Matthew 13:54-55 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?
If you saw a miracle happen – blind made to see; crippled made whole; deaf made to hear would you believe it?. Or would you immediately dismiss it because ‘miracles don’t happen’ today! What if you were the one in need of a miracle? Would you listen to those around you dismissing it – or would you set aside these opinions and see if a miracle could happen to you? Some of the people in Nazareth did respond and they experienced what God had for them.
But for the most part, the people of Nazareth and the Jewish leaders represent one of the most difficult to believe ‘phenomenon’ in the Bible for me to understand. They chose to adhere to opinions they had rather than recognize and believe what their eyes were seeing. The Scriptures say the people of Nazareth were amazed at what they saw and heard, yet they responded with unbelief. They chose to hold to what their ‘common sense’ was telling them.
This is a significant principle that God uses and we have to adjust accordingly. It all boils down to whether we are going to respond appropriately to what He is doing in the circumstances we find ourselves in. Will we respond with unbelief, listening to common sense or fear? Or will we respond in faith to what we are encountering? Will we seek Him and allow Him to guide us?
The Lord gives us opportunities to follow Him and accomplish things that He has purposed us to do. But in the midst of those things, He allows all manner of problems, difficulties and obstacles to arise. They can be fearful or overwhelming. How are we going to respond?
It might not seem fair, but we have a path to choose. We can be fearful and succumb to worldly wisdom or fear – or we can seek and trust the Lord, lifting all of the problems to Him. I think of Joshua and Caleb and the other 10 spies sent in to explore the Promised Land. There were giants there, but only the Joshua and Caleb had their focus on the Lord. They knew He would see them through. The other 10 focused on the giants – fear and ‘common sense’ dictated how they responded.
The things we sometimes face can lead to similar choices. We can focus on the ‘giants’ or
we can focus on our God – unbelief versus faith. Each is an opportunity for the Lord in His greatness to enable us to overcome. The choice is ours. How will we respond to the challenging things He allows in our lives?