Sometimes we just want to go to a place where everybody knows our name and the piano man will sing us a song so that we feel alright. The familiarity of the crowd can be a hard sell though. In his hometown today, Jesus meets with opposition from those who think they know who he is. Mark’s Gospel has the crowd who may have gone to the synagogue with him, shared a meal, and maybe even attended his bar mitvah throwing slings and arrows. They take offence that deeds of power are being done by the hands of this carpenter. He did no deeds of power, Mark writes, except to lay his hands on a few sick people and cure them. No deeds of power? Gosh! That seems pretty miraculous to me.
Jesus was amazed at their unbelief. I wonder if the human part of him experienced some desolation when he could not perform any miracles that would have shown these people who he truly was. To me the consolation in this story is that he did not feel the need to prove these folks wrong. He knew that he was the Son of God but he did not force the comprehension of that fact on anyone gathered there. He let those people remain stuck in their own prisons while continuing to teach, hoping that the message might be heard with new ears and an open heart.
In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul is told that God’s grace is sufficient –that power is made perfect in weakness. Jesus did not rain down fire on the cynics. He simply went about his mission, healing people on all kinds of levels. Unlike some of the powers of that era, gentle Jesus extends his love and mercy. A great Prophet stood among them but his ego did not cry out for recognition. Might we all be so humble among our townspeople?
Who in your inner circle does not affirm you about your gifts and ministry? How do you respond to these people?