The Danger of Unbelief
Category : General
St. Matthew 13: 58 (KJV)
58 he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
Unbelief and contempt drive Christ out of the heart, as they did out of His own country. Faith seems to put the almighty power of God into the hands of men; whereas unbelief appears to tie up even the hands of the Almighty. A man, generally speaking, can do but little good among his relatives, because it is difficult for them to look with the eyes of faith upon one whom they have been accustomed to behold with the eyes of the flesh. – Quesnel.
Christ was unable because they were unwilling; His impotency was occasioned by their infidelity. He did not, because He would not; and that He would not, proceeded from a defect in their faith, not from any deficiency in Christ’s power. Their unbelief bound His hands, and hindered the execution of His power.
It is important to note that Jesus will not perform wonders in order to gain attention. His ‘mighty works’ are a compassionate response to the needs of the people, not an attempt to win people. That is why they were Messianic signs. They reveal the compassion of the Messiah, not a desire to win people by signs. He was and is quite willing to concentrate on the preaching. He does not want men to follow Him just in order to see wonders (John 2:23-25).
Mark states it more emphatically, that He could not perform any miracle. But they are perfectly agreed as to the substance of what is said, that it was the impiety of Christ’s countrymen that closed the door against the performance of a greater number of miracles among them. He had already given them some taste of His power; but they willingly stupefy themselves, so as to have no relish for it. Accordingly, Augustine justly compares faith to the open mouth of a vessel, while he speaks of faith as resembling a stopper, by which the vessel is closed, so as not to receive the liquor which God pours into it. And undoubtedly this is the case; for when the Lord perceives that His power is not accepted by us, He at length withdraws it; and yet we complain that we are deprived of His aid, which our unbelief rejects and drives far from us. Moreover, what Mark adds, that some sick people, notwithstanding, were cured; for here we infer, that the goodness of Christ strove with their malice, and triumphed over every obstacle.
This sin not only locks up the heart of a sinner, but also binds up the hands of a Savior. Unbelief obstructed Christ’s miraculous works when on earth, and it obstructs his gracious works now in heaven. The cursed unbelief, which shuts up the heart of the sinner and shuts out the beloved Savior, and will effectually shut out the unbelieving, unrepented out of heaven, and not only procure damnation, but no damnation like it!
We have experience of the same thing daily with respect to God; for, though He justly and reluctantly restrains His power, because the entrance to us is shut against Him, yet we see that He opens up a path for Himself where none exists, and ceases not to bestow favors upon us. What an amazing contest, that while we are endeavoring by every possible method to hinder the grace of God from coming to us, it rises victorious, and displays its efficacy in spite of all our exertions! Let it not be said that our unbelief hinder the work and Word of God or cast doubt upon those who would believe in Him in our home, community and country!
Have a great and God filled day!