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.
Observation: There is an interesting contrast between peoples’ response to Jesus away from home and in his hometown of Nazareth. Those who knew him best in Nazareth just couldn’t grasp what he had become. The fact they didn’t view Jesus as anything special tells me he was not necessarily an outwardly incredible person his entire life – or else they would have more readily accepted his exceptional ministry.
Application: Unfortunately the bible tells us very little about Jesus’ youth. There is a great deal about his birth and then about his last few years, but time in between? Not so much. Yet this story implies some things that are a comfort to me. First, it implies Jesus was mostly normal growing up (not sinning, but making mistakes and experiencing setbacks nonetheless) – or his people would not have responded the way they did to his ministry toward the end of his life. Gives me hope that God the Father is not done with me yet. There could still be better stuff ahead.
Secondly, as a pastor, it’s a relief to know I don’t have to be pastor/spiritual leader to my extended family. As those of you who are pastors know well, being a pastor isn’t just a job but an identity. It permeates everything. I enjoy having a relational space (with family) where I don’t have to be a pastor, but can just be Ernie the son/brother/cousin/ whatever.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, you obviously did a great work in your Son Jesus. Do a work like that in us as well. Amen.