Don’t forget to let us know how you found the notes this week – not only what you’ve learnt from/about God, but also how you found this format. If enough appreciate the two choices, we might do it again from time to time. Thanks!
When the Sabbath came, Jesus began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.‘Where did this man get these things?’ they asked… they took offence at him. (Mark 6:1-3)
The people of Nazareth were too stuck in their expectations of who God was and how he worked, they they failed to recognize him at work right in front of them! Lord, give me the faith to see you in all times and places.
Three Course Meal
Reading: Mark 6:1-6
1 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.
Thought: As we get older, the lenses in our eyes stiffen with age, they become less flexible, meaning that often we find it harder to see things that are close to us – hence many need reading glasses. Something similar can happen with our eyes of faith as well if we don’t take care as seen in today’s story.
Jesus comes home after some time away and surprises everyone with his teaching and miracles. I’ve often wondered at the word ‘amazed’ in the first verse of this story. It suggests that they were full of wonder, in awe that this man they’d known since boyhood could now do and say the things he was doing and saying. This is not the case, however, as the end of verse 3 makes clear where it says ‘they took offence at him’. Perhaps a better word would be ‘incredulous’. They clearly couldn’t cope with the idea that he could be anything other than the carpenter, Mary’s son, and so rejected all that he was doing and saying. Where did this man get these things they sneered, not able to accept the obvious answer. Their eyes of faith had stiffen to the point that they could no longer see things differently or see the new things that God was doing even if it was right in front of their eyes!
As we mature in faith, the danger is that we become closed to God doing things differently, blind to new experiences, set in seeing things as they have always been. This is why coming together to worship is so important, as is sharing our stories and discussing our beliefs and doubts. This helps us to continue to grow and keep the lenses of faith flexible rather than letting them stiffen, stopping us seeing what God might be doing right in front of us.
Prayer: Lord, give me a faith that sees across prejudices, expectations, traditions and barriers to see you and your work in all times and in all places.