Reading: Mark 6:1-13
Sorry for not keeping up with the writing. The daily lectionary I’ve been following on this site is reading through the Gospel according to Mark right now. Mark is also the primary Gospel for this year on Sunday. I have to admit that Matthew was extensively studied in Seminary. John was extensively studied just by growing up Lutheran and in Bible study. I’m sure there are people who would howl but Luke is just more modern, or at least he writes like a Greek Historian, so when you studied classics in school Luke becomes more immediately approachable. Mark is tougher. It takes me longer to wrestle with. So, sorry for the light posting if you have been following.
Jumping back into the story. Jesus has just raised a little girl from death, and then went back to his hometown. And his hometown is rough. “Isn’t this Mary’s son?” Not the son of Joseph, but that first odd one. He was in their synagog teaching. The grown up man who the Jerusalem scholars were amazed at when he was 12 is teaching, but this crowd takes offence. Who is this guy to teach us? And then we get one of the strangest statements in the gospels. “he could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.”
The why questions are tough. God does not answer too many why’s. Why could Jesus not do any miracles? But why would Mark immediately tell us of miracles that his did while there? And why does Jesus immediately send out the 12 after the rejection in his hometown and send them out with power?
The miracles, literally works of power, a called signs and wonders by John. The miracles point at the truth of Jesus. They alone are not sufficient – Satan, the ruler of this age has power. That is what the Pharisees say about Jesus, he does these miracles by beelzebub. I think the key is Matthew 11:23-24. It is not that Jesus couldn’t do miracles becuase of lack of power. He did heal some people. He did not do them becuase of his love. The miracles are signs. The more signs the more responsibilty for rejection. His hometown was rejecting him and his message. Miracles would not have changed that. They already believed that he did them – “he even does miracles!” More would just heap judgement on them.
There is something in there about discernment. When we share our faith with others, there are times and there are places and there are people who might be better. Jesus was not the right person for Nazareth. None of