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Mark 6 v 1 - 6

What an interesting little snippet this is! It is easily bypassed as we rush on to the next big event in the ministry of Jesus, but let's pause and ask some questions.. Jesus had chosen to come to Nazareth, His home town, so what was the problem? He was not visiting His mother, but He had come as a Rabbi and this confused those who had known Him all His life. He went into the synagogue and taught and was received almost with contempt. Some people can't cope with the fact that those who follow God may be called to make huge changes in their lives. Many people appear to be satisfied with having one job for life and living in the same town all their days and it is not to say that it is wrong for Christians to do this, but it is common for believers to be called away from their comfort zone in order that we can grow and be stretched and be reminded that we are dependent on God's grace rather than our own strength. These people despised Jesus because they knew what job of work He had done. The word they used to describe His job reveals that Jesus was no jobbing joiner, but a skilful user of wood to build houses and such like with the very few tools which were available then. However, they expected their Rabbis to be only good for interpreting scripture! Interestingly, the two greatest men of the New Testament- Jesus and Paul (as a tentmaker)- both knew what it was to work skilfully with their hands and to earn a living from it. These also chose not to listen to Him because they knew His family. We can understand from the fact that they call Jesus 'Mary's son' that Joseph had already died. It is likely that Jesus began His ministry at, what was for then, the ripe old age of thirty, because as the oldest son, He had to work to provide for His mother and brothers and sisters until they were of an age when they could provide for themselves. Jesus was faithful in what some may see as 'small matters' in preparation for the great matters He was to be given in His ministry. It was a large family He left behind! Jesus had at least six siblings! The second question is ''Why couldn't Jesus do miracles in this place?'' Even for Jesus, He was dependent, it seems, upon there being a positive and receptive atmosphere and where the people behaved negatively towards Him they lost out on witnessing healing. What a shame for those there in desperate need of being made well! It is true of church life too, that of a necessity there must be peace, acceptance and receptivity.

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