Lesson 26


The Gospel According to Mark

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

6:1 He went out from there. He came into his own country, and his disciples followed him. 6:2 When the Sabbath had come, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many hearing him were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things?" and, "What is the wisdom that is given to this man, that such mighty works come about by his hands? 6:3 Isn't this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" They were offended by him.

6:4 Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own relatives, and in his own house." 6:5 He could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick folk, and healed them. 6:6 He marveled because of their unbelief.  


Today's Lesson 

Jesus taught and lived in the northern part of Palestine in a region called Galilee. The first part of His ministry is centered on the Jewish areas, particularly the city of Capernaum. While Jesus has been teaching and healing around Capernaum, huge crowds had been gathering. They had come to see the Rabbi who was performing miracles and teaching something new. In Today's Scripture, we are told that Jesus returned to His own country. Though Mark does not specifically tell us, He no doubt means the town of Nazareth. There Jesus gets another kind of reception altogether.

 

When Jesus goes to Nazareth He brings His disciples and on the Sabbath He begins to teach in the synagogue. Mark tells us that the people were "astonished" to hear Him speak. They had known Jesus all of His life. He had been a carpenter and worked in their midst. His mother, brothers and sisters lived there as well. We are not told anything about Joseph, the man who married Mary. It is presumed that Joseph is deceased at this point. The passage describing the reaction of the people of Nazareth to the teaching of Jesus says that, "They were offended by Him."

 

This did not shock or upset Jesus though. He told His disciples, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own relatives, and in his own house." Nevertheless, Mark tells us that Jesus marveled at the unbelief of the people in His hometown. Because of their unbelief, Jesus does not do any "mighty work" or miracles.

 

This is the way of our natural world. We work or go to school, we speak with our friends and go to church. All the while we are oblivious to the work of God around us. The more mundane the situation, the less likely we are to see the miraculous around us. We become fixed on our own routine and our own orderly existence. Every now and then God shakes us up by allowing tribulation into our lives and suddenly we "get religion." Then we become concerned about spiritual matters and pray for deliverance from God. We should really be praying for God to spare us from our day-to-day existence.

 

It is in the day-to-day world that God is seeking to intrude. Jesus returns to Nazareth and the people will not listen because they only saw Him as a carpenter and a hometown boy. No one that they knew had ever become a prophet. Surely the carpenter would not be the first. They wanted God to send a Messiah from out of town. They certainly didnít want it to be someone they had grown up with.

 

God is working all around us. We have only to allow Him to open our spiritual eyes and we will begin to see it. The person who works next to you can share great spiritual insight with you if you allow God to work through them. If we begin to look for God, there is evidence of His hand all around. He is at our work and in our homes. These people had lived many years with the Son of God in their own city and none of them even knew it.

 

How close is God to you right now? Are you willing to allow Him to open up your eyes to show you all that He is doing in your world? Are you willing to allow the safe, mundane world to come alive with spiritual reality?

 

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