After touring Galilee and the neighboring regions, Jesus returned to His hometown in Mark 6. Those who had watched Him grow up did not like what the Lord taught. “We know this guy and His family. Who does He think He is saying all of these things and performing these miracles?” Mark reports that Jesus marveled at their unbelief.
Mark informs us that Jesus, “could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them.” Let this sink in for a moment: unbelief prevented the Creator of the universe from performing mighty works. He cast out no legion of demons in Nazareth. No little girls were raised from the dead. No storms were instantly quieted with one word. The wet blanket of unbelief snuffed out the work of God.
I am struck by how the experience of Jesus perfectly illustrates the quenching of the Spirit. Paul warns, “Do not quench the Spirit,” in 1 Thessalonians 5:19. The unbelief of Nazareth stifled the miraculous power of the Spirit so that few miracles could be performed. In like manner, unbelief hinders the work of the Spirit in our lives. How do we respond when confronted with a seemingly insurmountable trial of our faith? There have been times when, to my shame, I have found my faith fail simply because I do not believe enough in the one “Who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…” Upon further reflection, I see that my weakness of faith quenched the Spirit, the power Who is at work in me.
Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!