As I sit in my tiny hometown today, I’m reminded coming back to where you’re from isn’t easy. People know you here, and when they know you, they dismiss you. You know that saying, “you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.” Yeah, I’m in a flannel, a ball cap, and rubber boots this morning. You know me as Pamela, but these people know me as Pam. I’m just curly headed Pam. They know I’m just ordinary. And they’re right, I really am. But I’m not who I used to be!
Jesus went back to his hometown once. Do you remember the story of how that went? In my bible, that part is titled “Jesus Rejected in Nazareth.”
Was Jesus the truth? Yes
Was he who he said he was? Yes
Was he doing good? Yes
And yet he was rejected.
And you’re shocked that you have been rejected? Surprised that you weren’t chosen – Passed over again. Can’t believe someone said that about you. Oh come on. If Jesus was rejected, perhaps we should count it an honor to be rejected too. What should we do? Keep being true. Keep showing up. Keep doing good.
Let’s read in Mark chapter 6 starting in verse 1 through 6:
“Jesus returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown. The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. They asked, “Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?” Then they scoffed, “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.
Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” 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.”
Notice it says because of their unbelief, Jesus couldn’t do any miracles among them?
Are you praying for a miracle in your home, a miracle in your health, a miracle in your relationship, a miracle in your finances, and yet you don’t really believe? Your unbelief is shocking to Jesus and it is hindering the very miracle you seek.
Maybe it’s not that you don’t believe Jesus cares about you, and maybe you don’t even doubt his power, but you’re “keeping it real” and the reality says THIS THANG AIN’T WORKING. Not only is it not working, but there’s no way it ever will.
Because of the continual state of this situation in your life, you’ve lost your belief that it can change. And honestly, that’s shocking to Jesus. Jesus can’t believe that you don’t trust him with this. He can’t believe that you’re questioning his ability and desire to help you. Remember verse 6 of our scripture today, “he was amazed at their unbelief.” Other translations say he was marveled, he was wondered and greatly amazed by their unbelief. He just couldn’t believe their lack of faith.
But we’ve all been there. We’re disappointed. We’re frustrated. We’ve run out of time or money or patience, and everything we’ve tried isn’t working. And maybe, just maybe, that’s right where Jesus wanted you all along. A place where his miracles are most needed. And my sister, all that is keeping it from happening now is your faith. God wants to know if you will BELIEVE today.
After all God has done in my life, I still put on the brakes sometimes. I still question. I sometimes still lean toward reality and reason all while God is calling me on over to the realm of believing in impossible things. He’s asking me to hold steady when the clock is running out and KNOW that he will show up right on time. But the problem is, I don’t like running out of time. I don’t like uncertainty. And I bet you don’t either.
Have you ever battled with reason against God? Like God, I know you can do all things, but this thing I’m dealing with you’re probably not really going to fix, so I have to take this into my own hands and make my own way. Girl STOP. Your own way is going to be a massive mess. He is amazed at your unbelief right now. He’s shocked you’re letting earthly things assume a position of power in your life over him.
I don’t know what you’re dealing with, but I know this for sure … it’s not bigger than God. It’s not more powerful than God. When you place your problem in a position of greater power than God, then you’ve positioned yourself to never live in the fullness of what he wants to do for you.
Can God fix this? Absolutely he can.
Can God heal this? No doubt.
Can God make a way through this massive mess? Actually, he already has.
Can God redeem this? That’s always been his plan.
You know what else shocks Jesus? How little we have done with all we have been given. We haven’t really tapped into the potential God has placed within us. We haven’t really stepped into the life Jesus Christ bought with his own blood for us. We haven’t fully unleashed our faith to go and be and do all that God created us to do. And quite honestly, that’s shocking to Jesus.
Oh how he would move in my life if I just believed. And oh how he would move in YOUR life if you just believed.
The situation that’s weighing heavy on your heart right now, what is it? What’s your impossible? What’s your frustration? What’s been taking way too long in your life? If you will just believe, Jesus will start moving.
What keeps us from believing?
I think most of us listening this morning believe on a surface level. We believe what we have been taught, but has it gotten down deep in our soul and changed our thoughts and our actions? The very thing that kept the people of Nazareth from believing is what keeps you and I from truly believing today. They were familiar with Jesus. They knew him as a carpenter. They knew his Mama. Now here comes the Jesus they knew preaching and teaching and doing all sorts of miracles. It was hard for them because they knew him too well.
And this is where we find ourselves. It’s all too familiar. We’ve heard all about the manger and baby Jesus. We’ve likely been hearing it since we were little girls. And it’s about as touching to us as the story of Santa Clause. We’re familiar with it all. It no longer moves us. We are no longer in awe over God coming to this earth in human form to save us.
We’re surrounded by miracles every day, they’re just familiar, so the awe and wonder has left us. We’re not only surrounded by miracles, WE ARE THE MIRACLES. We are walking talking, breathing miracles and yet we look in the mirror and we see puffy eyes and wrinkles. We see a bunch of shameful imperfections we’re so desperately trying to hide. And what we fail to see is what an absolute mind blowingly amazing miracle is staring back at us in the mirror. We’ve rejected the miracle because it’s familiar.
Maybe you’ve know Jesus for a long time. Are you still amazed by his works? Are you still eager to spend time with him? Are you still seeking him in everything? Or has it all just become familiar and less than impressive? Have you stopped believing?
I have a few girls I’m very close with who are new in their walk with Jesus. They are literally excited about everything. Reading God’s word is like hunting for hidden treasure to them. Seeing God move and answer prayers is absolutely thrilling to them. It’s all new and exciting and awesome. I WANT THAT!
I want to walk with Jesus for 80 years, but always have new faith. I always want to be blown away by him. I don’t want to grow tired of Jesus. I don’t want to miss his miracles just because they’re around me every day.
What have you been praying for? What have you been seeking? Do you really BELIEVE? Or has your unbelief been keeping the miracle at bay?
Oh how he would move in your life if you just believed.
Yes, your unbelief stops miracles.
I’m not sure how many miracles in my life I’m responsible for stopping with my own unbelief, but one is too many. How many miracles have been stopped in your life because you didn’t believe? Because it took too long or didn’t happen the way you imagined? Will you allow that to continue?
Here’s what happens when you choose to believe … belief unleashes miracles in their full power. Unleash every miracle Jesus has offered in your life today by simply BELIEVING. Believing when it looks unlikely. Believing when it’s against all odds. Believing when it seems too late. Believing when it’s almost ridiculous.
There’s nothing God can’t do in your life … the only thing hindering him is your lack of faith.