Not Many Miracles There

Not Many Miracles There

4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith. Mark 6:4-6

Prophets spoke the truth no matter the personal cost to them. They knew they could be imprisoned or worse for the words that came out of their mouths. Just think of the consequences if they spoke badly about the town they grew up in, thus the verse from the Old Testament.

When most read this passage, they are stunned by verse 5: “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.” It’s a funny commentary by Mark. They had faith but not a lot of it. A few people’s lives were dramatically changed, but it was just a few!

Verse six, though, is equally stunning. These people knew this man. They watched Him grow. They interacted with Him. They played with Him. These people should have known Jesus well. They didn’t find it unusual that He was a perfect little boy in the most literal sense?

Many people here in the West and a lot more around the world have had to suffer for their faith in their own home town because they have been publicly ostracized. Often, family members disown the new Believer and it goes downhill from there.

The Son of God suffered a similar fate in his home town.

Pray for those Brothers and Sisters in distant lands who experience this kind of persecution. Their entire identity is turned upside down when that happens. It’s a lonely feeling.

Continue ReadingNot Many Miracles There
Just That Powerful

Just That Powerful

Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.

“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Mark 6:1-3

Reading this passage one thing I’ve not considered before strikes me: Jesus had a huge earthly family. He had four brothers and at least 2 sisters (passage states plural sisters, so at least 2).

Bethlehem was a rural village. Presumably, everybody knew everybody else. People were in other people’s business. If kids got out of hand, every one knew it.

So, when this man comes through his home town, people noticed. They were unsure about his abilities because, after all, He was from Bethlehem, but He was one of theirs.

His family certainly knew Him and probably most of of the villagers as well, but they couldn’t believe what He said or how He said it.

But the Bible tells us He offended them. Jesus spoke truth no matter who was listening.

The Gospel is offensive to the unbelieving ear. It’s so offensive, in fact, that governments try to stop it and prevent it from spreading at all cost. Men and women are sent to prison because of it.

And let’s be real: Christ was crucified because of it.

If you are teaching and preaching the Gospel, you can expect opposition even from those who have known you since you were small.

The Gospel is just that powerful.

Continue ReadingJust That Powerful
It’s All There

It’s All There

After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat. Mark 5:40-43

Jesus only had a few people in with Him to heal the little girl. The others were a distraction. In the end, he told those in the room with Him not to let anyone know about what transpired in the room. Normally, he was telling that to those who were healed.

I suspect we only got a glimpse at what took place in that room. On the face of it, there was nothing remarkable about the process (other than a human being raised from the dead)!

Sometimes God will reveal something to you and to no one else on the planet, nor is it to be shared with anyone else because it’s for you and you alone. Even if you told people, they wouldn’t quite “get it” because it wasn’t for them. It could be something from Scripture, something you see in nature, or something someone says. Just as these select individuals saw firsthand Jesus raising the little girl to life – not to be shared outside the room – so He does with us. I’m not talking about extrabiblical revelations but those that illuminate what is already revealed. Only you would get it because it’s for you.

Fortunately, though, He’s revealed more than enough in Scripture without needing to resort to what others might call mystical revelations.

It’s all in Scripture. It’s all there. We just need to mine it each and every day.

Continue ReadingIt’s All There
A Punchline One Day

A Punchline One Day

37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him. Mark 5:37-40

Jesus took His Selected Three to see the inner workings of His miracles. Fortunately, they’ve recorded those inner workings for us.

As was customary, mourners hired professional wailers to cry and wail loudly at funerals. They were paid to do this. There were others in the room making arrangements for the daughter’s burial, and in walked Jesus.

When He told them the child was merely sleeping, they laughed. Did the people in the room know who He was or why Jairus brought Him? Probably not.

Certainly what Jesus said was a bold statement. It’s no wonder the people laughed. The punchline of the daughter rising, of course, would come minutes later.

Many people not familiar with Jesus laugh at him. They laugh at us and mock those who follow Him. You see it on TV and the movies all the time. The religious person is always naive, holier than thou, and condemning the actions of the progressive sinner. Or sometimes they’re overbearing and authoritarian towards women. Never are Christians painted as God-fearing and upright people.

In this they mock.

Just as Jesus gave those in Jairus’ household the punchline moments later, Jesus will once again reveal His punchline later.

And somehow I don’t think the mockers will be laughing.

Continue ReadingA Punchline One Day
Just Believe

Just Believe

35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Mark 5:35-36

There are quite a few dynamics at play here. Recall, Jesus was en route to help Jairus’ daughter when the lady with bleeding issues interrupted the flow and He had to deal with her. I suspect Jairu, while grateful for the help, was a little annoyed that Jesus would stop to help someone even though his precious daughter was on death’s door. He, of course didn’t say that but if it were me, I would be thinking that.

“Lord, um, can’t this wait even another hour? My daughter’s in a bad way over the hill there!”

Then Jesus was interrupted yet again by Jairus’ people kindly informing the Savior that there was no need to rush since the daughter had already died.

Jesus would not have undertaken this little journey if that were the case.

“Just believe.”

It’s such a simple phrase, isn’t it?

That’s what faith is. He was telling them to have faith in the Only One in the world who could change this rotten incident around.

He tells us that today as well, no matter the issue.

Your child has gone wayward – have faith.
You don’t have a job and the prospects aren’t good – have faith.
The political world has gone crazy – have faith.
It seems like Satan is winning more than he’s losing – have faith.

If we put our faith in systems, job security, or children for example, we’ll be disappointed most of the time. Jesus is the object of that faith. Only He can change situations around. Only He has power over life and death. Only He has power over sin.

Glory be to God!

Continue ReadingJust Believe