Mark 6:1-6 - He (Jesus) went away from there and came to His hometown, and His disciples followed Him. 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? 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. And Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor, except in His hometown and among His relatives and in His own household." And He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. And He went about among the villages teaching.
What an embarrassing thing to have happen to Jesus! After being welcomed and honored everywhere else, He comes to His own hometown. But the local people won't receive Him! They know His family, you see. They remember Him growing up. And now that He's famous, they think He's gotten too big for His britches, and needs to be cut down to size. And so they miss out on the truth—that God Himself is standing among them, ready to meet their needs—if only they will let Him!
I'm not sure why people do this. Jealousy, maybe? Or maybe in their heart of hearts, they realize that they don't deserve anything as wonderful as what they are being offered—to receive the kindness of God Himself, and to be able to claim Him as one of their own. "It can't be," they think. "Nothing that wonderful could ever happen to us—not here, not in boring Nazareth. It has to be a con job."
Unfortunately, their disbelief had bad effects right away. Jesus could not do any great miracles there, like the ones He had done elsewhere. They had no faith. Only a couple of people were open enough to Him to let Him heal them. What a depressing visit home that was!
And that attitude is still with us today. You've probably heard people arguing against Christianity on the grounds that God couldn't possibly care about a tiny little world in an ordinary galaxy in a backwater of the universe. "We're not important enough," they say. "God has better things to do than to think about human beings."
In one sense, they are right. Nobody—not us, and not anybody else, either—is important enough to deserve God's attention. We are all creatures, from the greatest archangel all the way down to the lowliest dust mite.
What they are missing is God's love, mercy, and grace. God doesn't have to care about us—God chooses to care about us. Love doesn't follow the rules about who is worthy and who is not. If God wants to love us (and He does), then He will love us—even to the point of dying for us, even to the point of rising from the dead to save us. He does great miracles of salvation for us—not because we deserve it, but because that's the way He is. That's the kind of God He is. And He chooses to love the least.
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for making us Your own by Your own free choice. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Have you ever known people to devalue something good or wonderful, just because it was familiar? Tell the story.
2. Do you ever have trouble believing God could care about you, little as you are?
3. How does Jesus' cross put an end to that worry forever?
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