Jesus was performing amazing miracles! He cast out a legion of demons from a demoniac; a woman was instantly healed of a hemorrhage that had plagued her for years; a twelve-year-old girl, the daughter of a Jewish ruler, was raised from the dead. Whenever Jesus performed such mighty works, he told those he delivered, “Your faith has made you well” (Mark 5:34; 10:52; Luke 7:50; 8:48; 17:19; and 18:42).
Jesus had lived for the first thirty years of his life in Nazareth and he went back to be among his own people. But in his hometown, he was met with the worst kind of unbelief. They all knew of Jesus’ great works, yet to them, such things happened elsewhere —in other cities, other places, other communities — not in Nazareth.
Elsewhere, people were rejoicing because of Jesus’ wonder-working power and there was great excitement. But the people of Nazareth could not receive for themselves. Why? Because they were spiritually dead. True, they were sincerely religious, and they knew Jesus and his family as good people. But they would not acknowledge Christ as God in flesh.
Beloved, this is the tragedy of many Christians today, as well as many churches. They hear of great moves of God elsewhere, with many mighty works being done and multitudes experiencing deliverance. But no one asks, “Why not here? Why not now?”
An entire generation of evangelicals has grown up acknowledging Jesus the man but they don’t acknowledge Christ as God here, God now in their own lives. Scripture tells us the Lord is no respecter of persons and he desires to do for anyone the same great works he does “elsewhere.” Yet, wherever faith wavers, God’s hands are tied: “[Jesus] could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them” (Mark 6:5).
Make no mistake: God’s power was readily available in Nazareth. Jesus stood in their midst, full of might and power, wanting to deliver, heal, revive and do mighty works. But, he declared, “I can’t work here.” Why? Because of their unbelief (see 6:6). Jesus was shocked at his own people, but he moved on.
The Lord chooses not to respond to unbelief. But the Lord is loving, full of mercy, and anxious to help you in your time of need. So just say to him, “Lord, I see what you have done in the lives of others so do it here also, not just elsewhere.”