The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Does God need our faith to perform His miracles?

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Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” And because of their unbelief, He couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place His hands on a few sick people and heal them. And He was amazed at their unbelief. (Mk. 6:4-6)

Woven throughout biblical accounts of things that God did, we find the human authors of those accounts slipping in their own foolish notions about God.  In this passage, notice how the Gospel writer Mark assumes that the reason Jesus didn’t heal people in His hometown of Nazareth was due to a lack of ability.  How utterly absurd.  Jesus is God Almighty, and God hardly depends on His own creations to get His power flowing. Was it faith that parted the Red Sea in front of a million fretting doubters? Was it faith that rained down manna onto the head of idolatrous grumblers?  It was because of his lack of faith that Gideon asked Yahweh for miraculous signs that required a bending of the natural laws, and Yahweh provided those signs without any help from Gideon. When Shadrach and his friends were about to be thrown into a fiery furnace, Shadrach didn’t proclaim his faith that Yahweh would save them.  On the contrary, he acknowledged the possibility that Yahweh would let them all be burnt to a crisp, and yet in the presence of such uncertainty, somehow Yahweh managed to pull off yet another miracle.  Our Gods have been performing miracles in front of skeptical audiences since the beginning of time and They continue to do so today. Anytime you hear some human trying to define the limits of God by saying what He can’t do, you know you’re hearing foolishness.

While He was on earth, Jesus wasn’t interested in entertaining people with shows of power. His purpose in performing miracles was to prove the validity of His claims to be a Divine Being who was equal in power to the magnificent Yahweh. Because the people who watched Jesus grow up in His hometown of Nazareth adamantly rejected the idea of Him being anything other than a normal human being, there was no point in Jesus performing miracles in front of them. It wasn’t that He couldn’t, and Mark is absurd to suggest that Jesus was surprised by the people’s lack of faith.  Jesus is God Almighty, not some limited human.  Jesus is omniscient, and He knew full well what hardened little rebels the people of Nazareth were.  He wasn’t surprised when the little twerps rejected Him, but He was certainly angry with them and holding them accountable for their rebellion.  Why should He bless such brats with a bunch of healing miracles?

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