God’s Greatest Sorrow and Our Greatest Honor

He couldn’t work any miracles there except to lay his hands on a few sick people and cure them. Their unbelief amazed him.

Then Jesus went around to the villages and taught.

He called the twelve apostles, sent them out two by two, and gave them authority over evil spirits. He instructed them to take nothing along on the trip except a walking stick. They were not to take any food, a traveling bag, or money in their pockets. They could wear sandals but could not take along a change of clothes.

10 He told them, “Whenever you go into a home, stay there until you’re ready to leave that place. 11 Wherever people don’t welcome you or listen to you, leave and shake the dust from your feet as a warning to them.” 

White Flowered Weeds | Austin, Texas | October 2020

Can God make a rock so large that he cannot lift it? After all, God is omnipotent, i.e. God can do anything which is logically possible. Making a stone which is so heavy that it cannot be moved is logically possible. Therefore God, being omnipotent, can make a stone so heavy that it cannot be moved. And two more Omnipotence Paradox questions: “If given the axioms of Euclidean geometry, can an omnipotent being create a triangle whose angles do not add up to 180 degrees?” and “Can God create a prison so secure that he cannot escape from it?”. (Wikipedia). 

O silly man. Do not ask such questions. They are the folly of foolish minds (cf. Psalm 14:1). These questions seek to avoid dealing with the God of the universe, the One to whom every knee will bow, to whom we must all give an account. 

I remember vividly a man I would visit in the nursing home during my first year of seminary. He was in a nearly-permanent fetal position. His voice was garbled and almost impossible to understand. But one thing I could understand. He would say, “There ain’t nothing God can’t do.” I guess the triple negative means, God can do anything. God can do all things. Best said, “There ain’t nothing God can’t do.” 

Except for healing people in his own city. This is a remarkable and sad sentence: He couldn’t work any miracles there except to lay his hands on a few sick people and cure them. Imagine it! Jesus could do no miracle. 

The problem isn’t in him, however. The problem is the disbelief and despisal of the people of his hometown. Doing a miracle for them would have amounted to Jesus turning stones into loaves of bread. It would have been like Jesus agreeing to perform a miracle for Herod (cf. Luke 23:8).

A second observation that may seem sad, but is actually encouraging: Their unbelief amazed him. It is certainly sad that they did not believe. But it is encouraging in that Jesus is aware of unbelief. I get the sense that he is distressed at their unbelief. 

God does not need to be validated by our belief. He doesn’t need us to believe in him to make him feel better. And even though he is sad when we disbelieve, his sadness is all about our failure to receive his gifts. Our sadness should be that we fail to honor God. And the best honor we can render to God is to believe his promises. 

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