Lord, truly, familiarity breeds contempt.
Read Mark 6:1–6a
A Prophet Without Honor
6 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.
“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph,[a] Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village.
a Mark 6:3 Greek Joses, a variant of Joseph
New International Version (NIV)
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“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” (Ps 119:18).
Mark’s narrative up to this point has been dramatic. The raging sea calmed, the demon-possessed Gentile freed, the diseased woman healed, and the synagogue leader’s daughter raised from the dead. All these events demonstrate the Master’s authority and power over nature, evil spirits, disease, and death. One would expect that upon His return to His home town the people would enthusiastically welcome Him, but such is not the case. Rather than listening to the depth of His teaching, the town folk belittle Him by making off-color references to His trade and naming His family members. They wonder how such a familiar person can say and do such things. Mark typically mentions the amazement of the people at Jesus upon listening to Him (eg. Mark 1:22,27; 5:20; 6:51; 11:18; 12:17), but in this instance Jesus is the one who is amazed – at their lack of faith. This must have been a very painful visit for Jesus: back to the old neighborhood only to be rejected by the home crowd.
The religious leaders and the kinfolk in Nazareth predictably judge Jesus according to their history, tradition, experience, and expectations. They want new patches on old garments and new wine in old wineskins (Mark 2:21, 22), but this cannot accommodate the new things that Jesus is doing. Is this also a danger facing some of our churches today? If Jesus were to visit us today, would He be unable to do any miracles among us because of our lack of faith?
Think of all the times that you experienced true rejection. How did you cope with it?
O Lord, sustain us when we wander far from Your truth; draw us back to Your steadfast love, that we may be restored with our eyes firmly fixed on You.