Sunday July 4

Gospel of Mark 6:1–6

A prophet is not without honour except in his native place.

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offence at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honour except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

I am drawn to Jesus reaction here – ‘He was amazed at their lack of faith’.

 I try to imagine his face and discover his feelings. The Gospel doesn’t say he was saddened, disappointed, threatened or even frightened as perhaps I would expect a typical person to feel.

I then consider the contrary – what it might have been like for those in this Gospel scene if they had instead experienced deep faith in Jesus? The consequences would have no doubt been so joy filled. No doubt this is what Jesus wanted for them.

Jesus’ amazement at their lack of faith speaks volumes of his desire for them and abundant love of them. A key learning perhaps is that rejection shouldn’t hamper our mission of loving others. Jesus continues on mission (curing the sick) with his disciples, loving despite the personal cost.