The heart behind these posts is to explore the bible together, and to try and apply what it says to our lives, to genuinely let the Word of God affect us on a Monday as well as a Sunday.
For the next sixteen weeks we will be looking each week at a chapter of Mark. I would encourage you to read through the whole chapter at least once as well as the specific chunks we’ll be focusing on.
Mark is the shortest of the four gospels that show the life of Jesus. It is the action film, it is fast and punchy.
I am really struck by the story in Mark 6 where it talks about Jesus being rejected by people in his hometown of Nazareth.
Nazareth was a small place. I think it would have been the kind of place where everyone knows everyone. Nazareth was a village in the province of galilee. Galileans were easily recognised by their accent and Nazareth is referred to in a negative way by some of Jesus’ own disciples.
“Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathaniel. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46)
But this was Jesus’ home, he grew up there, his family lived there, I think Jesus would have had a fondness for Nazareth.
In Mark 6 Jesus is returning to Nazareth after he has called the 12 disciples and has begun to do some pretty amazing things. He had some reputation as we have seen in some of the previous stories because wherever he goes people flock to him.
I know that if I am going home I am happy about it. And if I am bringing friends with me then I am looking forward to them meeting my family and seeing where I have grown up.
So Jesus, gets back to Nazareth. I imagine he would have been happy about some of the things that had happened whilst he had been away and that it would have been nice for him to see his earthly family, even if they didn’t understand him very well.
Jesus goes to the synagogue and does what he always does which is to teach about the Kingdom of God. And to begin with things are going well.
… many who heard him were amazed. They asked, “Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?” (Mark 6:2)
It’s ‘just Jesus’
But then people remember that this is Jesus, Joseph’s boy. He is the son of a carpenter. The people of Nazareth can remember Jesus when he was just a little boy and they know his family well. They are sure that Jesus is nothing special at all and they are pretty angry that Jesus is making himself out to be the Messiah. In Luke’s gospel it says that the people were so angry they tried to kill Jesus.
You still see the same reaction to Jesus today. A lot of people are quite happy to say that Jesus was nice bloke, you know he said some wise things. Maybe they even think some of the things Jesus said are worth living by. But they would never go as far as saying Jesus is the son of God. It just sounds too far-fetched, a little bit crazy maybe. Some people even get quite angry that a man who lived 2000 years ago is trying to tell them how to live their life, try to tell them what to do. How dare he? And some people will try to kill the people that follow Jesus and eradicate his teaching from the earth.
I wouldn’t have been expecting the reaction Jesus got in Nazareth but Jesus was.
Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honoured everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” (Mark 6:4)
I find the next few verses of Mark 6 captivating.
And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. (Mark 6:5-6)
So because the people of Nazareth don’t believe Jesus is the Messiah he can’t do any miracles… except heal people!! Amazing, I love that in the writers opinion Jesus was unable to much but he was still healing the sick.
You see it doesn’t matter if you think Jesus is the son of God or not, he still is! And he still heals today. The exciting thing for us as people who understand the truth about Jesus is that healing was the very least of what Jesus could do, even when people showed so little faith. So what can we expect? Miracles and plenty of them.
So let us make Jesus welcome in our town, our house and our family because if we do we will see the Kingdom of God on earth.
Jesus was amazed that the people of Nazareth rejected him and I am to because they rejected their own saviour, they missed out on everything Jesus wanted to give them.
Let’s not make the same mistake.
This post was written by Sam Britten, an intern at Gold Hill and one of the leaders in our youth ministry. If you want to read more Deeper posts, they are all here.
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