Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Stubbornness Limits

Mark 6

006 [6.1-2] He left there and returned to his hometown. His disciples came along. On the Sabbath, he gave a lecture in the meeting place. He made a real hit, impressing everyone. “We had no idea he was this good!” they said. “How did he get so wise all of a sudden, get such ability?” [6.3] But in the next breath they were cutting him down: “He’s just a carpenter—Mary’s boy. We’ve known him since he was a kid. We know his brothers, James, Justus, Jude, and Simon, and his sisters. Who does he think he is?”

Lord Jesus--The old saying..."Familiarity breeds contempt" comes to mind. These people knew you well, they thought. They were people that grew up with you and who may have attended synagogue with you for years. They could recognize you walking down a busy street in Jerusalem. They knew the contours of your face and how you kept your hair. They knew the way that you walked and held yourself in the middle of the masses. Yes, they knew you too well. They could pick out your voice as you spoke of the Kingdom, freedom from oppression and sight to the blind. Yet they could not hear the message. They knew you, and I wonder if there wasn't some counting to nine months going on in the background of this small town. In their minds, You were the last person that they would have ever thought would make it big and be someone out on the national stage.

They tripped over what little they knew about him and fell, sprawling. And they never got any further. [6.4-6] Jesus told them, “A prophet has little honor in his hometown, among his relatives, on the streets he played in as a child.” Jesus wasn't able to do much of anything there—he laid hands on a few sick people and healed them, that’s all. He couldn’t get over their stubbornness. He left and made a circuit of the other villages, teaching.

Lord Jesus--The missed opportunity is what hits me about this passage. History, salvation and wholeness was at the fingertips of these people and yet they let you leave with them unchanged. Awesome power was just waiting to be released among them yet they choose the safety of their preconceived notions of you limiting what they could receive. Stubbornness was what held these people back.

Where are the places where I am limited your power to act by my preconceived notions of how you work and what you want to see happen? Who am I writing off as no one special that you want to be able to use in ways that I could not imagine?  Where are the places where my stubbornness gets in the way of your power to act, change and transform?  Where are the places where I am staying put in safe Nazareth when I should be chasing after you to Jerusalem?
Peterson, Eugene H. (2006-06-15). The Message Remix 2.0: The Bible In contemporary Language (p. 1800). NavPress. Kindle Edition.

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