Mark 6:5 – And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
Mark 6:6 – And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
Hey all, haven’t done a blog for ages! Been sick (change of season!!) and very busy with work of late and additionally the computer I use to write my blogs has packed it in after years of faithful service! I will be doing a shorter blog today concerning a verse in Mark 6:5 particularly relating to the part of the verse which states that Jesus could do no mighty work in his own country.
I have been thinking about this verse a lot. It is a verse that has been twisted by false prophets and teachers who cleverly distort the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The verse says he could do no mighty work. This at first seems hard to understand. After all the Bible teaches clearly that Jesus is God, and also the Son of God. So how can he be unable to do something, which the verse seems to be telling us? Is anything too hard for God? Does Jesus need something from us, something we do on our part, in order for him to work, to be “able” to work? Does Jesus need to be invoked, does his power and working need to be “released” by something we do? Because this is where false prophets and teachers get in. They bring, or rather attempt to bring their flocks into a form of soul slavery, where people don’t see God working in their lives, or God appears to be missing, and they say that its their fault, that they are not doing something “right”. They don’t have “enough” faith.
But we will see that this verse is teaching something very different, and blessed, which releases us from bondage, which makes us see why and appreciate why Jesus came to earth as a human being. God makes promises to us, and God fulfills those promises, he performs his word, when the time is right. He did this with Abraham, the father of faith, who simply believed God. Consider Romans 9:8,9 – That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. Abraham tried making the promise happen, and it produced Ishmael, who was rejected, who was cast out, who was not the heir. And God blessed them with Isaac, the promised son, when the time came for the word to be fulfilled. Isaiah 60:22 – A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time. It is all about God, the sooner we see, the sooner we recognize that we are utterly nothing, that it is all about the Lord Jesus Christ, the more we will enter into the blessed hope and the blessed rest.
There are those, like Jonah, who despise the grace of God, who don’t like seeing God be merciful to others. These will always be around. These will always resist the declaration of the great grace of God. They are fearful of the liberty that God’s grace gives. But they do not understand nor comprehend that someone that receives God’s grace does not want to sin, but is humbled, and awe struck, and changed inside when he or she knows the mercy, the grace, the long suffering of God towards them. It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. When we see and comprehend the love of God, which passeth understanding.
This verse is teaching us a great truth that is so easy to miss. To understand we must understand who Jesus is and why he came to earth. He wants us to believe him. To repent and believe in God. To be forgiven of our sins and receive the eternal blessed life that he gives freely. But the masses today are more concerned with miracles and temporal earthly blessings than the eternal, than the spiritual, than people being saved. Churches want miracles, not forgiveness, they want feelings and emotions, not the declaration of the gospel of peace.
This verse is not teaching us that Jesus has some kind of limited power, or that his power and working is reliant on us. Jesus is not a little g “god”, but he is the Most High, the Almighty. After all he is God, he can and does do as he pleases. And in the latter part of the verse we read that he healed sick people. This is no small thing, the verse almost appears to just throw that in there, but that alone elevates Jesus above everyone else. What a mighty work healing the sick, he did miracles! But miracles were not the reason he came. Miracles were not done to impress, but rather to point to him, to declare and approve him as the Son of God. The works bore witness of him, just as he said they would. Jesus did not come to do a few miracles, impress a few people and that was it. He came for an eternal purpose. To die for us, to live for us, to save us from our sins. To change lives both now and forever. He came to seek and save the lost. To declare salvation. To give eternal life. We must believe. It is about believing him, a belief that receives what he has done for us, the freedom which he purchased for us with his own precious, sinless, undefiled blood. Verse 6 helps us to understand verse 5. Verse 6 says that Jesus marvelled at their unbelief. And this is the key to understanding what this verse is truly saying.
Without saving belief in him, what hope was there for the people of Jesus’ country? What profit was there really in him doing his miracles? The point of miracles was to point the masses to Jesus that he is God, that he is the Son of God, that he is who he said he is, that he had salvation and forgiveness and eternal life to give. The miracles that he did there were still amazing, but he could do no mighty work there … because of their unbelief. Is a truly mighty work, an enduring work, one of doing a miracle, wowing some people, and then forgetting and moving on, or is a truly mighty lasting work one where people believe on him and are changed and saved forever?
God wants us to believe Jesus. To place our faith in him. To put our life, our existence, our being in his hands, at his mercy, to obtain the forgiveness of sins that he only has the power to give. But these people did not believe him. Jesus’ own brethren rejected him. Because they had known him growing up, his brothers did not believe him, those who had known him growing up, the son of a carpenter, were insulted by him being who he was. That’s why Jesus said in previous verses that a prophet has no honor in his own country.
This verse truly shows us what Jesus was all about. Jesus said in the Book of John that the work of God was to believe on him who he had sent. Without believing in Jesus as the Messiah, the Saviour, the Shepherd, the Lord, what hope is there? The people that Jesus healed all died. Lazarus died. Alll those healed of diseases, who had devils cast out of them died. Those miracles are meaningless to them now, but what is meaningful was whether they believed on him and were saved. That’s what it’s all about. That is the mighty work that Jesus wants to do, an enduring work, a saving work, but one which God requires believe. If we won’t believe, there is truly nothing else and nothing for us. What profit is there if you are healed physically in this life, but end up thrown into hell? Jesus spoke of this when he healed a man possessed sorely with a devil. He said that after the devil was cast out the devil would return to see whether he could take back his dwelling. If he found the place swept out but unoccupied, he would take other devils, reenter that man and the last state would be worse than the first. Maybe this happened to this very man Jesus healed. Maybe the devil came back, and because there was no belief in this man’s heart, because he was swept out by self righteousness, by a new leaf, by temporary belief, the devil reentered and his end was worse than his beginning. How sad. When the devil comes, will he find reality and flee, or will he find a place ready for him to abide in? Are you truly saved or not?
Jesus could do no mighty work because God has given us free will, he does not force us to believe him. The mighty work was believing him, but their unbelief was hard and unrelenting and unyielding. Without believing Jesus, what hope is there? What proift is a few miracles, they are temporary, but true saving faith produces true, everlasting change and results. The Bible makes it clear that we have choices to make. God has made it that way, we are not robots, Adam and Eve had the same choice we have today. We can believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, or we can reject him. And we all do one or the other. You cannot absolve yourself of that choice, as Pilate tried to do. Jesus made it clear in the story of the woman at the well, that it is all about believing on him. That’s what its all about. Being forgiven. Receiving eternal life. That is why Jesus came. That is the mighty work. Jesus healed sick folk by laying hands on them. What a mighty work! But in reality this was nothing compared to the mightiest of works, which was believing on him. And when we believe on him we are saved, God lives in us and works through us. That is the mighty work. That is the work which endures. When Jesus left his home country, there was nothing, the miracles were useless unless the miracles caused them to believe in the miracle doer, but there was no belief and no legacy of belief, no outworking of changed hearts and transformed lives … but when Jesus left the man who had been possessed with Legion, this man told people what Jesus had done for him. See the difference!? The mighty work is the work that produces a changed life. When Jesus leaves town, what happens then? Do you just go back to what you were doing before he visited you? Jesus never leaves a born again believer, because he lives in us, but we are left here on earth for a time after we are saved, to live our lives by faith in him and his word. In this short life here on earth as pilgrims, strangers, sojourners, do we have that reality of a changed life, a believing heart which God can use for his glory? Or is there just a nothingness? No mighty work could be done in the home country of the Son of God. How unbelieving we all can be! May we all say as the man with the sick daughter said, Lord I believe, help my unbelief!