Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mark 6:1 – 6
The Importance of Faith

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

“I believe in God the Father Almighty...” (“Apostles’ Creed”)


I. Unbelief will never lack an excuse.

A. THE FACTS: Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith (unbelief).

1. They questioned Jesus’ wisdom.

a. They wondered where it came from.

b. They could not accept Jesus’ wisdom.

2. They questioned Jesus’ miracles.

a. The language implies “charlatan.”

b. They saw His miracles and heard about them but they did not believe.

3. They questioned Jesus’ authority.

a. Jesus did not quote others, society, or culture.

b. Jesus quoted Scripture and spoke the truth.

B. THE FILTERS: This is perception, or what we know as “spin.”

1. They claimed to know the family.

a. That Jesus was a carpenter and carpenter’s son.

b. They knew the brothers and sisters (very ordinary people).

c. They knew were Jesus was from, no place special.

*** Irony: the Jewish leaders rejected Jesus for exactly the opposite reason. “We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don't even know where he comes from.” (John 9:29) So we see “spin” at work.

The Bible says, “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” (John 1:11)

Describing Jesus tactic, the bible says, “but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:7)

2. The filters were derogatory. (Concerning Jesus, they always are... Everyone likes “God” but mention Jesus and it’s a different reaction.)

a. They had contempt.

b. They saw no reason to believe He was different or God.

C. THE FEELING: This is were filters are solidified.

1. They were offended.

a. Their attitude was based on what they wanted to believe.

b. The facts (about Jesus) were run through filters (perception that Jesus was not special).

c. The end result was opposite of what it should be...

2. Jesus’ miracles were “acknowledged” but explained as meaningless.

a. They were “offended” (literally “scandalized”).

b. The miracles (like raising the dead girl) became a snare.

II. Unbelief will always bring results.

A. Result #1: LACK OF RESPECT. (For Jesus)

1. “Familiarity breeds contempt.” (Caution against the “buddy-buddy” attitude of Evangelical Christianity.)

2. Jesus noted He was “without honor.” Actually, that is a kind way to say He was dishonored and despised.

(Ill.) When we lived in Iowa, people (including us) would go outside when the tornado sirens went off. They went off so often that nobody really believed them... It was also a form of entertainment looking for tornados. Once one touched down, everyone would rush to their cars to go look at the damage.

B. Result #2: LACK OF POWER.

1. “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.” (Mark 6:5)

2. Unbelief hardens the heart and makes us unable to see or understand what is happening.

3. Unbelief forfeits the power of God. When the Kingdom of God is not moving forward, it is due to unbelief.

C. Result #3: LACK OF POSSIBILITIES.

1. Verse 2 says, “He began...” Jesus started but did not finish.

2. Verse 7 says that Jesus was “amazed” at their lack of faith.

a. Others who didn’t have the background believed.

1.) The Roman centurion (Luke 7:9)

2.) The Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:28)

b. Those in His home town had the information and background to know the truth about Jesus.

3. Verse 7 says “Jesus went.”

a. Jesus was rejected.

b. Jesus moved on.

Doubters lose two things: they lose powerful works and they lose the one who does them (Jesus).

Facts are run through filters to justify feelings to justify unbelief. Thus, we lose respect for God, we lose His power in our lives, we lose the possibilities of what God wants to do.

III. So, what’s the big deal?

A. Unbelief is the only thing that “limits” the Almighty.

1. Even if God acted, we wouldn’t understand. (Religious people of Jesus day who explained away Jesus’ miracles.)

2. In some ways, God limits Himself to our willingness (faith).

B. Faith is on of the keys (faith, hope, love, obedience) for the believer. Look at 1 Peter 1:3 – 9

1. Faith is our shield.

a. It is a battle shield.

b. It is a heat shield.

2. Faith brings glory to God.

a. When our faith is tested by fire, it draws attention to God.

b. Only when we have to use faith do we grow.

3. Faith brings joy (“inexpressible and glorious”)

a. The goal of faith is salvation.

b. The “goal” in the sports world is the winning goal.

No comments: