCEPT TO HEAL A FEW SICK PEOPLE BY PLACING HIS HANDS ON THEM…” (CEV)
The King James Version says it pretty bluntly, “HE COULD DO NO MIGHTY WORK THERE BECAUSE OF THEIR UNBELIEF.” WOW!
Look at Mark 6:5-6 in a few translations:
“And because of their UNBELIEF, he COULDN’T do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a FEW sick people and heal them. And he was AMAZED at their UNBELIEF…” (NLT)
“So Jesus could do no powerful works there. But He did put His hands on a FEW sick people and healed them. He WONDERED because they had no faith…” (NLV)
“Now He COULD DO NO mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a FEW sick people and healed them. And He MARVELED because of their UNBELIEF…” (NKJV)
“So Jesus was NOT ABLE TO WORK ANY miracles there except to heal a FEW sick people by putting his hands on them. He was AMAZED at how many people had NO FAITH…” (NCV)
“Jesus told them, “A prophet has little honor in his hometown, among his relatives, on the streets he played in as a child.” Jesus wasn’t able to do MUCH OF ANYTHING THERE—he laid hands on a FEW sick people and healed them, that’s all. He couldn’t get over their STUBBORNNESS…” Vss. 4-6 MSG)
“And because of their UNBELIEF he COULDN’T DO ANY MIGHTY MIRACLES among them except to place his hands on a FEW sick people and heal them. And he COULD HARDLY ACCEPT the fact that they WOULDN’T BELIEVE in him…” (TLB)
“He was NOT ABLE TO PERFORM ANY miracles there, except that he placed his hands on a FEW sick people and healed them. He was GREATLY SURPRISED, because the people DID NOT HAVE FAITH… (GNT)
“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…” (CEB)
“And He was NOT ABLE TO DO EVEN ONE WORK OF POWER THERE, except that He laid His hands on a FEW sickly people [and] cured them. And He MARVELED because of their UNBELIEF (THEIR LACK OF FAITH IN HIM)…” (AMPC)
Let me tell you, it’s a pretty scary incident for those of us who are church folks. Because the people who knew the MOST about Jesus back then expected the LEAST and they got it! “…except that He laid His hands on a FEW sickly people [and] cured them…” Can you imagine? Jesus (all powerful) is in the midst of them, in their very presence, and all He could do was heal a FEW people! They had a very small frying pan, and it wasn’t BIG enough for the kinds of things Jesus could do! NAZARETH WAS THE ONE PLACE JESUS WENT WHERE THEY HAD TO SETTLE FOR THE NATURAL AND MISS THE SUPERNATURAL. And the scary part is that today we’re Nazareth! We Bible-believers, we’re the ones who know a lot about Jesus, just like His neighbors in Nazareth. We analyze things just like they did. But those kinds of people are often so close, so used to Jesus, they put Him in a box, limiting Him to work the way they’ve always seen Him work before, or the way they think He ought to work. I’ll tell you, He will not stay in our limited little box! There’s nothing Jesus can’t do, and yet, here, in His own home-town, among people He knew and those who knew Him, He couldn’t do any more than heal a few folks! They missed out on receiving the “mighty miracles and mighty works” and instead their unbelief caused them to settle for receiving small from a BIG God!
“Unbelief” is defined as “skepticism especially in matters of religious faith”. “Skepticism” is defined as “a person inclined to question or doubt accepted opinions; a person who doubts the truth of Christianity and other religions; an atheist.” Its Greek origin ‘skeptikos’, from ‘skepsis’ literally means ‘inquiry; doubt’. “Disbelief” is defined as “inability or refusal to accept that something is true or real; lack of faith.” In case you were unaware, this is NOT to be the mindset of believers! We don’t have to question our God, and even when we don’t always understand Him, we yet trust Him! We are NOT to be a people who walk in doubt, disbelief, or a lack faith! Quite the contrary, we walk BY faith!
2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we WALK BY FAITH [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus WE WALK] NOT BY SIGHT OR APPEARANCE.” (AMPC)
As believers, our lifestyle, mindset, and conduct are all to hold the conviction of walking by faith! We don’t focus on sight or appearance, we focus on our God! We don’t allow disbelief to distract us! Hebrews 12:1-3, “Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, LOOKING AWAY [FROM ALL THAT WILL DISTRACT] TO JESUS, WHO IS THE LEADER AND THE SOURCE OF OUR FAITH [GIVING THE FIRST INCENTIVE FOR OUR BELIEF] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.” (AMPC)
Let this serve as your encouragement to trust God no matter what or who you’re facing! Regardless of the tests, the diagnosis, the financial struggles (God is still able to do something BIG on your behalf)!
We don’t want to position ourselves where Jesus is “amazed, marveled, surprised and appalled” at our unbelief! Instead, let’s pray that God increases our faith (Luke 17:5, “The apostles said to the Lord, INCREASE OUR FAITH (that trust and confidence that spring from our belief in God).” (AMPC); renews our hope (Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, TO GIVE YOU HOPE IN YOUR FINAL OUTCOME.” (AMPC); deepens our trust (Proverbs 3:5-6, “Lean on, TRUST IN, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.” (AMPC); and strengthens our conviction (Hebrews 10:35, “DO NOT, THEREFORE, FLING AWAY YOUR FEARLESS CONFIDENCE, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward.” AMPC)
Let this be the year of not just renewed faith, but increased faith. We lived by our mustard seed faith long enough in many areas of our lives. And don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with mustard seed faith! (Matthew 17:20, “He said to them, Because of the LITTLENESS OF YOUR FAITH [that is, your lack of firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have FAITH [THAT IS LIVING] LIKE A GRAIN OF MUSTARD SEED, YOU CAN SAY TO THIS MOUNTAIN, MOVE FROM HERE TO YONDER PLACE, AND IT WILL MOVE; AND NOTHING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO YOU.” AMPC) Yes, mustard seed faith can move mountains, but our faith should be growing and not stagnant at the same level as when we first believed! We need a faith that grows and levels up! Romans 1:17, “For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both SPRINGING FROM FAITH and LEADING TO FAITH [DISCLOSED THROUGH THE WAY OF FAITH THAT AROUSES TO MORE FAITH]. As it is written, The man who through FAITH is just and upright shall live and shall live by FAITH.” (AMPC) Last year will be the LAST YEAR that we walk in fear instead of faith! Whether there’s a layoff; a diagnosis; the loss of a loved one; the car wrecks; the lights are shut off; WE WILL WALK BY FAITH, AND WE’LL EVEN WALK IN INCREASED FAITH AS THE MONTHS GO BY!
