Sunday 7 July 2024

“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?” (v. 3)

Mark 6:1-13 Sunday 7 July 2024

Psalm 123

Mark 6 picks up the story of Jesus. So far, he’s healed a paralysed man, he's been challenged about fasting and what’s allowed on the Sabbath, he has started to gather crowds and disciples, he has appointed 12 disciples, and he has started to teach using parables. In chapter five, Mark describes how Jesus healed a possessed man and a sick woman, and raised a child from the dead.

We pick up the story as Jesus returns to his home town. As he continues to teach, the people question him. What is this wisdom given to him, they ask. What are these remarkable miracles he's performing? They look at Jesus and see the boy they knew. Isn’t this the carpenter, they ask. Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Don't we have his sisters here with us? (v. 3) The person they saw was not the prophet. In Jesus, they saw someone familiar and they couldn't quite get past that.

Our God is a God who calls, who transforms, and who sends. But sometimes we are reminded of our own past and sometimes people can only see the person they knew; not the person God has transformed. Jesus said a prophet is not without honour except in his own town, among his own relatives and in his own home. Yet often these are the very people to whom we are called to bring the peace of God and the good news of his kingdom. It may not be an easy call, but we are asked to follow Jesus in all things and to know that we are his. We are not put into families or friendship circles by accident and, as hard as those conversations may be, we are called to witness in private with our family as well as publicly within our community.

To Ponder:

  • Why might it be so difficult to talk to our own family about our faith?
  • If you're asked to share something with a family member or friend who doesn't believe, how does that make you feel and what do you say?

Today we pray that we may be empowered and transformed to witness and serve our family as much as our neighbourhoods and to show the peace and love of God in those private moments. Amen.

Bible notes author: The Revd Mark Carrick
Mark is a presbyter in the Derbyshire North East Circuit, and is currently the minister of Central, Barlborough and Clowne churches. His passion is for ministry within the community and growing disciples within the Church. Mark has now served four years in the Methodist Church and is preparing to become Superintendent in 2025.

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