Could Not vs. Would Not

Mark 6:5 — He could not do any miracles there, except lay His hands on a few sick people and heal them (NIV).

I believe this is one of the most tragic verses in all of Scripture. Jesus left His hometown to go into full-time ministry. The fruit of His efforts was quite impressive. Multiple people were healed of diseases; the demonized were set free, and paralytics walked. Jesus cured the woman with an issue of blood, and He even raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead (Mark 5:21-43).

Jesus no doubt arrived in Nazareth intending to do similar exploits, but He was rejected. In fact, the Bible says He could not do any miracles there, except to heal a few of the sick. Mark was very specific in his writing. Jesus could not do what He desired to do in His hometown. It does not say he would not.

In other words, the lack of miracles Jesus did in Nazareth was not a matter of His will. He was restrained. I believe there is a parallel here that is often overlooked. Many individuals, families, and churches have a shortage of the supernatural. Countless believers live their lives absent of God’s favor and miracle-working power. Maybe you’re one of them. If so, it’s not because God is unwilling to work on your behalf. He’s being restrained.

The question that needs to be answered is, “Why?” Jesus could not do as He intended in Nazareth because the people were offended at Him. People become offended at God for different reasons, but believers particularly have a problem receiving a blessing that comes in a package they don’t expect, like, or understand. The Nazarenes did not receive their blessing because they did not approve of Jesus—the package God had sent.

Jesus was also unable to perform many miracles there because they did not show Him honor. The same is true in many households and churches today. Begin to evaluate the condition of your heart concerning these matters. Over the next couple days, we are going to further explore offense and honor and the role each plays in receiving or restraining the miraculous in your life. My prayer is that you will begin to experience the supernatural!

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