There is an interesting story in the 6th chapter of Mark. Jesus has returned to his hometown for a visit...by this time in his ministry, he has already healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, and calmed the wind and sea...you would think he'd come home to a reception fit for conquering heroes, wouldn't you? But that isn't the way things went.
In the gospel account, Jesus has gone to the local synagogue and is teaching...the people are amazed by his teaching...they recognize his incredible wisdom, and they even acknowledge that he has healed the sick. There is no lack of awareness of what Jesus has done and said...and yet...the scripture tells us that they were highly offended, as in, "who does he think he is??", kind of offended.
It's an interesting story, to be sure...and the source of an often used quote, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor."
When I read the story today, I was struck by this summation of what happened in his hometown visit:
"He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith."
What?? The Son of God could not do any miracles there? This one who had raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead? The one who calmed the wind and the sea? He who had healed countless other sick people and cast out demons?
We need to ponder this story as a cautionary tale...because apparently our faith, or lack of it... factors into how God works in our lives...or doesn't work, as the case may be. And remember too, that if you lack faith...you can ask for it. Faith is itself, a gift. It cannot be conjured up, or manufactured by willpower.
But the best news of all about faith? Jesus said that if you have faith as small as a tiny mustard seed, that nothing will be impossible to you.