Bible Reference: Mark 6:2-6
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)
Bible Text: …the people were astonished at his wisdom and his miracles because he was just a local man like themselves. “He’s no better than we are,” they said. “He’s just a carpenter, Mary’s boy, and a brother of James and Joseph, Judas and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” And they were offended! 4 Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his hometown and among his relatives and by his own family.” 5 And because of their unbelief he couldn’t do any mighty miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 And he could hardly accept the fact that they wouldn’t believe in him. Then he went out among the villages, teaching.
OBSERVATION: You may have heard it before, where an old saint may say that he, or she, will not go out to hear that person preach, because he’s just one of the locals who grew up with them. So to read our focal verses today and see that Jesus faced this same dilemma, really opens our minds to ponder why do we humans choose to take this stand. Jesus said that these choices lead to unbelief in the power of God, and can really prevent His work in our midst. Let’s open our hearts to God’s Word as we meditate some more on this.
APPLICATION: From personal experience, I can tell you that it is very natural for us to look at the faults in others and judge them accordingly, while overlooking the plank in our own eye – the shortcomings of our own life. I recall a group meeting of church workers, and one gentleman suggested that a Brother was falling short of his responsibilities. However, the pastor commented that the complainant may be out of order, because there was lots of ministry being done by the person behind the scenes, and unannounced to the rest of the workers. Friends, it is times like that when we are made to understand that keeping ourselves straight, and in alignment with the commands of Jesus, is a fulltime job, that leaves no time for us to judge another! Similarly, when a teacher or preacher is presented to us, our responsibility is to pray that God would use them as His messenger to speak His words that we need in our lives. Friends, that’s a miraculous work of God, when you consider the many temptations, trials and challenges that each of us face daily here on this old sinful earth. It is so easy for us to be distracted by the known, or assumed sin/faults of the person standing before us, rather than the miraculous working God who is using that earthen vessel to deliver His message to us. But how does that affect, or impact us? Notice in verse 5 that the Word of God says that because of unbelief, God is unwilling to release His work, and work miracles in our midst. So when we sin by tearing down the messenger, what blessings do you assume that we are blocking? Is it not time for God’s children to act as His children and to seek His face while He may be found. Listen closely to the message that He has entrusted to His messenger to deliver to us, so that His blessings and miracles may flow freely, and uninterrupted by our selfishness and sinfulness? Friends, let us make every effort to enhance the work of the Lord in our own life, and that of our churches, instead of being a stumbling block. May God be glorified, even if we might be humbled in the effort.
PRAYER: Precious Lord Jesus, I don’t know that a whole lot has changed from the time that You were provoked to leave the people of Nazareth and move on to other towns that were ready to listen to Your word, and receive Your blessings. We desperately need You dear Lord, please humble us to set aside our personal preferences and our warped ideals, so that our ears may be primed to listen to Your Word. May our lives be opened and ready to obey Your teachings. We need You and we need to be open to Your Word. Please help us to do just that today and every day, so that You might be glorified in our lives. AMEN!