Let us cry out collectively this year, “LORD, HELP MY UNBELIEF!” Mark 9:24, “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; HELP THOU MINE UNBELIEF.” (KJV)
“The father instantly cried out, “I DO BELIEVE, BUT HELP ME OVERCOME MY UNBELIEF!” (NLT)
“At once the father cried out. He said with tears in his eyes, “LORD, I HAVE FAITH. HELP MY WEAK FAITH TO BE STRONGER!” (NLV)
“Immediately the father cried out, “I DO BELIEVE! HELP ME TO BELIEVE MORE!” (NCV)
No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “THEN I BELIEVE. HELP ME WITH MY DOUBTS!” (MSG)
“The father instantly replied, “I DO HAVE FAITH; OH, HELP ME TO HAVE MORE!” (TLB)
“The father at once cried out, “I DO HAVE FAITH, BUT NOT ENOUGH. HELP ME HAVE MORE!” (GNT)
“The child’s father cried out at once, “I BELIEVE! HELP MY LACK OF FAITH.” (GWT)
“Right away the boy’s father shouted, “I DO HAVE FAITH! PLEASE HELP ME TO HAVE EVEN MORE.” (CEV)
“At once the father of the boy gave [an eager, piercing, inarticulate] cry with tears, and he said, LORD, I BELIEVE! [CONSTANTLY] HELP MY WEAKNESS OF FAITH!” (AMPC)
Many of us have faith, but this is the year of faith expansion! This is the year that our faith is going to grow to the point that we simply believe God no matter the situation or circumstance. We will not allow doubts; fears; lack of faith; nervousness; panic attacks and anxiety to shake our faith! This year, our faith will be unwavering and unmovable!
Mark 11:23-24, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea!’ AND DOES NOT DOUBT IN HIS HEART [IN GOD’S UNLIMITED POWER], BUT BELIEVES THAT WHAT HE SAYS IS GOING TO TAKE PLACE, IT WILL BE DONE FOR HIM [IN ACCORDANCE WITH GOD’S WILL]. For this reason I am telling you, whatever things you ask for in prayer [in accordance with God’s will], BELIEVE [WITH CONFIDENT TRUST] that you have received them, and they will be given to you.” (AMPC)
Romans 4:18-22, “[For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, HOPED IN FAITH that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised, So [numberless] shall your descendants be. HE DID NOT WEAKEN IN FAITH when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he considered] the barrenness of Sarah’s [deadened] womb. NO UNBELIEF OR DISTRUST MADE HIM WAVER (DOUBTINGLY QUESTION) CONCERNING THE PROMISE OF GOD, BUT HE GREW STRONG AND WAS EMPOWERED BY FAITH as he gave praise and glory to God, Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised. THAT IS WHY HIS FAITH WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS (RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD).” (AMPC)
People of God, be encouraged! No matter what you face, God is there to face it with you, and He will ALWAYS be BIGGER than anything you face! So whatever requests you need to make of God this year, make them BIGGER! Why? Because He’s BIGGER! Abraham had big, wide and deep faith that was unshakeable, unmovable, and unquestioning! He simply believed that the Promises of God are still Yay and Amen! And those same Promises are yours too! I reiterate, whatever small request you were going to make of God…MAKE IT BIGGER! Do Not Allow Disbelief to Insult Your God!
In Mark 6, Jesus could do no miracles and only heal a few due to Unbelief. Just imagine the size of the Miracles He COULD do and the Many Healing’s He COULD accomplish if you would simply Believe!
Remember the opening story? It’s not that the fisherman didn’t catch BIG fish, he just didn’t make sure he had a frying pan BIG enough to accommodate the catch! This my friend will be your Rehoboth year! This will be your year of God Making Room for your Blessings! Genesis 26:22, “And he moved away from there and dug another well, and for that one they did not quarrel. HE NAMED IT REHOBOTH [ROOM], SAYING, FOR NOW THE LORD HAS MADE ROOM FOR US, AND WE SHALL BE FRUITFUL IN THE LAND.” (AMPC) Pay attention, God made the room, but Isaac named it Rehoboth! It’s time you start speaking by faith your Rehoboth! For not only will God make room for you this year, but you will be fruitful as well! You will receive the blessing with a bonus, and all you have to do is BELIEVE!
“I will not talk to God about how big my problems are. I will talk to my problems about how BIG my God is. This is my declaration.” (Joel Osteen)
“How big is your God? The size of your God determines the size of everything.” (Howard G. Hendricks)
“Sometimes when we get overwhelmed we forget how BIG God is.” (Aiden Wilson Tozer)
“I think God calls and encourages us to dream big, but sometimes we put God in a box in a very small way, when God wants us to look outside the box.” (Jodi Benson)
Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged #ShareTheWordFeel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “BEST and WORST Salads For Your Health”
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