(Part 45)




May 1, 2013

Today’s gospel: Matthew 13:54-58



Jesus is all-powerful God for whom nothing is impossible. However, we see that in Nazareth, his native place, “he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.” (Mt 13:58). It is not that Jesus could not work the wonders, whether people had faith or not. It is just that Jesus would want to base his doing wonders on the faith of people.

Indeed, faith works wonders. It is Jesus who causes the wonders to be worked, but it is the faith of people that causes Jesus to cause the wonders. Faith is the trigger by which we can experience the mighty hand of God.

Now not only does Jesus work wonders, but he allows human beings to work such wonders as well. Jesus works through human instruments who are used to accomplish his will and purpose. But Jesus does not look on human instruments as mindless automatons. Rather, they need to know him who works, believe in his power to work, and actually allow themselves to be used for his work. They need to BE.LI.EV.E. They need to truly act in Jesus’ name. They need to have faith.


Now the people in Jesus’ native place lacked faith because they saw Jesus as they wanted to see him, an ordinary person who used to live with them and was not very extraordinary. Even though “they were astonished” (Mt 13:54b) at his “wisdom and mighty deeds” (Mt 13:54c), “they took offense at him.” (Mt 13:57a). “Is he not the carpenter’s son?” (Mt 13:55a). We know his mother and his brothers (Mt 13:55b). His sisters are here with us (Mt 13:56a). The people had met Jesus but did not really know him.

As Jesus’ intended instruments, we can make the same mistake as the townspeople. Because we know ourselves, because we have lived all our lives in “ordinariness” as to spiritual works, because we have failed many times before, we can devalue our worth in God’s purposes. Can God truly use us? Can God truly use us to work wonders?

With such doubts and lacking faith, we become inadequate instruments for Jesus to work his wonders. We become obstacles to the workings of faith.


We need to believe that he who BE.LI.EV.Es is the one who will do even greater works than Jesus did, simply because it is Jesus himself acting in and through us. When God starts to work in us, we must not always be challenging Him all the way–doubting, questioning, hesitating, resisting. We must not hear the naysayers, including the devil, saying to us, “Where did this man get all this?” (Mt 13:56b). Where do we get the power to do what we do? It is from God. It is by God.

It is our faith that releases the power of God. Faith works wonders.


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