Mark 6:1-6 The Rejection of Jesus at Nazareth
He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 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! 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 offence at him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honor, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’ And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.
When I read the gospel message above, the following questions came to my mind. Do we doubt the genuineness of others? Are we critical of ourselves and those closest to us? How can we use are talents to lift up those around us instead of causing them frustration? At first when I was asked to give a reflection, I wondered who would listen to me and why should they? Then I read the message and felt God scolding me for thinking in such a way.
As to the message, I never really thought about how Jesus’ hometown would react to his teachings before. When I think of Nazareth, I think of it as a holy place and somewhere that most of us would like to take a pilgrimage to once in our lives. However, in Jesus’ time, they couldn’t accept Jesus for a teacher and couldn’t separate the teacher from his upbringing. I feel like I can relate to the people of Nazareth. When my brother declared his intentions to attend Cincinnati Bible College to become a Youth Minister while we were both in High School, I had a hard time believing it. My brother and I were always fighting and probably had the most contentious relationship of the five of us. We were only a few years apart and had similar interests. However, he always went about doing things the complete opposite of how I would do it. Plus, I couldn’t look past his speech impediment that made saying his “r’s” difficult. How could he be a Minister and who would listen to him were questions that keep going through my head?
It has taken me many years to look past my own doubts to realize that God can and does use anybody to spread his message. As I have studied the Bible with the Youth Group the last few years, this message has been thrown back in my face time and time again. My brother Tim has flourished as a Youth Minister and helped hundreds of young adults grow in their belief of Jesus. This leads me to question myself. Who else might I have prevented from using God’s gifts in their lives?
Questions for reflection:
• Throughout Lent this year as we learn about our personal strengths, how can we use what we find to help encourage our family both at church and at home?
• After taking into consideration our strengths, are we involved in the right church activities or should we be volunteering for something else?
• How can we prevent MOTA from being a place that doesn’t build up and encourage our own church family from preaching God’s message?