Text: Mark 6:4-6
Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honor, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’ And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.
I, like many others, have probably read this text with the mindset that this is a story to show how miracles can only be displayed to those who believe, and this story certainly delivers that message candidly. Earlier in the chapter it even states that the people of the town were “offended” by Jesus’s actions. What would cause people to be offended by the miracles of Jesus? Don’t miracles help other people?
I think it is very similar to the observance of the Lenten season. I remember when I was a very young child, and I first heard about Lent. I thought it was weird, and in fact, I was upset when my mother told little old me to give up something for 40 days. I mean, when you are a young boy, 40 days might as well be 40 years. At first I didn’t see any point, and I must admit, that I even cheated a little when I would sneak a cookie I knew I shouldn’t eat (Since I had given up desserts for Lent). But as I got older, I learned more about the purpose of Lent, and it began to hold a special meaning, and now I look forward to Lent.
But to hearken back to my earlier days, the whole idea of Lent was silly and annoying; much in the same way Jesus probably was received for his miracles in his hometown. I mean, I was a good little Christian boy, and why would Lent be something I should do when I already knew all about this “Jesus stuff”. So I didn’t understand why it was important. I feel like one of the problems the people of the city had, was not that they didn’t believe in God, but that they thought they already knew Jesus, and so they couldn’t, in their minds, understand his miracles. In the same way, I felt like I knew Jesus enough, so there was no need to understand him more by giving up stuff I enjoyed. So I hope over this Lent season that I don’t allow what “I think I know” about Jesus, get in the way of really believing in him. Because as soon I as I think I know the answer to the question, I have already missed the point.
God, I pray that you grant us the insight to put away what we think we know, and to focus what you wish for us to understand.