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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Faith and Mighty Deeds (Our Theme for 2023 Part 12)

Today’s gospel: Mark 6:1-6

Jesus was not able to perform any mighty deed in his native place, aside from curing a few sick people. “He was amazed at their lack of faith.” (v.6). Now Jesus does not need for people to have faith in him before he can cure them. He drove out demons from possessed people who had not turned to him in faith. On the other hand, it is the faith of people that often triggered the healing action of Jesus.

So why is it that Jesus was not able to perform any mighty deed in this case? Well, we see that the people, even though they were astonished at his teaching (v.2), “took offense at him.” (v.3b). They heard the wisdom he spoke, but could not accept that he was special, as he to them was just a carpenter, and they knew his mother Mary and his relatives (v.3a). Jesus recognized their posture, as he said, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” (v.4). Indeed, even his own relatives had tried to seize him, thinking he was crazy.

So Jesus was not able to perform any mighty deed, not because he was limited by their lack of faith, but because they did not seek him out, due to their lack of faith. Jesus did cure a few sick people by laying his hands on them (v.5), and that right there are mighty deeds. But these were the few who went to him, perhaps in their desperation, and sought to be healed.

Another explanation is that Jesus chose not to heal, in a situation of rejection and dishonor. The people were astonished at his teaching, but took offense at him. As to what he could do, they had said, “What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!” (v.2c). But just as they took offense at him even with his wisdom, so too would they reject any miraculous deed he would do, as he was just one of them, an ordinary person in their eyes.

We see in other instances when the Pharisees would be offended that he healed on a sabbath. Their judgmental hearts could turn them off even as they witnessed miracles. One who rejects the prophet would reject the prophet’s wise words and miracles. So Jesus chose not to “drive them away” at this time. He could give them their space today, so as to reach them later.

How about us? Jesus came to save us. That is the ultimate healing from sin, from alienation from God, from being barred from entry into the Kingdom. But we need to respond. We need to put our faith in Jesus. His mighty deeds on earth were a manifestation of his power and the wonders of the Kingdom. For us today, our faith in Jesus opens the way to experiencing his healing and might deeds in our lives, giving further assurance of the fullness of salvation, which is entry into heaven.

Be firm in faith, and experience the mighty deeds of God on a daily basis.

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