And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
Faith is the precursor for God to work. All the people that Jesus touched and healed both believed that He could and that He would. And so He did. But the people of Nazareth did not have faith in Jesus. So though He could have worked in mighty ways, though He wanted to, He was prevented by their unbelief. It was expressed in their words, and He knew it was in their hearts.
The people of Nazareth thought they knew Jesus—this carpenter’s son, this man from their town who they watched grow up without seeing anything special or out of the ordinary about him, this man whose family dwelt among them, who didn’t seem capable of raising such a son. They may have known things about Jesus, but they didn’t know Him at all. They knew Jesus of Nazareth but not Jesus the Son of God.
Sometimes we prevent God from working in our lives because of unbelief. Oh, yes, we may be Christians. We may be passionate believers working to please God. But we are also human—weak and frail. And so doubts sometimes arise. In our homes, churches, and personal lives, we must guard against the error of unbelief. It is as if God’s hand is ready to release the blessings He would give to us, but our lack of trust forces Him to hold back.
If our lives feel barren spiritually, we must examine ourselves to see if it is because of our unbelief. Are we doubting God or His promises? Is our faith faltering due to some trial we can’t understand? Are we in a difficult season of life where problems pile up and we can’t see God working how we think He should? We all go through struggles and seasons of doubt. But if we fall into a habit of unbelief, we may miss out on mighty workings from God.
When these times come, we can look to God’s Word. There we find many examples of God honoring simple faith. We see God move in mighty and unexpected ways in those who have faith in Him. We can look back in our own lives and see countless times where God has worked in our circumstances and honored our faith. These things should strengthen our trust in Him who has all the answers and who works among the faithful. Let’s be ever mindful that the absence of our faith in Him leads to an absence of Him working in our lives. We wouldn’t want to miss out on the mighty works He would do.