Posted by Pastor Pat on June 12, 2009
Read Mark 6:1-6
In all of our stories from Mark 4:35 and following, there is consistent thread of faith. Faith appears throughout as a precondition to the miraculous. Nonetheless, is faith a precondition to the miraculous or is it a consequence of the miraculous?
Some would argue from the passage that “the miracle does not generate faith; rather, faith must be present for the miracle to occur. This is the negative side of the positive correlation between faith and miracles seen already in Mark: miracles can and do take place in a context of faith (cf. 2:4; 5:43, 36); conversely, where there is no faith, miracles cannot occur.” ([emphasis added] The Oxford Bible Commentary, Ed. John Barton and John Muddiman [Oxford: University Press, 2001], 897, 898).
Here is my tension with the absoluteness of this statement. If such a conclusion is true, then faith becomes a burden to be born. Faith becomes a tool to be exploited and expanded on. In the absoluteness of this statement, every bad thing you’ve prayed over and had as its outcome nothing can be attributed to your lack of faith. Had you simply believed “enough” disease, death, depression, and dysfunction would have turned out the way you asked. Your child would not have gone astray, your marriage would not have failed, your bills would have been paid out, and your health would have been restored, had you simply believed. Such thinking is truly guilt-forming and bondage-making. This is not a biblical view of faith.