Just Wondering

And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:58, HCSB)

As I read that verse the other morning I began to wonder. In His hometown Jesus was misunderstood and misidentified, which He acknowledged as normal (see vs. 57.). However, their unbelief was fueled not by their lack of understanding but by hostility – “And they were offended by Him…” (Matthew 13:57, HCSB).

I wondered if perhaps the ignorance of Jesus’ identity today and the unbelief that is so prevalent is rooted in the same kind of ‘offense.’ People are often offended by Jesus’ claim that there is only one way to the Father (John 14:6). People are often offended because of words and deeds done in Jesus’ name that do not reflect Him accurately. People are offended by the self-sacrificial life Jesus lived – dying on a cross, claiming to bear the sin of the entire world. This offense naturally leads to unbelief. And unbelief results in the inability of Jesus to perform many miracles there (see vs. 58).

So, I’ve been wondering. Do the people attending our churches (OK, the church I pastor) truly understand the identity of Jesus? As we move into the Christmas Season we are inundated with visuals portraying Jesus as a beautiful, helpless, dependent infant. For many this is the only picture of Jesus they ever see. Like those in Nazareth that day we often link Jesus with a flawed understanding of His origin-“isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t His mother called Mary…” (vs. 56).

In a recent blog post Chuck Lawless posted a series of what he called random questions. One of those questions reads like this: “If you conducted a basic theological survey of your Sunday morning crowd, how would the findings compare to your church’s doctrinal statement?” [1]  I am not certain I want to ask that question but I recognize that just maybe, just perhaps, the lack of the supernatural and miraculous in our lives may be tied to this very issue.

Just wondering.

[1] http://chucklawless.com/2015/11/12-random-questions-to-ask-about-your-church-this-week/?utm_source=Blog+List&utm_campaign=28855bed45-Daily_Blog_Emails&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1f3938126f-28855bed45-86591841, accessed on 11/5/15.

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