PILOT KNOB LUTHERAN COMMUNIQUÉ

(Official communication to the public)

 8/1/18

And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.  (Mark 6: 5-6)

Facing a Lack of Faith   By: Rev., Dr. Curtis Leins (AALC Presiding Pastor)

In Mark 6:5, we find a most challenging statement: "And He (Jesus) could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them." On the one hand, it is inconceivable that the very Word of God who spoke all creation into being, Jesus Christ, would be unable to perform a miracle. For, He is God, and nothing is impossible for God! On the other hand, it is both faithless and dangerous to think that St. Mark was amiss when, by the Holy Spirit, he wrote these words, "He could do no miracle..." So, what is the truth behind the statement?

One commentator suggested that it was because the people rejected the Lord that Jesus was unable to do any miracles. However, the Bible gives several other examples when Jesus was ridiculed and rebuffed but He still was able to do miracles. Another explanation was that it may have been the Sabbath or late afternoon approaching the Sabbath. Perhaps, the people did not seek a miracle on the Sabbath or perhaps Jesus did not perform a miracle because of Sabbath Day restrictions. This reason also is unconvincing in my opinion. Needy people came to Jesus for help on the Sabbath, and Jesus was often condemned as a blasphemer because of His willingness to heal on the Sabbath day.

So, what do we make of this verse, "Jesus could do no miracle there"? I think that an answer can be found in the remainder of this verse and in the verse that follows. We are told that Jesus marveled at the unbelief of the people, and that He went around the villages teaching. Is it possible that God's reaction to unbelief or weak faith is to go "around the villages teaching"?

We remember that a miracle saves no one. Even raising a person from the dead does not grant that person eternal life. She or he will die again. The critical issue is not, did the person receive a healing miracle. The critical issue is, did the person receive faith. We are justified by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith is the key. Jesus saw the lack of faith of the people and their lack of faith was what needed to be addressed.

Also, we remember that Jesus only did what He saw His Father in Heaven doing (John 5: 19). He did nothing on His own initiative. Likewise, Jesus only spoke as commanded by His Father who told Him what to say and what to speak (John 8:28, John 12: 49). Clearly, it was the Father's will and therefore Jesus' pleasure not to do any miracles in His hometown of Nazareth, as recorded in Mark 6:5. Evidently, the issue of creating or increasing faith at this time and place needed a remedy different from doing mighty works. So, we are told that Jesus went about teaching in all of the villages. After all, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ (Romans 10:17). It was the Word, empowered by the Holy Spirit that was needed to create and increase faith!

By The Way:

 Sunday 5, 9:00 AM Morning Worship.  Sermon: Looking For Jesus