Matthew 13:58
And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
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(58) He did not many mighty works there.—In St. Mark the language is stronger, “He could do no mighty works there.” The wonder-working power was not absolute and unconditioned, but depended on the faith of those who came to Him. Without that, the will and the power were alike thwarted. St. Mark adds, with more precision, that He “laid His hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.”

Matthew 13:58. And he did not, (Mark says, he could not do,) many mighty works, because of their unbelief — On which words it has been justly observed, that they are not to be understood so strictly as if the power of Christ was here disarmed; but only, that as they brought but few sick people to him for a cure, he did not judge it proper to obtrude his miracles upon them. On the same principle it is, that faith, in some cases, though not in all, is made the condition of receiving a cure. And Christ saw it proper to make it so here, as well he might, considering what they must undoubtedly have heard of him from other places, and what they had confessed themselves but just before, of mighty works being wrought by his hands; which shows, indeed, that their unbelief did not so much consist in a doubt of his miraculous power, as of his divine mission, which, to any unprejudiced person’s mind, that power so abundantly proved. “The reasons,” says Mr. Wesley, “why many mighty works are not wrought now, is not, that the faith is every where planted; but that unbelief everywhere prevails.”

13:53-58 Christ repeats his offer to those who have repulsed them. They upbraid him, Is not this the carpenter's son? Yes, it is true he was reputed to be so; and no disgrace to be the son of an honest tradesman; they should have respected him the more because he was one of themselves, but therefore they despised him. He did not many mighty works there, because of their unbelief. Unbelief is the great hinderance to Christ's favours. Let us keep faithful to him as the Saviour who has made our peace with God.Did not many mighty works - Miracles. This implies that he performed some miracles. Mark tells us what they were: "He laid his hands upon a few sick folk and healed them," Mark 6:5.

Because of their unbelief - That is, it would have been useless to the great purposes of his mission to have worked miracles there. We are not to suppose that his power was limited by the belief or unbelief of people; but they were so "prejudiced," so set against him, that they were not in a condition to "judge of evidence" and to be convinced. They would have charged it to derangement, or sorcery, or the agency of the devil. Compare John 10:20. It would have been of no use, therefore, in proving to them that he was from God, to have worked miracles. He did, therefore, only those things which were the proper work of benevolence, and which could not easily be charged on the devil. He gave "sufficient" proof of his mission, and left them in their chosen unbelief without excuse. It is also true, in spiritual things, that the unbelief of a people prevents the influences of the Holy Spirit from being sent down to bless them. God requires faith. He hears only the prayers of faith. And when there is little true belief, and prayer is cold and formal, there the people sleep in spiritual death and are unblessed.

58. And he did not many mighty works there, because of their unbelief—"save that He laid His hands on a few sick folk, and healed them" (Mr 6:5). See on [1300]Lu 4:16-30. Mark saith, Mark 6:4-6, But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages teaching. Our Lord here gives another more external reason of their being scandalized at him; that is, his being so familiar with them, and conversing so long with them: familiarity ordinarily breeding contempt: to this purpose he applies to them a proverbial speech, That

a prophet is not without honour, save in his own country. Men are ready to undervalue, slight, and disesteem those they have been brought up and ordinarily conversed with and amongst.

He did not many mighty works there (Mark telleth us he did some, but not many)

because of their unbelief: he saw them a people whose hearts, through the just judgment of God, were locked and shut up under unbelief, and therefore it was to no purpose to do more miracles before them, upon whom they would have no effect; nor did this consist with what he knew of the counsels of God with reference unto them. So as he left them, and went preaching about the villages or country towns in Galilee.

And he did not many mighty works there,.... Some he did, though not many; partly that they might be left inexcusable, and partly that it might not be said, he did not wish well, to his own country: what he did, were not of the first class, and greatest note; he only "laid his hands", as Mark says, Mark 6:5 "upon a few sick folk, and healed them"; and yet these were such as raised their wonder and astonishment, but did not command their faith, and were rather stumbling blocks unto them; such were their prejudices, their unbelief, and the hardness of their hearts: and the reason indeed why he did no more was,

because of their unbelief. These words in Mark are joined with this expression, "he marvelled"; showing, that their continued unbelief in him, notwithstanding his ministry and miracles among them, was matter of surprise to him; but here they are given as a reason why he did no more mighty works among them: and which Mark says he could not do, not for want of power, or as if their unbelief was too mighty for him to overcome; but he would not, because he judged them unworthy, and that it was not fit and convenient to perform any more, since they were offended with what was done; and that their condemnation might not be increased.

And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
Matthew 13:58. Ἐποίησεν] In Mark 6:5, put more definitely thus: ἠδύνατο ποιῆσαι. This does not include the idea of unsuccessful attempts, but what is meant is, that the unwillingness of the people to acknowledge the greatness of His person (Matthew 13:55) compelled Jesus, partly on moral (because of their unworthiness) and partly also on psychical grounds (because the condition of faith was wanting), to make but a limited use of His miraculous power.

Matthew 13:58. ere also editorial discretion is at work. Mark states that Jesus was not able to work miracles in Nazareth, and that He marvelled at their unbelief. Matthew changes this into a statement that He did few miracles there because of their unbelief, and passes over the marvelling in silence.

Matthew 13:58. Ἀπιστίαν, unbelief) The reason why many miracles are not performed at present, is not so much planted Christianity, as reigning infidelity.[653]

[653] In the original, “non tam est fides plantata quam infidelitas regnans; i.e. it is not so much that Christianity, having been already planted, does not require the aid of miracles, as that the wide prevalence of unbelief prevents their being performed.—(I. B.)

Verse 58. - And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. Our account is abbreviated from Mark's. Notice there, "He could not do... and he marvelled because of their unbelief." Our Lord was hindered, not by lack of power, but by lack of those moral conditions which would alone have made his miracles really tend to the spiritual advantage of the inhabitants of Nazareth (cf. Matthew 12:38). Because of their unbelief; i.e. complete (ἀπιστία); but in the case of the failure of the disciples to perform a miracle, only comparative (ὀλιγοπιστία, Matthew 17:20).

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