“Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village.” ~Mark 6:3-6 NIV
It is odd, to say the least, that the numerous intended miracles to be performed within the hometown of Jesus did not happen due to the lack of faith of the people! A miracle being like any other gift must be accepted (regardless who the giver may be), case in point:
George Wilson was charged with a crime which required him to pay the ultimate price, death by hanging. it went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS, UNITED STATES v. GEORGE WILSON). The President of the United States, Andrew Jackson provided him a pardon, but he refused it. Chief Justice John Marshall provided the following statement in his opinion for the court:
“A pardon is a slip of paper, the value of which is determined by the acceptance of the person to be pardoned. If it is refused, it is no pardon. George Wilson must be hanged.”
And so he was hanged by the neck until he was dead.
Miracles are much the same, in that, they must be accepted by the recipient through faith. The faith we have in God, the Son of God, & the Holy Spirit must remain in tact if our free moral agency is also to stay whole, in the sight of God. We each have the right to choose to do good or evil, and we must maintain that same level within our spiritual beliefs, as well! God gave us these inalienable rights that only we can toss aside, or hold onto, by our choice. Because that is how God designed us. From the beginning we were given the ability to choose the direction we were to head.
“…every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood…” ~Genesis 8:21 NIV
Also, Abel was rather candid with his brother, Cain:
“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”” ~Genesis 4:7 NIV
Abel told his brother that HE, no one else, must rule over the sin in his own heart. The only way to do such is to learn God’s word, put it into practice daily, and teach it to others – as we are commissioned to do. I don’t believe we need to make this any more difficult than it needs to be, what do you think? Our life’s purpose is to serve God through the gift(s) He has blessed us with. Some are great speakers, others are teachers, others are laborers, etc.
“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” ~Colossians 3:17 NIV
No matter what we do, we must be joyful, thankful, & blessed that we can do such things in God’s name and prove ourselves through such glory! By acting in such a manner, our faith will rise and become stronger while we read and study the Word of God. Perhaps even creating a deeper meaning within the very depths of our hearts and souls! We need to walk in the faith that God is in control of it all and that we will not always get precisely what we desire, but rather we will gain the life that God desires of us.
The majority of us seek an easy life, cannot deny it…I would love it, but not necessarily practical. But in actuality we should seek and pray for the strength and courage to face a difficult life and the ability to endure it! After all, we were told:
““Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” ~Matthew 7:13-14 NIV
In other words, consider going against the flow…don’t just be follower! Be the leader that is truly needed! Having faith is the basis of all this message. Faith in God, that He does know what is going on and everything is happening for an ultimate purpose, and that we are playing a part (our part) in the grand scheme of things. Just remember, keep things simple!
May God grant each of us the strength of faith we need to know our gifts and to properly use them for His glory!
May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD