Sunday, May 08, 2011

Familiarity breeds contempt - a saying from Aesop's fables that comes from a Mark 6 (OK, so that last part is something that I made up; there is no historical evidence that this is the case).

Mark records a snapshot of Jesus returning home to the Nazareth area (Mark 6). This is the second (see Luke 4 for the first one) recorded time that he went back to the town where He grew up. Kind of a family reunion of sorts, except his dad has passed away.

On Saturday, He goes to the local synagogue and teaches. The local religious establishment viewed Him as a teacher, a Rabbi and he was allowed to take the platform and speak. Mark records that the people were "amazed" at his teaching and the fact that he was performing miracles.

As they begin to critically look at the situation, more factors enter their thought process. Isn't this the same dude that we used to play ball with? Isn't this the guy who added that room on to my parents house? Isn't this the construction worker that was a laborer on his dad's crew? How can he be teaching this stuff to us? Isn't he an ordinary guy just like us? Their amazement quickly turns to something else - offense.

The amazement then shifts to Jesus - amazed at their lack of faith. Mark records that he COULD not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. They stopped him from working in their lives. Their offense at who Jesus was and what he claimed to be prevented him from doing a work of God in their midst.

OK - the big question. Do I stop the Holy Spirit from doing a work in me because of my lack of faith? Is God prevented from changing me because I will not trust Him? When I face the tough times in life, do I walk through them with faith in what God is trying to do in me or do I gripe and complain?

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