Mark 6: 4-6 -Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his hometown and among his relatives and by his own family.” And because of their unbelief he couldn’t do any mighty miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he could hardly accept the fact that they wouldn’t believe in him. TLB
We’ve arrived to chapter 6 of the book of Mark. A lot has been happening with Jesus, through Jesus, and around Him. Mark still writes with a sense of urgency and portrays the ministry of Jesus as energized and busy with purpose. After all, He knew that His time on the earth was going to be short, and He had much to do!
It’s the Sabbath, and Jesus has returned to His hometown in Nazareth. He may have left alone, but He has returned with His disciples. As has become His custom, He went into the synagogue to teach.
Soon afterwards he left that section of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown. The next Sabbath he went to the synagogue to teach, and the people were astonished at his wisdom and his miracles because he was just a local man like themselves.Mark 6:1-3 TLB
At first, they are astonished and impressed with what Jesus is saying. They are also amazed that miracles are attributed to Him because they never saw that coming. Years ago, a movie came to the theaters about Jesus as a little boy, and the miracles that He could have performed. Not only is this a stretch of the imagination, but it is adding to the narrative in the word of God, which tells us that His first miracle was at Cana. Having said that, they had never seen anything from Him to prepare them for this side of Jesus.
“He’s no better than we are,” they said. “He’s just a carpenter, Mary’s boy, and a brother of James and Joseph, Judas and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” And they were offended!Mark 6:3 TLB
They had the nerve to think that Jesus was no better than they were! But He was! And He still is! And nothing in Mark’s narrative of the event gives us insight that says He was trying to say that He was better than them. Although, He truly was better than them!
Then they began to attack His character and identity. Underlying the words they said was a message heard loud and clear: He’s just a carpenter. (When did He become a rabbi)? He’s Mary’s boy! (The one she had under suspicious circumstances. The one they tried to claim as Joseph’s boy)! His family lives amongst us! (We aren’t anybody, and neither is He)! But they were so very wrong! He was so much more! And they missed it because they were too busy with jealousy and pettiness to see the Light!
Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his hometown and among his relatives and by his own family.”Mark 6:4 TLB
Can you relate to Jesus’ words? Do you feel respected and accepted everywhere except in your home, amongst your family? Do you feel like the people who are supposed to cheer you on are the ones putting you down? Do they try to make you feel like you think you are something, when they feel you are nothing? Jesus knows exactly what you are experiencing because He already walked in those shoes!
Rejection comes in many forms. When you apply for a job and receive a rejection letter, it makes you feel some kind of way. You’ve been rejected! When you are applying to a college, a program, for a scholarship, it makes you feel unworthy, not smart enough, not good enough. Rejection! When your spouse say means things, want a divorce, walk away, rejection is on the attack! When your parent abandons you, tell you they never wanted you, or send you to live with someone else, again, you feel rejected! Unfortunately, rejection can happen several times in a lifetime, to same individual, causing the pain to run deep! Don’t allow it, it’s time to reject rejection!
Jesus didn’t allow this rejection to stop Him! To Him, what was worst than their rejection was their unbelief.
And because of their unbelief he couldn’t do any mighty miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he could hardly accept the fact that they wouldn’t believe in him. Then he went out among the villages, teaching.Mark 6:5-6 TLB
Jesus, the Son of God, could not do any mighty miracles in Nazareth because of their unbelief! That’s interesting to me. Some will say that they didn’t receive a miracle from God because of this or that, but Jesus could not, Mark wrote, not would not do mighty miracles in Nazareth. Why? Unbelief hindered Him from performing miracles, then, and it will hinder Him from performing miracles today!
There were a few folks who benefitted from Jesus laying hands on them. They were sick and He healed them; but the vast majority of them demonstrated their unbelief in Him with their rejection of Him!
Jesus did not allow that to define Him, and neither should we. All of us have, and will experience rejection. All of us have to choose to succumb to it, or to make it bow to us! It’s our choice! With His help, we can overcome rejection every single time.
I thought I was in position for a promotion. I was really excited about this opportunity. But in the end, it was given to someone else. Before rejection could make its way into my spirit, I had a Jairus moment! Jesus said, “promotion comes from the Lord”! That settled it for me and I was able to go on and work with the individual and do my job! I’d like to tell you that I got a better promotion. As of today, it has not manifested in my life! But I choose to trust God with my promotion. Every time I submit an application for a position and it is rejected, I just remind myself, promotion comes from the Lord! I rejected rejection!
Isaiah wrote one of my favorite scriptures:
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’Isaiah 41:10 NKJV
Jesus knew who He was. He knew the mission on His life, His purpose. Even though they rejected Him, He continued with the plan of teaching and preaching the gospel. He loved the unlovely, and forgave what seemed to be unforgivable. He allowed nothing and no one to hinder or stop Him. That needs to be our attitude!
He marveled at what they said and did. He commented that He hadn’t expected to receive any honor from them. But He still was disappointed by it. Go ahead! Be disappointed in the moment! Then realize that what God is doing in your life, and what He has planned for you is far greater than the rejection that wants to grip your soul.
Decide today to reject rejection, and trust God with those things you have no control over! One day you will look back over your life and thank Him for those rejections! Wonderful Jesus!