When Jesus “came to His hometown” of Nazareth, “He marveled because of their unbelief.” The residents there could not deny that “mighty works” were being done “by His hands,” yet they were unwilling to give Him the “honor” that He clearly deserved.
Later the Lord sent out His disciples “two by two” and they “cast out many demons,” healed the sick, and “proclaimed that people should repent.” Despite the truth that the apostles saw with their own eyes, even “their hearts were hardened.” When the twelve saw how Christ fed thousands with just five loaves and two fish, and then witnessed Him coming to them walking “on the sea,” they still battled their own inner unwillingness to trust Jesus as the Savior and the Son of God.
How could so many people resist the obvious? Like us, the close companions of Jesus lived in a dark world of sin. They knew the way Herod had treated John the Baptist, a true prophet from the Almighty. There were so many times when it might have looked like the arrogance of brutes would destroy the work of God. What would it have been like for them to follow the Lord to “a desolate place” only to face the problem of feeding a multitude without any supplies or preparation? How could any normal adult have responded to seeing their rabbi traveling by foot on the surface of a tumultuous lake?
Through all of the unsettling experiences where failure was imminent, the power of the Lord’s kingdom was plainly on display all around them. Who would win in the end, a man who could not even gain the support of those who had known Him and His family during His youth, or the powerful ruler in the land who ordered the death of John the Baptist without any just cause? Worshipers of Christ have learned the answer: Despite all our doubts and questions, we know that the Man who walks on water is unstoppable.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father, why should people reject You? Why do they take offense at Christ? Our best Prophet is worthy of all honor. Heal us from our remaining unbelief. We go forth every day to proclaim Your Name and to perform works of justice, beauty, and order. Glorify Jesus through Your church. When powerful men attack the righteous, You can send us deliverance. Give us hope, though foes would stand against us. Grant strength and mercy to Your persecuted servants. Do miracles of amazing fruitfulness using Your covenant community. May we see heaven’s blessing come down upon the earth so that the Holy One of Israel would be lifted up. Your Son walked on the sea, for there is nothing that is too difficult for You. We will not be afraid. Our hearts are moved in devotion to You. We bring You many who are in great need. If we could touch even the fringe of Your garment on their behalf, we know that they would be made well.