The Cost Of Unbelief!


Jesus left there and went to His hometown, accompanied by His disciples. When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard Him were amazed. ‘Where did this man get these things?’ they asked. ‘What’s this wisdom that’s been given to Him? What are these remarkable miracles He is performing? 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 honour 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 He was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village (Mark. 6: 1-6).   

Two things amazed Jesus – great faith and no faith! Two remarkable miracles had just happened. Jairus’ daughter had been raised from the dead, and the woman with chronic bleed had been healed. Surely the news had got around. They didn’t need Facebook to publish what had happened!

Then Jesus went to Nazareth! Their homeboy had come home. Come Sabbath and He was in His place in the synagogue as usual. How many times had He been in that place as a child and a young boy growing up among them? It was nice to have Him home, but then they began to chat among themselves. ‘We know this guy,’ they muttered. ‘What’s it with Him? We know His parents. His brothers and sisters are right here in Nazareth. Who does He think He is? Where does He get all this stuff He’s telling us?’

They were non-plussed. Nothing about Jesus made sense to them. They could not shake Him loose from His small-town origins – so they thought. How could He be so different from the rest of His family? They were just ordinary folks like the rest of the people in the village, but this Jesus? They could not figure Him out. He was saying things and making claims by insinuation that were just too much for them to swallow.

How would you have reacted to a man who grew up in front of you, goes off for a while and then comes back, teaches in the synagogue like a professor and says things that, by implication, claim that He is God! Wouldn’t you think He was crazy? Wouldn’t you want to lock Him up before He did something really dangerous?

We would, except for one thing. The things they were puzzled about – His teaching, His wisdom, His remarkable miracles – were the very evidence that He was very different from the ordinary people in Nazareth. They judged Him and dismissed Him by His family; His mother was Mary, a local girl; His brothers and sisters all lived among them and they didn’t speak or act like He did. So He must be crazy!

They were faced with a decision – just as every other person who met Him was faced with a decision. They either believed what He said and did and accepted the evidence that He was the Son of God, or they ignored the evidence and wrote Him off, just as the people of Nazareth did.

Jesus spent time with His disciples – three and half years, to be exact – painstakingly teaching them and showing them, incident by incident, miracle by miracle and explanation by explanation, who He was. Their reaction, in the beginning, was like the reaction of His own people – amazement, puzzlement, and even fear. But slowly their truth began to dawn on them. He was no ordinary man. He was a man alright. They lived in such intimate connection with Him that they could not help but realise that He was human, but at the same time, He was much more than a man. What other man, even the most godly prophet in their history, came anywhere near Him in His really knew God. “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” declared Peter, their spokesman.

If only His own townsfolk had properly read the evidence and made an honest judgement instead of taking offence! They missed a never-to-be-repeated opportunity. No faith, no miracles, no change of heart, no new life.

What about you? Who do you say Jesus is? Faced with the evidence, you have to make a decision.

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Luella Campbell

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