Do not Miss Out

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him – Mark 6:3

I once read of a person who dreamt that he/she was receiving a tour of heaven. Behind one door was a room full to the ceiling with gifts.  When asked, Jesus explained that these were gifts promised by the Father that men had failed to collect.

 In Mark 6:1 Jesus returned to his hometown Nazareth, accompanied by His disciples.  His last visit there had not turned out the way one would have expected. Using the scriptures, He had tried to show His relatives and neighbors, that He was the Messiah. This had angered the people and they attempted to push Him off a building. Jesus however was able to walk away, as it was not yet His time to die. (Luke 4:16-30).

So, here He was, back again for another visit. This time His disciples were with Him.

Mark did not say why Jesus chose to return to a people who tired to kill Him, however, as 2 Peter 3:9 tells us, it is not God’s will for any to perish.  Jesus said it is the Father’s good pleasure to give to men the kingdom Luke 12:32. I believe Jesus returned out of love for the lost sheep. 

As Jesus spoke in the synagogue that Sabbath, the people were amazed at His teachings.  They asked, “Where did this man get these things?….” Mark 6:2. They knew that Jesus had received no formal training to be a Rabbi- John 7:15, NASB: “The Jews then were astonished, saying, ‘How has this man become learned, not having been educated?’

Yet here He was speaking with such wisdom, and clear understanding of the scriptures. He even performed miracles in their sight.  

The people however were quiet offended, not by what Jesus said or did, but because of who He was.  In their eyes, He was one of them, a local “man”, nothing but a carpenter, Mary’s son.  (It was an insult for a man to be regarded as his mother’s son. NET Bible study note). Besides, as Nathanael said, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” John 1:46.  

Jesus returned to Nazareth, offering  the kingdom and the good gifts of the Father, but, once again, His own people rejected Him. As a result Jesus could not perform any miracles amongst them because of their unbelief.

They missed the opportunity to receive from the hand of God because their prejudices blinded them to the fact that Jesus was the Messiah, the Holy One of God.  “…their disapproval blinded them to the fact that He was anointed by God as the Messiah” (Mark 6:3b AMP).

The bible tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from above- James 1:17.  The problem however is that often we do not see the gifts because the packaging is not what we are expecting.  Some of our biggest blessings come out of our darkest moments. We  need to look pass the obvious and see God’s gift inside. 

Other times we run the risk of missing out because God uses familiar things or people to bless us.  Familiarity, the say goes, breeds contempt. Jesus’ relatives and neighbors could not see Jesus as their Savior, because He was one of them. They were used to Him, therefore they could not see Him as being anyone special.

 Finally, let us be careful not to be stuck in yesterday, and fail to see the new things God is doing for us, and desires to do through us today. Let us open our hearts and minds for change, God’s change.

The people of Nazareth, like every Jew, would have been waiting for the coming Messiah. When He arrived, however, they could not receive Him, because He was not packaged the way they expected. Let us learn from their mistakes.

Prayer – Father thank You for Your many gifts, but in particular for the gift of salvation.  We pray today God, that You give us the wisdom, and understanding to see the things you have for us, especially when it does not look like what we are expecting

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