Hometown, offense, unbelief

Mark 6:1-6 He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching.

Imagine this setting: Jesus comes home after being away. He is God in the flesh walking among us. He has been teaching, speaking, healing, casting out demons, and raising the dead. It’s the Sabbath day and he is teaching now in his own hometown. Those who heard him were questioning his ability, his credentials, his power. They look on him and remember his past and where he comes from. Then Boom! They take offense at him. Is it jealousy? or just contempt? The thing I see as the most surprising take away from this passage is that offense and unbelief go hand in hand.

Offense: is to put a stumbling block or a snare at someones feet.

Unbelief: no faithfulness, betrayal of trust

These scriptures says that they put a stumbling block and snared their own feet because they refused to believe in him. The next part is what really got me today, verse 5, but he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them, verse 6 and he marveled because if their unbelief.

Imagine the great sin of these hometown people, that Jesus, God in the flesh, lived among them and they chose rather to be offended at him and be filled with unbelief. They could have become the greatest missionary sending city in the whole region. Who knows what they could have become and we will never know because of their unbelief.

Would Jesus marvel at your faith or your unbelief? “Unbelief must needs be a monstrous sin, that puts Christ to the marvel.” 

John Trapp

Do we discredit those around us, taking offense at them, because they seem to be doing something that we think they have no business doing? How can we partner with God and others as the body of Christ if we are busy taking offense, and by natural outcome of that, being also filled with unbelief? Jesus’s own family and neighbors, his own people, and those who thought they were the religious righteous all got it wrong. Offense leads to unbelief and that caused the partnership that they could have had with God, Himself, to break down, so that, He could do no mighty work there. Notice it said, he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. He did heal. He did move. He was still God. He did works within that stifling place. But he marveled at their unbelief. They were full of unbelief and they left God with his jaw hanging open at their unbelief. They had no faith in God. Where there is no faithfulness to God there is no great work of God.


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