Getting Close to Jesus

Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. (Mark 6:4-5)

Today’s scripture is hard to interpret. Look at it again: Jesus could do “no deed of power” in His hometown because of “their unbelief.”

The implications of this message are chilling to contemplate. If the hometown folks could undermine Jesus’ ability to heal and save, does that suggest that we could do the same?

Perhaps the folks in Jesus’ hometown didn’t believe in Him because they felt like they knew Him. It may have been a case of “Familiarity breeds contempt.” Jesus being something special, even the Messiah, made no sense. They had seen Him learn how to walk, grow up, play with their kids, and they may not have seen anything extraordinary about Him.

Some of us have known Jesus for a long time. Some may not remember a time when Jesus hasn’t been in their lives. Although I’d never suggest that we could limit what Jesus can do, I wonder if we can limit what we can see Him do and limit what we can receive from Him.

Today I encourage us to consider what the response Jesus received from His hometown could be saying to us. Jesus wants us to have great comfort with Him without getting too comfortable; great intimacy, but never familiarity; deep trust while never taking Him for granted. Here’s our challenge: How can we maintain our faith in Jesus with both great closeness and tremendous awe?

Unlike the people of Jesus’ hometown, let’s pray for Jesus to be “amazed” at our belief, not our unbelief. And unlike that day when the hometown folks may have impeded His power to heal and save, may we be the perfect conduits of His ability to heal and save.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Why do you think Jesus had a hard time doing deeds of power in His hometown?
  1. Do you believe that you have ever limited yourself from what Jesus can do in your life or limit what you can receive from Him?
  1. How do you maintain your faith in Jesus with both great closeness and tremendous awe? How do you get close to Jesus without becoming too familiar?

One thought on “Getting Close to Jesus

  1. John Madison

    Thank you for this post, Jim. I love the word, “Amazed”. It’s one of my favorites. Abraham J. Heschel used it numerous times in his writings in how we should be toward God’s creation. I appreciate your post because it calls us to be amazing to Christ, which in turn will keep us amazed in the presence of Christ.

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