A prophet without honour

This is written by Tim Deverell. He is a long-term St Mary's member, mostly found strolling by the river.

Mark 6:1-13

A prophet without honour
6 Jesus left there and went to his home town, 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 offence at him.

4 Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is not without honour 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 people who were ill and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Jesus sends out the Twelve
Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.

8 These were his instructions: 'Take nothing for the journey except a staff - no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.'

12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed with oil many people who were ill and healed them.

Reflection

In this passage we find Jesus having a tough time in his home town. We see that the people who had known him since he was a child were not that impressed. The splendour and significance of the words Jesus brought didn't fit with their expectations of the man that stood before them - and they dismissed him.

It's natural to identify with Jesus in this verse - We think about how hard it would be to share the gospel with people that know our flaws, and take some comfort that even Jesus found it tough sometimes. But there's another side. What happens when we flip it around and step into the shoes of the faithless Nazarenes? How often are our expectations of people the deciding factor in whether we really listen to them? Do you ever find yourself disappointed that the church leader isn't the one praying for you or even switching off because the person preaching seems kind of young and unlikely to be able to speak into your life? We need to be open to what God is actually doing around us and not let our past experiences limit his work.

Are there particular people, perhaps even family members, that you subconsciously dismiss?
Do you ever put limits on what you think God could do through you because of something you have done?

Pray
Take a moment to admit to God that there are times when you put more trust in your own experience than in his presence. Welcome his presence into all your conversations today. Ask him to help you to see things as he does and highlight areas where you rely too heavily on your own experience.

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