Not enough faith
I was reading Mark 6 today, in Norwegian of course. I still find it helpful to read in a foreign language, cross referencing with an English version, as it helps me focus on the words and phrasing rather than skimming over the very familiar bits.
It started out with Jesus going back to where He grew up, but the people who had known Him as a carpenter and who lived with His siblings just couldn’t get their heads round Him being anything special. Who does he think he is? What makes him better than us?
As a result of this lack of respect, they could not muster much faith in Him:
4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.
I have read this before, but today verse 5 really struck me. Jesus, the Son of God, who can do anything, could not work miracles there because of their lack of faith.
There are loads of positive examples of this, people having faith and getting their miracle because of it, but I found it striking that it worked the other way too.
Our modern society prides itself on its scepticism. Hmm, yeah, great. We’re raised to be almost pathologically incapable of seeing miracles. Lovely.
That’s not to say that we should go around in a pink fluffy cloud believing in any old thing. Matthew 10:16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. So we need to use scepticism, but not so much that we are closed off to the power of God.
Have I too little faith to be healed? I’d only need a tiny bit, the size of a mustard seed. I certainly believe in the power of God. I believe He could heal me.
But if I go around blaming myself, I am sure that is unhealthy. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that there is a time for everything, good things and not so good things. The ways of the Lord are beyond human understanding. In Mark 2 Jesus forgave the paralysed man and only healed him to prove to the sceptics that his sins really were forgiven, so salvation is more important than healing and I know which I’d rather have!
But maybe all I need is a little more faith. Just a tiny smidge…
And what else are we missing out on?