Mark 6:5-6 “And He [Jesus] 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."
I read these verses (actually the entire chapter) this morning during my quiet time with the Lord. I thought, here was Jesus Christ Himself among the religious folks of the day, and His work was interrupted due to their unbelief. Actually, the text says, “He could do no mighty work there…” The reality is that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, and He can do whatever, whenever, however He wants to do it. Yet, Jesus chose not to do anything among them due to their lack of faith or unbelief in Him.
The text caused me to consider my own life and faith. The Apostle Paul reminds the Roman believer, “For whatever does not precede from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23b). Therefore, a life lived not in faith of God through Christ is sin. My thoughts, actions, and words not offered in faith is sin against God. This causes me to ask—am I hindering the work of Christ in my personal, family, and church life due to my unbelief? The faith, which believes God to be who He says He is and to do what He says He will do. The faith that was granted to me at the moment of salvation to believe upon the name of Jesus Christ as the Son of God who came to live a perfect life, die a substitutionary death, and be raised on the third day for my eternal salvation. Is my faith in a preacher? Is my faith in a denomination? Is my faith in a friend? Is my faith in my children or grandchildren? Absolutely not! As believers, our faith is not in anything or anyone other than the Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone.
I am of the opinion that God does not need anyone or anything. However, God uses means to bring about His end. His end is simply that His glory would be made known throughout the world. How does He accomplish this end? God redeems sinners through the preaching of His gospel and the working of the Holy Spirit to bring sinners to Himself. And once God grants repentance and faith to sinners, they continue to live a life of repentance and faith. As a matter of fact, repentance and faith will increase as their walk with God deepens. This is what it means to be “saved.” Salvation is not a “one and done” thing, but a continual walk of brokenness over our sin and unbelief in who God says He is and trust in what He says He will do. True believers will have a holy hatred for sin and will grow in faith by trusting in Christ for their salvation evermore.
This brings me to ask a few questions:
1. How is your faith? Is it increasing or decreasing? Is it growing or dying? If it is decreasing, perhaps your faith is not in Christ or it has never been placed in Christ, but somewhere or in someone else.
2. Is your faith serving others? Do you see your faith as only self-serving?
3. Has the cause of Christ been halted in your own life, your family’s life, and the life of your church because of your lack of faith? Your faith is either helping or hindering the cause of Christ.
4. What do you believe God is doing in your life, your family’s life and the life at your church? Do you have any expectations that God is doing something wonderful in and through you to accomplish His ends by using you as a means? If not, your faith is either small or non-existent.
May the Lord increase His people’s faith as we echo the words of a father from Mark 9:24, “I believe; help my unbelief!"