1 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, 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. Mark 6:1-6

Once again, in their foolishness and ignorance, people thought they knew better than Jesus. “He’s just a carpenter – Mary’s boy.”  They thought they knew Him: they thought they had His origin and His family line all buttoned up. They weighed His wisdom and His works against their human experience of Him, and they failed to make any connection with the truth. They looked at His siblings and they thought they knew Him.

Jesus lamented their ignorance. Their false conclusion had forfeited an opportunity to believe in and to receive their Messiah and to participate in all the benefits of His presence among them. A few minor miracles were all He could do there, and then He left. There was no point in wasting time with stubborn, unbelieving people when there were many more in the surrounding towns and villages who would listen, believe, receive and experience the first fruits of God’s kingdom in their lives.

There were some things that amazed Jesus – at opposite ends of the scale: the great faith of a Gentile centurion who understood authority and recognised His authority over disease, and the unbelief of His own home town, people who refused to acknowledge His authority and experience the deliverance and healing He was able to give them.

Jesus must have walked away from Nazareth saddened by the lost potential because they had shut Him out and closed their hearts to the new wine of the kingdom of God. The very same people who had loved Him as a boy and admired such an unusual child, good, kind, wise, gentle, caring and obedient, now tried to kill Him (Luke 4) for the very same qualities that revealed to them who He was.

This points us to the lesson that we must be careful never to dismiss someone because his background or environment is ordinary. Lilies grow out of the swamp. Every individual has the right to be assessed by his fruit and not by his family or friends.

Luella Campbell

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