The Word This Week

Mark 6:1…

When Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth, He didn’t find a hero’s welcome as He had in other towns and villages of the region.

By this time in His ministry, Jesus had emerged from His year of obscurity and was full-on into His year of popularity. He was drawing immense crowds everywhere He went – among those who by word-of-mouth had heard of His amazing teaching and His obviously divine power to heal and to rule over the demonic realm.

The trouble is, in Nazareth they already knew who Jesus was. They had known Him all His life. Jesus was a carpenter – the son of a carpenter.  They had brought their tools and such in need of repair to Jesus’ carpentry shop, and He had made repairs. Jesus had come to their homes and their barns and added on rooms and made additions. Jesus had built some of their homes.

We know this man’s family and have known Him all our lives. Here are His brothers and sisters, and here is His mother. How could this man possibly be all they are saying He is now?

After all, He never did any of the things you are saying He has done while He was here growing up with us. How could it be that this man has any possibility of being the long-promised Messiah?

From Luke’s Gospel we know when Jesus came into their synagogue, He identified Himself straight up as Messiah – reading from Isaiah 61:1-2 – and then proclaiming to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your presence.“ This angered His hometown people so much they took Him out to the brow of a nearby cliff and wanted to kill Him by casting Him over the edge. We are told they were unsuccessful, as Jesus simply passed through their midst and continued on His way…very similarly to how He responded to the rejection He received in the Gadarenes following His cleansing of the man possessed by a legion of demons.

Jesus is very accommodating. If you don’t want Him in your presence, He will leave.

It is in this setting of His hometown Jesus informs us the reception many of us will receive upon being born again and then going home to share the glorious news. Among those who knew you best because they have known you all along, this news of your transformation by Christ may well be met by skepticism at best, and by derision by many. It may take years of faithfully walking with Christ to convince those who knew you then to accept you are a child of God now. And they may wish to have nothing to do with you in the meantime.

It is interesting because of their lack of faith Jesus did no great miracles there. He only healed a few sick people who were willing to place their faith in Him. Here we see there is a great relationship between faith and Jesus’ willingness to apply His divine power. He will not employ His power to prove Who He is, but only as a means of confirming Who He is to those who already trust He is Who He says He is.

Pastor Bill