“He could work no miracle there, except from curing a few who were ill by laying hands on them”
– Mark 6:5
It is stark comment, made by Mark who had witnessed so many signs of power and wonder from Jesus, that in Jesus’ hometown he could not perform any miracles. Matthew softens the stark nature of the comment, in his Gospel, by saying the Jesus would not perform any miracles.
Many detractors of Christianity, in their woeful lack of understanding of faith, point to these passages as evidence of the limited power or, even worse, mercy, of Jesus. Such an unfortunate rendering!
Miracles are glimpses of the Kingdom of God and the wondrous power which permeates Kingdom of Heaven. Miracles are the power of God breaking into our realm. However, as page after page of the Bible teaches us, this power will only come us if we have faith and are open to it. God can withdraw His power, and he has, when we show a knowing lapse of faith. If we are stubborn, “stiff-necked”, and refuse to accept God, His power will not reach us.
This is not to say that God’s power is limited in any way or, more laughably, based on us. The lesson of the Gospels is simple; it is our choice whether we access the power of God, the power that God has waiting for us, that only needs to be accepted. A lack of faith, sin, blocks us from the Kingdom of God and its power. That same lack of faith is a barrier, of our making to our own detriment, to the richness offered to us by the miraculous hand of Jesus. The Kingdom of God, the power of God contained therein, is available to us- all of us- through faith in Christ Jesus and power that manifested in the Cross and Resurrection!
Jesus did not ask about politics or ethnicity when someone came to him in faith; he healed all whose faith was pure, even honoring the request of a Roman soldier (Matthew 8: 5-13). Entry into the Kingdom of God, and taking part in its power, was not a matter of geography or culture. The Kingdom of God, and the power which was shown in the miracles of Jesus, was open to all who accepted the reign, authority and power of God through their faith.