Matthew 13:58 “Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”
Mark 6:5 “Now He 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 have always wondered that these Scriptures, both referring to Jesus’ coming to Nazareth (“His own country”), say He couldn’t do mighty works there because of their unbelief. Does lack of faith really render Jesus powerless? There are other Scriptures that show Jesus doing miracles in spite of the lack of faith.
I believe the Gospel from yesterday’s daily lectionary (not the Sunday Eucharist lectionary) gives us the key. John 5:30 says,
“I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.” Jesus never, ever, did whatever He wanted to do. He didn’t even consider doing His own will apart from the Father, as His prayer in the garden prior to His arrest clearly shows.
Here, in His own hometown, Jesus is once again obeying the will of His Father as explained in Proverbs 3:34 (and quoted in both James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5): “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Why did the people of Nazareth receive so few miracles? Because they were filled with pride. They knew Jesus’ humble beginnings; many of them knew Him personally as a child. They were convinced there was nothing in His upbringing that would justify the reputation He had – they were just as good as He was, He wasn’t special. The Father, true to His Word, resisted them … and Jesus, true to the Father, obeyed … not reluctantly, but with joy and peace, because He knows the Father’s plan is best.
Can we say the same?