what does unbelief do

What does unbelief do?

Jesus can do anything, right?

In Mark 6, there is a very fascinating verse about something Jesus could not do.

“He could do no miracle there…” Mark 6:5a

Jesus and the disciples were in Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth. The people there did not (or could not) see Jesus as Messiah. All they saw was the little carpenter boy.

“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” Mark 6:3

It was because of their unbelief that Jesus could not perform miracles among them. Before you think I’m reading too much into this passage, reflect on Mark’s description of Jesus in the following verse:

“And He wondered at their unbelief.” Mark 6:6

It was because of their unbelief that Jesus could not perform miracles among them. Share on X

Let me share with you three quick things unbelief does.

1. Unbelief breaks the heart of God.

In John 11:35 we find Jesus weeping. A closer look at the story shows Jesus was not weeping over the death of his friend Lazarus. Jesus was weeping over the unbelief of the people! He was weeping because He promised that Lazarus would rise again, and no one believed Him. Everyone thought Jesus was too late, and nothing else could be done.

Jesus reminded them, “Did I not say that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” Matthew 11:40.

  • What promise in Scripture has God made, that you are not believing?
  • What area of your life have you limited God?
  • Is there a current situation where you believe God is too late?

Remember, unbelief breaks the heart of God.

2. Unbelief limits what God wants to do in your life.

Let me be clear. Our unbelief does not limit God, but unbelief limits what God wants to do in our lives.

The people of Nazareth missed out on what God wanted to do because of their lack of faith. That’s why Paul so strongly encourages us “walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 When we start to walk by our own sight, we start missing out on God’s working in our lives.

  • What area of your life are you living by sight and not by faith?
  • When was the last time you took a real step of faith?
  • Do you desire for God to work in your life, even if it means you trusting Him more?

3. Unbelief is sin.

Romans 14:23 says, “…and anything that is not from faith is sin.”

This one hits home! We often think of sin as those really bad things or those really secret things that offend God. But the Bible is clear that unbelief is sin. That means God finds not trusting in Him offensive.

I like John Piper’s definition of faith. “Faith is what a child does when he is happy to be helpless in his father’s arms.”

"Faith is what a child does when he is happy to be helpless in his father's arms." – John Piper Share on X

It’s offense to our heavenly Father when we, as children, do not completely trust in His plan, His provision, and His love.

  • Are you living in the sin of unbelief?
  • Are you, like a child, happy to be helpless in your Father’s arms?

We, as a church, want to live by faith. We will not be afraid to try new things to reach people far from God. We will passionately pursue holy discontentment, meaning we will not be satisfied with our current situation, but always pursuing, by faith, God’s best for our lives, our families, our church, and our community.