Here in Jesus’ Hometown

Mark 6:1-6

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? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? 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.

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Perspectives: Jesus’ identity and Jesus’ ministry were bigger than His hometown. Because of this, the people struggle with accepting Who He is and what He came to do. In the same way, if we don’t recognize Who Jesus is, we won’t receive what He wants to do in our lives.

Jesus has come to give us the truth that we need so that we might be connected to God. John 14:6 Way, truth and life. In our own lives, it is as we respond in obedience faith to Jesus teaching that we follow Him and have life! Let’s look at the responses to Jesus’ teaching in this passage:

  1. People’s Response to Jesus’ Teaching

 

  1. Amazed in a good way

        Words of grace concerning your sin

Words that reflect equality before the law

Words that emphasize God’s mercy and grace (This is not new. It         is clear in the law. But the emphasis is lost)

The Kingdom of God is not an earthly kingdom where the Jews     become the masters and the Romans are made the servants.

 

  1. Amazed in a bad way

Not willing to change their frame of reference, they can’t wrap     their heads around Jesus having these abilities.

They have to move their understanding about Who Jesus is. They         struggle.

The nature of the kingdom issue is huge.

The temple being destroyed issue is huge!

Sabbath regulations are a big issue.

 

  1. Everyone must accept Who Jesus is

His family has already been seen as working on this issue. And you can imagine folks in town saying: “What is going on with Jesus?” And the family not having a good answer. We don’t know! Perhaps he has had a psychotic break!

 

  1. Asking Questions About Jesus

We can often hide behind questions. We do not trust God     because of questions that we have. God does not promise to        answer all of our questions. Consider the Book of Job. We are        called to trust in Who Jesus is before we have all of our questions     answered.

Our passage has seven questions in rapid succession. If they       believed Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, those questions       fade.

The questions fall into three categories: His teaching, His miracles and His background. (His teaching: what He says.) His miracles: (What He does) And His background: (Who is He?)

 

  1. Questions about His teaching

Is what He says true?

Is what He says from God?

Does what He say agree with the Jewish leadership?

Am I obligated to follow what He says?

 

  1. Questions about His miracles

What is going on? What do the miracles say about Who He is?

Is He using the power of Satan to do miracles? Are His miracles   from God?

What is God doing? What should we expect from God?

 

  1. Questions about His background

        Is it really possible that a prophet has grown up among us and we did not know it? Is this how the whole prophet thing works? Shouldn’t Jesus have had some special kind of birth? Are they aware of His birth? Shouldn’t Jesus have been set apart from a youth for this task? It shouldn’t be a surprise change at age thirty should it? (This might explain the story when Jesus was twelve)

 

III. Unbelief Prohibits Connection to God

By unbelief, I mean to not accept and believe Who Jesus is and    What He has come to do.

  1. A prophet in his hometown

There are real and common issues

There is a need to change the identity of someone. I am the        youngest of five children, my parents moved when I was ten      years old and I haven’t lived with my three older siblings since       then. I am the “baby” in the family and that won’t change. That       is my identity. Not Mark the restaurant manager of a successful     restaurant. Not Mark the pastor for 23 years now here. I don’t      believe that will ever go away.

But with Jesus the issue is much more important!! Because of      Who He is. And for all of us, regardless of what we thought of Jesus at any point in time in our lives, we must recognize Him as        God’s Messiah, His chosen Savior, His only Son! And we must         listen to Him, love Him, serve Him, follow Him, obey Him. It’s all       the same thing!

 

  1. Jesus does not perform for them

        Jesus does the miracles that God wants Him to do.

John 5: 19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.

 

Jesus does not perform for people!

John 2: 23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.

John 6: 26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.

 

  1. Jesus is amazed at their unbelief

        This has been a common refrain in the book of Mark: People are amazed at what Jesus teaches, and at His miracles and deliverance ministry. Many miracles that Jesus does are signs. They are meant to provoke faith. If you don’t respond in faith to the things that God does to demonstrate His presence and power, then your heart gets hard. Jesus talked about the unforgivable sin, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. That is the issue here. Persisting in unbelief in the face of God’ gracious revelation of Himself.