devotion 7-21-14

Mark 6:1-6

He left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. 2On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 3Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary* and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offense* at him. 4Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honor, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’ 5And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6And he was amazed at their unbelief.

Then he went about among the villages teaching.

If the theme in the previous stories was faith, the theme here is lack of faith. Mark ends this passage with the statement that Jesus could do only a few works of healing there, but no deeds of power, or spectacular miracles, because of their unbelief. And he was amazed at their unbelief.

But the people of Nazareth knew Jesus; he had grown up in their village; he had gone to synagogue with their children. His brothers and sisters still lived there – his father was a carpenter! Surely, he had gone off and gotten too big for his upbringing! (This is what people in the rural communities of Tennessee would have said. And they would have added, “Who does he think he is, putting on airs? Thinks he’s better than us, doesn’t he?” Maybe the people of your home town wouldn’t say these things, but they surely would have where my parents grew up. Jesus says that only is his own home town is a prophet without honor. People have trouble recognizing that with which they are too familiar – too close to the child and boy he used to be, the family where he grew up, the people of Nazareth cannot see beyond their village life.

And so, Jesus goes away from there disappointed, amazed at their unbelief. Luke says they even tried to push him off a cliff!

Photo is the cliff over Nazareth

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