While there are several items that I could write upon in this reading I want to share with you the text/story that my heart was most drawn to…
“‘Jesus went out from there and *came into His hometown; and His disciples *followed Him. 2 When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him. 4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his ownhousehold.” 5 And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He wondered at their unbelief.” -Mark 6:1-6a
The verse of this story that really struck me was verse 5 then explained in verse 6a.
“And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.” Mk. 6:5
Now I don’t know about you but those sound like miracles…and not to shabby ones at that. No miracle other than just a ‘bit of healing.
Why would Mark sound so nonchalant about this? It is because we see in verse 6a what Mark and I am sure what Jesus saw as the true miracles of great note…
“And He wondered at their unbelief.” -Mk 6:6a
What is unbelief or rather belief related to most directly in the scriptures?
“He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” -Mark 16:16
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,” -John 1:12
“so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.” -John 3:15
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” -John 3:16
“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” -John 3:36
“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believein your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;” -Romans 10:9
“In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,” -Ephesians 1:3
Belief in the examples above and many more in scripture directly tied to salvation.
So when I read in Mark 6 that “Jesus could do NO miracle there” but then I clearly read that Jesus did do some miracles there I have to ask myself then what is really the important miracles?
And the answer in verse 6a comes, “He wondered at their unbelief” and suddenly I realize the miracle that was lacking in this town which was the priority of Jesus and His disciples, was the miracle of true heart change. The miracle of salvation!
Now can I apply this at a level to us in our modern world. Jesus still served these people, He healed many after all. But He left disappointed and there is even a level of condemnation over this town for not having believed in Jesus.
We are still to serve the our communities no matter what their response is. We see that Jesus did that. But far too many churches celebrate doing good deeds of service like it was the pinnacle of our calling. The pinnacle of our calling is to bring salvation to our fellow man/woman. So we should serve, no matter what, but we should never celebrate or be satisfied, or pat ourselves on the back if it doesn’t help lead people to Jesus!
That is what the Holy Spirit has communicated to my heart in this story of Mark 6.
I pray you have a blessed week and let us all serve…but let us also work for the salvation…the true miracle…in others lives!
Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Corinthians 11 & 12