As we continue to look at the life of Christ in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus now arrives back at His hometown of Nazareth.
Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 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, that he even does miracles! 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 offense at him.
Here Jesus is preaching in the synagogue He grew up in. They were friends and family who probably knew Him His whole life. They asked Him to preach on the Sabbath, so the Lord agreed.
Just like in other places, when He spoke, the power and authority of the Spirit were evident. There was a life-changing quality in what He was speaking.
Unfortunately, people don’t want to change. Even more so, they don’t want to admit that they need to change. The result was that their emotional walls started to come up.
They were truly amazed at what Jesus was teaching. But they had to justify why they didn’t receive it.
Notice what they do. They focus on the man, not the Word.
“Where did this man get these things?”
After all, He’s one of us, and we don’t know these things. They had to explain away the Lord’s teaching.
“I know His family.”
“I hired Him and His father to build my house.”
“Why does He think He’s so special all of a sudden?”
As they started thinking along this path, they were offended. That’s an interesting word. In the Greek, it’s a word picture of a trap-stick to catch small animals like birds.
This kind of thinking; looking at the person and not the message, is a trap that many fall into. Many times we write preachers off because we don’t like their style of preaching or ministry. But there’s a consequence to doing this.
Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith.
In my last post, I talked about the importance of hearing the Word in divine healing. Because of their familiarity with Jesus, they rejected His Word. As a result, not many people were miraculously touched by the power of God.
It’s all about the Word. That’s the difference between the people of Nazareth and Capernaum.
They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.
It’s the Word itself that should amaze us. Let’s learn this lesson. Don’t look at the style of the preacher, but at the power and authority of the Holy Spirit using him.
Question: When have you had to overlook a person in order to receive a message God had for you?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi