Monday Morning Encouragement -- Because of Unbelief


"And He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief." (Mark 6:5-6)

I must confess that the first time I read today's scripture verse I felt confused. What does it mean that Jesus could do no mighty work there. . .? Was He somehow incapable of performing miracles?

Let's look at the backstory to get the full picture and the proper answer:

In the first verses of Mark 6 we find Jesus in His hometown with His disciples, and on the Sabbath He teaches in the synagogue. Now many of the people who heard Him were astonished and wondered how a carpenter and a common man -- the son of Mary with brothers and sisters they were familiar with -- could possess so much wisdom and perform the mighty works He did. They had a preconceived view of Jesus, and they let their prejudice stand in the way of receiving Him. My Bible translation (ESV) says in verse 3, "they took offense at Him." 

They rejected Jesus.

The Lord responds with the statement, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household." 

It is the people's rejection that results in "no mighty work" being done. It's not that Jesus could not perform great miracles, it's that the people would not come to Him for those miracles. In Matthew's account of this event we learn that the Lord did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58). However, He did heal a few sick people who came to Him (Mark 6:5).

I like Pastor Alan Carr's commentary on Mark 6:5:

"Let’s get one thing straight now; their unbelief did not hinder His power. Jesus was and is absolutely sovereign. He could have done anything there that He wanted to do. He possessed the power, but He refused to demonstrate His power in the face of blatant unbelief. The hands of Jesus were not tied. A few people came to Him in faith and those people received His help. The rest rejected Him and were rejected by Him."

The answer to our question is that Jesus will not reward unbelief. As Hebrews 11:6 tells us, "And without faith if it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him."

Today's music video Same Power by Jeremy Camp reminds us that the same power Jesus' displays in scripture is living in us. Let that encourage and strengthen your heart!

I love you, I'm thinking of you, and I'm praying for you.


  1. Good Morning Nancy. I confess to also being bewildered years ago when I first read this passage, just like in many others. That's why it's so important to know context and background and not just pick and choose verses at random. Thank you for your wise words and research today.
    I wanted to let you know that I've watched all of your videos but it's almost always on the TV and I have no way to comment. Your gorgeous home brings me so much peach and inspriation. Thank you.

    1. Betsy, your comment always lift me up. I appreciate them so much. And I appreciate that you watch my Youtube channel and find peace and inspiration there. Those words mean a lot, as I want viewers to sense the peace of the Lord. So, thank you. You're right about "not picking and choosing verses at random." So true! Our pastor has a history degree. He taught History before he got his DVM, and he loves to give us the historical background behind the scriptures he teaches from. It's so interesting, and I've learned so much about the Jewish customs of the time of the Lord's life on earth, and that has helped me understand so much more about Jesus' parables and teachings, as well as the Epistles.

  2. This was very interesting. That verse is confusing when taken by itself. What you shared wraps it up very well. Good song too.

    1. Glad you found it helpful, Mari. I like that song, too. Jeremy Camp has a very pleasing singing voice. xx

  3. Oh I would love to get the history behind some of the scriptures! I know that would be very interesting. My son reads an author that gives some history of the early beliefs. I enjoy your Monday Words of Encouragement

  4. Thank you Nancy for words of the bible and reminders of His power and love. Lynn

  5. Thank you Nancy for sharing your faithfulness in the study of God's Word. I pulled out our J Vernon McGee commentary on Mark and here's what he wrote for Mark 6:5;
    "This is a remarkable passage because it tells us He couldn't perform any mighty works there because of their unbelief. The only limitation to omnipotence is unbelief. Faith is the one requirement to release the power of God in salvation. In the great chapter of Isaiah 53 that reveals God's great salvation, the prophet opens the chapter with: "Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?" Who will believe it? My friend, unbelief shuts off Omnipotence. Unbelief insulates and isolates the power of God. It still does that today!"
    Hope you are having a good week.

  6. Love your explanation of this passage. Hugs sweet friend. Kris

  7. I have always wondered why the people were so unbelieving. Even his brothers...until his resurrection.
    I hope you will soon be able to enjoy some spring weather. No more snow!

  8. Understanding context is something that any good Bible student must recognize as a valuable tool in understanding scripture. Many times those teaching or preaching only read the passage, and teach something far from what the original passage in context meant. It is always so good to dig a little deeper, and find out the background of the passage, before coming to a conclusion. I pray that my heart would have complete faith and trust in Him, that my unbelief would never hinder what He wants to do in my life. Thank you for this wise counsel, dear friend!

  9. We love that song by Jeremy, too. SO powerful to think of what lies within us and how much God wants to do for us if only we will open our hearts to Him in complete surrender and belief in His ability to do all things. It is terrifying to me that in Rev.21:8 it includes the fearful and unbelieving in the list of those who will be in the lake of fire. I cry out, "Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!" I just wonder what we are missing out on in our lives because we cannot believe God can and will do it for us? Very sobering thoughts. I so enjoy these posts, dear friend. May God richly bless your for your faithfulness to Him and His calling on your life.


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