The Power of Faith: Rejection Expected, Limitations of Unbelief

Published on Apr 22, 2024
Category: Behold!

Read: Mark 6:1-29

Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor 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 a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Mark 6:4-6

Jesus was rejected

Jesus was rejected by His own, but He was not surprised by it. He is limited by unbelief, though.

Being fully God and yet fully man, Jesus experienced the pain of rejection. He was rejected by His own family, not even His brothers believed Him (John 7:5). His community rejected Him, neighbors and friends took offense at Him (Matthew 13:57). Peter and Judas rejected and betrayed Him. He was troubled in His spirit when He foretold about Judas (John 13:21). Jesus experienced rejection from the Father as He cried from the cross My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46). Sin entered the world when two people rejected God and His command, leading to God’s eternal rejection. Jesus redeemed us from that curse and rejection by taking it upon Himself.

Jesus first experienced everything that we now experience to redeem us from it all, to cover it all in grace. What surpasses comfort is the knowledge that the gospel stands as the unfaltering, unchangeable answer to rejection. By the power of the gospel, we have received the spirit of adoption (Romans 8:15). That permanent, binding acceptance. We know that, now, nothing can separate us from the Father’s love (Romans 8:38-39). Man’s rejection is made so small in light of the truth that, through the gospel, we have God’s eternal love and acceptance, unconditionally. What can man’s rejection do to us if the Almighty God is for us?

But, Jesus marvelled at their unbelief. Jesus’ power was limited by the unbelief of His countrymen. The Bible does not record that Jesus marveled at art or architecture, or the man’s ingenuity, or the piety of the Jews nor the military dominance of the Roman army. But Jesus marveled at faith present at a least expected place (Matthew 8:10, Mark 7:29) and the unbelief of the people. In a way, our unbelief can prevent God from working. The Bible says Jesus could not, not would not, do any miracles.

John Bunyan in his book Come and Welcome Jesus, contrasts faith and unbelief. Here are some of them:

  1. Faith sees more in a promise of God to help than in all other things to hinder.
    Unbelief sees more in the things that hinder than in God’s promise to help.
  2. Faith sees love in the heart of Christ when he speaks to reprove us.
    Unbelief sees anger in God’s heart when he says that he loves us.
  3. Faith gives comfort in the midst of fear.
    Unbelief brings fear in the midst of comfort.
  4. Faith helps the soul to wait when God defers to give.
    Unbelief takes the huff if God makes us tarry.
  5. Faith will suck sweetness even out of God’s rod, but
    unbelief finds no comfort even in his greatest mercies.
  6. Faith makes great burdens light.
    Unbelief makes light burdens heavy.
  7. Faith lifts us up when we are down, but
    unbelief throws us down when we are up.
  8. Faith brings us near to God when we are far from him.
    Unbelief puts us far from God when we are near to him.
  9. Faith purifies the heart.
    Unbelief keeps the heart impure.
  10. Faith finds the ways of God pleasant and admirable.
    Unbelief makes them heavy and hard.

May we rest on Jesus The Firm Foundation.

In what ways have you experienced rejection in your life, and how has it affected you? Can you think of a time when your lack of faith prevented God from working in your life? What could you have done differently in that situation? How do you personally struggle with unbelief, and what steps can you take to strengthen your faith?

Prayer

‘Lord, I believe. Help me overcome my unbelief is my heart’s cry too. Would you enable me to trust and rest in you? Amen.

Scripture Writing: Hebrews 11:6

Song: How Firm a Foundation

For more daily devotions like this – At the Potter’s Wheel (Kindle)

Author

Preethi Alice Jacob

Preethi Jacob is the author of the yearlong devotional At the Potter’s Wheel, Day by Day. Her journey includes teaching a Bible Study Fellowship class, teaching and leading the Sunday School ministry in her church, leading Bible studies, besides counselling young women. She serves on the Global Mission Team of the United Bible Societies and lives in Bangalore, India with her husband and two young adult children.

We’d love to hear your thoughts!

2 Comments
  1. Nischal Sukumaran

    Thoughtful comparison between rejection & adoption and faith & unbelief.

    Reply

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