The value of honor

There’s a story found in Matthew 13:54-58 and Mark 6:1-6 where Jesus was teaching in his hometown synagogue and while he was there he was not able to perform any miracles. It has been taught for a long time that a lack of faith can keep someone from experiencing a miracle and that idea typically comes from these 2 passages because the account in Matthew seems to clearly point this out. But after seeing so many miracles with people who have no faith I’m starting to think the value of honoring the gift on a person is more important than believing that something will happen.

We’ve seen non-Christians healed, we’ve seen believers of other religions healed, and we’ve even seen people healed while they were still high on drugs. None of these people had any expectation for a miracle but there is one thing they all had in common; they honored us by allowing us to pray for them. One thing that jumps out at me in these verses is Jesus’ statement that a prophet is without honor in his own home. The people in the story were questioning his legitimacy because they knew him as the kid who grew up down the street as the local carpenter’s son. They dishonored him by not believing he was the Messiah. Their lack of faith in who he was is more about dishonor than about faith for miracles. Another passage in Matthew 10:41 says “Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.” Welcoming a prophet or righteous person appropriately means to honor the gift that is on their life. It’s a spiritual principle; dishonoring someone who represents Jesus blocks their gift from operating.

Jesus wasn’t able to perform any miracles but the account in Mark adds that he healed a few sick people. I suspect these few sick people weren’t part of the group dishonoring him and as a result they were able to receive what they needed. The simple act of someone allowing you to pray for them is an act of honor. They may not have any expectation or faith that a miracle will occur but they are at least honoring your beliefs enough to let you pray. And that little bit of honor is what releases the reward mentioned in Matthew 10. So my perspective is that, at least in the area of the miraculous, honor is more important than faith because by honoring the gift on a person we are honoring Holy Spirit since he is the one who gave the gift.


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