Blind Unbelief

by Stephen F. Olford

Blind Unbelief

Text: "He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief" (Matt. 13:58, NKJV).

Thought: It is amazing that this should be recorded of the Son of God! It has been well said that "unbelief ties the hands of God"; and again, "unbelief is a sin against the remedy." Because of their unbelief "He did not do many mighty works there" in Nazareth. This unbelief was the fruit of:

1. Carnality: "Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?" (v. 54). Unlike Nicodemus, the people would not recognize (or perhaps they could not recognize) that no man could do the miracles Jesus did "unless God is with him" (John 3:2). These people were carnal and, therefore incapable of appreciating the spiritual content of the Savior's message or the spiritual character of His ministry. We must remember that "the carnal mind is enmity against God" (Rom. 8:7).

2. Contempt: Those who heard Jesus contemptuously asked, "Is this not the carpenter's son?" (v. 55). Carnal familiarity bred such contempt that Jesus had to say, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house" (v. 57). Contempt regards that which is esteemed as mean, vile, or worthless. It is a sad day when the carnal mind degenerates to this outloook and attitude.

3. Contrariness: "They were offended at Him ["turned against Him"-Weymouth]" (v. 57). His preaching was resented and His presence unwanted. Carnality, contempt, and contrariness produced the unbelief which thwarted the mighty works Jesus desired to do in His hometown. Unbelief has always been the greatest hindrance to the working of God. Long ago the children of Israel limited the Holy One of Israel through their unbelief (see Ps. 78:41; Heb. 3:19). No wonder we are exhorted to "beware…lest there be in any of [us] an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God" (Heb. 3:12). Ponder this: Even the Son of God can do no mighty works among an unbelieving people.

Thrust: Blind unbelief is sure to err,

God is His own interpreter,

And He will make it plain.

William Cowper