S (Scripture): Mark 6:1 Jesus left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 On 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! 3 Is 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. 4 Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” 5 And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.
O (Observation): Jesus has gained some good press up to this point. He has traveled a bit and performed exorcisms and healings and has shown some wisdom in his teachings.
But now…in his hometown…he is being rejected…?
But haven’t they heard what he has done? Doesn’t matter, apparently.
They knew the sweet, 8lb. 12oz., baby Jesus, and there is no way he is the Son of God…right?
A (Application): A member of the church I serve quoted her late husband as saying: “You’re not an expert until you’re 50 miles from home and carry a suitcase!” No mention of actual expertise…just that you carry a brief case and that “you’re from somewhere else.”
Kind of odd. We have a hard time assimilating the way people can change. We have them in a category, and we don’t have to think about them again. They will always and forever be in that category.
That seems to be what folks do with Jesus. He is that boy who had brothers and sisters and grew up to be a carpenter. Now he’s claiming to be the Son of God? Yeah, right?!?!
I think of how the gift of the Holy Spirit changes us. How the Spirit knows no bounds. How the Spirit can take someone like Saul, and make him Paul. How the Spirit can take someone like Martin Luther, studying to be a lawyer, and direct him to be one of the most influential voices in history. How God can take little ole you and little ole me…and make a disciple out of us.
Becoming a disciple will challenge us and change us. People around us will mock us and question us. That is fine. That comes with the territory.
What I have found useful, is to march forward anyway, looking for those who accept the gift that God has given you/me – I call them Persons of Peace. Those are the people I want to do ministry with and teach and do life with in general.
So how about with you? Are you feeling rejected? Accepted? What about in those places where people really know you? Can you sense the Spirit working in you and through you? I hope so! For that will bring a bit of peace in the midst of the storm.
P (Prayer): Lord, your Spirit invites us into the dance of the Holy Trinity, moving us and shaping us right where we are, to be witnesses to your divine grace and mercy. Help us to share this with those whose hearts have been prepared by you to receive your message of grace. Amen.