July 19, 2020, Mark 6:1-6 – Post 3 – ISSL Reflections

Let’s take another look at how this scene in the synagogue unfolds.

Here’s a link to the passage in both the NRSV and in The Message –

Previous to his going to Nazareth Mark recounts Jesus healing a number of people and then Jesus and his disciples show up in his hometown.

There is no indication of how long he might have been there before he goes to the synagogue. Had he been there long enough for him or his disciples to talk about some of what had happened in other towns? Maybe the hometown folk were expecting big things from the local boy coming home.

When he went to the synagogue did he go to teach or did the synagogue official(s) ask him to teach?

I have the impression that as things begin to unfold in the synagogue some or maybe all of the people are impressed with him. Probably both his teaching and the healings they heard he had done elsewhere?

Then things change.

It seems some of the people (or maybe all, we can’t tell), begin talking about him in a way that disparages him and belittles him. The Message paints the picture as, “But in the next breath they were cutting him down…”

Can the tone in a room full of people change so quickly? Have you ever seen something like that happen?

And again from The Message,
“They tripped over what little they knew about him and fell, sprawling. And they never got any further…. He couldn’t get over their stubbornness. He left and made a circuit of the other villages, teaching.

Their being offended by Jesus, stumbling over what they knew about him and his background, and maybe his teaching that day, got in the way of what could happen for them. What they could experience of Jesus’ presence and healing touch was cut short. We are told some were healed but the tone suggests more could have happened except for their attitude, their lack of faith and trust, their stubbornness.

Before I too quickly criticize those folk in Nazareth, I need to examine my own attitude.

When have I jumped to a conclusion or formed an opinion on what to expect in a setting and by my own attitude stopped something good that could have happened for me or someone else in that place?

I may not have a lot of insight, but a number of times and places are coming to mind now.

I hope I can learn from my past …. I pray I can ….

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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