The Bible reading schedule my wife and I are using  raised an interesting contrast between two passages from Monday’s reading (which was Gen. 16-18 and Mark 6).

Is anything too hard for the Lord? (Genesis 18:14).

And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief (Mark 6:5-6).

In the first instance, the angelic visitors reassured Abraham (and an eavesdropping Sarah) that God indeed could give the elderly couple a child, even though he would be 100 years old (and she 90). But in the second instance, the text of Mark 6 says that Jesus could do very few miracles in Nazareth.

From one perspective, God’s power is not limited by man’s faith. God can do anything

Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari, Abraham and the Three Angels, 1660s, oil on canvas, Saint Louis Art Museum, St Louis, USA

He wants to do. And even though Abraham and Sarah literally fell down laughing when God told them He intended to keep His promise and give them a son of their very own, He kept His word. So God’s power is not inherently dependent on human faithfulness.

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