He could do no mighty work there... And He marveled because of their unbelief.  (Mark 6:5-6)

A child once asked, "What does God do all day?" If the answer to that question depended on how much we allow God to do in our individual lives, some of us would have to reply, "Not much!" In difficult situations, it is easy to say we trust God and yet try to handle things ourselves without turning to Him and His Word. This is masked unbelief. Although God is constantly working, He allows us to set a limit on the degree of work He does on our behalf.

We see this truth demonstrated in Mark 6 when Jesus tried to do mighty things in His hometown. However, because the people saw Him merely as a carpenter's son and not as God's Son, they limited what He could do for them (v. 5). So Jesus moved on to other towns. Jesus startled his familiar audience with a seeming rebuke that no prophet or servant of God can receive honour among his own people. They despised his preaching because he was a layman who had no formal training by a scholar or teacher. They also despised him because of his undistinguished family background. How familiarity can breed contempt. Such an attitude can be indicative of our not giving God a chance to work in our lives. Are you critical towards others, especially those who may be close to you? the most severe critics are often people very familiar to us, a member of our family, a relative, or neighbor or co-worker we rub shoulders with on a regular basis.

It is easy to be misunderstood. My wife and I still laugh about her first impressions of me when I was fresh out of seminary and assigned as a deacon at Holy Cross Anglican Church. She saw my natural shyness as aloofness. I think we have got that straightened now. Somehow, I had not commmunicated well to her. When we are misunderstood, we have not communicated properly. Jesus was misunderstood during His ministry, but unlike the aforementioned example it was not His fault. Even the people who lived with Him and observed Him closely did not understand His mission. For a long time, they did not see that He was the God-sent Messiah. That is why His question in Mark 8:29 is so vital. There He asked His disciples, "Who do you say that I am?"

Is there anyone who is not accepting the level of faith that you have reached? Maybe you have been falsely accused of doing something that you would never do. Or perhaps you have been overlooked for a task that you are capable of doing and would like to do.

The good news is that even in our native place, where people are most likely to distrust the changes in us, god gives us allies and supporters.

Rev'd. Fr. Colin Humes