Mark Has Some Good News, Part 21, Dissociation
Jesus Rejected at Nazareth
1 He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. 4 And Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household." 5 And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them.
6 And he marveled because of their unbelief.
And he went about among the villages teaching.
Some of the toughest times I've had in ministry is when the work I was doing for God noticeably change who I was. This dissociation of my former life and my new work took a lot of my friends and even family by surprise. I remember almost punching my brother at my mother’s wedding because he thought the change he saw was bad and I disagreed. Not my best moment but I wasn't ready for that response.
And it just happens, you never see it coming. For you your life flows as one narrative, all the scenes line up, you think you’re normal. Your friends and family on the other hand will see you change. They will have a picture of you in their head highlighted by the sin you showed them or the stuff you did before. So when you change they might and will knock on wood and make a fuss.
So what we see Jesus do here is not so much teach us a lesson as he does give us a warning. Jesus grew up with these people. James and Joses would have known if he truly was sin less. Mary would have known their neighbors would have known. All these people were giving firsthand experience with Jesus. Yet they questioned and doubted what Jesus was doing.
Again he did what he could and left, and gives us this passage as a warning.
Follow me, and people notice. And the unnatural doubt that sin imposes on everyone will show up and cause trouble. People who have shared your life for months, years even decades will change their mind about you. It happened to Jesus it will happen to you. Be ready for it.