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They and Their Unbelief

The parables were over and Jesus was in His hometown.  He was mostly with His disciples. The disciples were not fully mature, but they were growing!  They were able to proclaim the Kingdom to the people of Judea.

As the disciples were growing as proclaimers of Christ, an interesting, even shocking, and instructive incident occurred in Jesus’ hometown.  Jesus went home and taught in His synagogue.  The wisdom of His words was undeniable.  All who heard were literally ‘knocked out’ (‘astonished,’ v. 54).  They asked each other: “Where did This Man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers (v.54)?”   Yet they rejected Him.   How could this be?  How could the people of His hometown simultaneously acknowledge Jesus’ incomparable wisdom and yet reject it?  

The answer is spiritual blindness and hardness.  This incident showed the disciples, and shows us, that it is impossible for men to see the glory of Christ apart from God’s grace.  Men do not reject because they lack spiritual information – they reject because of their spiritual blindness.  Like the Jews in the wilderness, they can have the most astounding words and miracles before their very eyes and still complain and reject. The people of Jesus’ hometown did not need more information – they needed to repent!

The result is one of the greatest rejections of Christ.  Those who knew Him best, who witnessed His perfect life from young childhood, and who should have adored Him, rejected Him completely.  They tried to explain and understand His words and powers by their own fleshly wisdom (vv. 55-56) but they failed.  Their hearts were unmoved and they took offense at Him (v. 57).  Although Jesus had astounding miracle-working power, they who should have trusted Him most would not come, they would not believe, they would not repent, they would not be healed.  As Jesus said in another place: “You are unwilling to come to Me, so that you may have life” (John 5:40).

What the disciples learned and what we have to learn is that the belief and blessings we have are not from ourselves: they are gifts of God’s grace.  Also, those who hear and receive the Gospel of Christ are not those who have reasoned and worked their way to the Kingdom of Heaven, but those whose blind eyes and stony hearts God has opened and softened.

Believe in Jesus Christ!  Repent of your unbelief!  Come to Him and receive eternal life!

Sun, Aug 23, 2015

They and Their Unbelief