Thoughts on Mark 6:1-6
You go home, your disciples accompany you, you teach at the synagogue and some people were astounded. Their wonder turned to distrust. “Isn’t he the local boy we all know? He’s the carpenter’s son, what credibility does he have? etc.” That often happens: your spirit stirs the hearts of listeners, they are soft and receptive. Then the head, the suspicious mind gets involved and the window of receptivity slams shut.
You grant me a vision of a life that is useful for your kingdom; a vocation that offers people the chance to know and be known by you. My heart gets stirred. I make a list of possible things to write, retreats to offer, groups to gather…and then my suspicious head gets involved. “Turning that retreat talk you gave into an article or a book will take a long time, it’s hard work. Who’d want to read it anyway? Inviting people to join a small prayer group might offend them. No one would come. Your time will not be your own, it will be committed to the regular time and place. What if you don’t want to meet that day? etc.”
I close my laptop and pick up my knitting.
You weren’t offended by their being offended. You were limited in what you could accomplish and you marveled at their unbelief. The greek word for marvel means to “admire, to pay regard to one’s external appearance.” You looked at their resistance, without surprise, and saw how their ‘protective, suspicious’ mind kept them safe, maintained the status quo, no disruption to their schedule, their known way of living. The few you did heal were changed, they now had to adjust to a new lifestyle.
Their unbelief was respected and you went on to other villages to teach and heal.
Gosh Lord, I don’t want my unbelief to cause you to pass me by. I don’t want my investment in my current lifestyle to be the reason I am not ‘taught and healed.’ How do I keep my heart and gifts sensitive to your stirring?
Debby, my child. Just trust me, trust what I see in you. Believe in yourself as much as I do. Just do it. I’m asking you to remain faithful, I’m not asking you to be successful. Let your guard down and follow me. Be among the few I heal…
From Thayers Greek Lexicon: Offended: To see in another what I disappove of and what hinders me from acknowledging his authority. Marveled: to admire, to pay regard to ones external appearance.