Jesus went out from there and came into His hometown; and His disciples followed Him. When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching. Mark 6:1-6
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
When Jesus appointed the twelve Apostles he said of them that they would be “with him,” he would send them out to preach, and they would have authority to cast out demons. They have been “with him” now for awhile and the time has come for them to be sent out. We will see the account of this in tomorrow’s passage. But first we have today’s passage. It is a very interesting account of Jesus, with his disciples following him, going to his hometown (Nazareth). The response Jesus gets here is puzzling but it serves as additional preparation for the apostles being sent out on their own to minister and it has important lessons for us as well.
For the apostles, this experience prepared them for the reality that in their ministry, they would sometimes face unbelief and rejection (more tomorrow). How about us? What lessons does today’s passage have for us? It may be that we don’t preach or cast out demons, but as Christ-followers we have been appointed to be “with him.” We are also “sent” ones who so live before others that they see the difference Jesus makes in our lives for our having been “with him.” With those who are responsive, we share how they, too, can become a Christ-follower appointed to be “with him” and so live for him.
But there will be those who respond negatively and nowhere is this more prominent than in our hometown, among our own relatives, and in our own household. These are the ones who know us best and remember us from before. Now, while the past for Jesus did not include sin and failure, his past was “normal,” so to speak. They said of him, “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And now Jesus comes to them out of character, so to speak. They say, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? We are told they “they took offense at him.” Jesus is out of character and they can’t handle it.
Isn’t this our experience, too, with the people who know us best and remember us from before. They want to know where did all this spiritual stuff come from and what’s all this change that has taken us out of character. They just can’t handle the difference and they take offence. We are told that Jesus couldn’t do much there and he wondered at their unbelief. It is helpful to know there is nothing strange about hometown people, relatives, and our families taking offence at us as Christ-followers. It is comforting to know that Jesus experienced similar unbelief and rejection. He will show us the way to faithfully live out our faith before the people who know us best and remember us from before.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, there are people in my life like those in today’s story and they are the ones who resist my following you the most. It’s hard, it hurts, and it is so disappointing. I know you know all about it. Please give me extra strength and comfort today. Help me to be more patient, understanding, and kind. I depend on you, Lord, for all that I need. Amen!
Be sure to check out the special posts from this past Saturday and Sunday
Posted on Mon, February 12, 2018
by Ken Hart