disciples, faith, Jesus Christ, Kingdom of God, offense, power, preaching, unbelief

Given Very Little Honor, Entry #41

“Jesus told them,

“A prophet has little honor in his hometown, among his relatives, on the streets he played in as a child.”

Jesus wasn’t able to do much of anything there—he laid hands on a few sick people and healed them, that’s all.”

Mark 6:4, the Message

“For some reason, they hate me.” There’s a real pain that we give each other, especially when it’s on the level of friends and our close family. It seems those relationships are vulnerable, and have the most exposure. When somebody close to us has an issue with us, that pain is deep and lasting. Others well, not so much.

Those closest to us have seen our issues. They’ve seen us at our best, and definitely at our worst. Other relationships are briefer, and they see us, and only subjectively. The salacious details never come out into the open, and we certainly won’t reveal them.

Jesus, the sinless one, faces the same problem in His hometown, the village of Nazareth where He was raised. He has already worked incredible miracles, things that absolutely stagger the imagination. He has raised the dead, healed lepers and cured the paralyzed. He has walked in the light of God unlike anyone who preceded him.

And His teaching? Oh my, no one was ever listen to such marvelous words that describe the Father’s kingdom so well. His words do astonish, and bring absolute light into some pretty dark darkness. The things He says, are astonishing. There has never been anyone like Him.

When Jesus returns to His hometown He discovers an insidious resistance to His words and miracles. People think they ‘know’ Him. A few remember Him playing with their own children–kicking the can, or riding around on the neighbor’s donkey. They ‘think’ they know Him. They really do. But they’re very much mistaken.

But what about our own misconceptions?

There are lessons in this passage we need to learn. Does my idea of Jesus limit or restrict His work? Perhaps we should realize that His miracles often stop when our unbelief begins. Since we think we know Him so well, we think we determine what He can, and cannot do. But seriously, do we truly grasp who Jesus really is?

“Unbelief is not a misfortune to be pitied; it is a sin to be deplored. It’s sinfulness lies in the fact that it contradicts the word of the one true God and thus attributes falsehood to Him.”

-John Stott

Mark 6:4

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