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Summary: He was despised and rejected of men. Even so, we should accept Him, even if this means that we are rejected by our own.


Mark 6:1-7

The prophet Isaiah in the 53rd chapter talks about Jesus hundreds of years before He came. He says that the Messiah would be despised and rejected of men and familiar with sorrow and grief. John records in the first chapter of his gospel that “He came unto His own things, and His own people rejected Him.” In this passage, we see the theme of the rejection of Jesus demonstrated.

Jesus had just finished healing a woman with an issue of blood as well are raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead. There is a hard chapter break here, so we don’t know the time connection to this passage. What makes it more difficult is that Luke has Jesus’ rejection at Nazareth at an early part of Jesus’ ministry in chapter 4. There his kinsfolk were amazed at Jesus’ interpretation of Isaiah 61 to Himself but rejected Him when he used the example of Gentile women as paradigms of faith. As long as Jesus was their Messiah, they would accept Him. But to be the Christ for all nations was going way out of their comfort zone. They considered this blasphemy and intended to throw Him off the brow of a cliff and then stone Him is he survived the fall. As it was not the appointed time nor the means of Jesus’ death, He simply walked away.

Mark’s account of this is much more brief. He does mention that His kinfolk were amazed at His teaching, and that that they couldn’t understand how Jesus changed from the child they knew into a prophet and healer. We have already seen that His immediate family had rejected Him and had tried to take Him away, thinking Him to be insane. Now the next level of kin at Nazareth could not resolve this dilemma. They knew where Jesus came from, at least they thought they know. Joseph must have died by this time as He is called the son of Mary who had brothers and sisters who lived there in the community. He was just a carpenter or common laborer, depending on how the Greek word is translated. But Messiah He could not be. It is possible that calling Jesus the son of Mary was a hint that they thought His birth to be illegitimate.

Jesus notes their unbelief and states what has become a proverb, that a prophet is without honor in His own country. The short passage ends with the report that He was unable to perform many miracles there because of their lack of faith. Faith healers like to quote this verse among others to claim a relationship between faith and healing. There would seem to be some link as we had just seen Jairus humble himself for the sake of His daughter. He was a ruler of the synagogue and risked his reputation to ask for healing for his daughter. When the professional mourners laughed Jesus with scorn when He said the damsel was not dead but sleeping, He had these unbelievers thrown out. The woman with the issue of blood had believed that if He only touched the hem of His garment that she would be healed. And she was. If one believes, they have to come and ask. But we must be careful here as a lot of charlatan faith healers have deceived and fleeced the flock of God. Jesus’ healings were signs pointing to something greater, the Kingdom of God. He seemed to be more concerned about teaching than healing.

Jesus’ ministry had started with what seemed to be mostly acceptance, especially with the common people. This does not mean that the grounds of their acceptance was necessarily legitimate. Some thought that He was to be a political Messiah who would overthrow the Romans and or the corrupt Jewish Sanhedrin. Even the faith of John the Baptist seemed to be somewhat shaken when the Kingdom and the Messiah He ascribed to Jesus did not seem to be working out as he expected. He even sent some of his disciples to Jesus to ask for confirmation. Jesus would have been acceptable to the Jewish people if only He had conformed to their preconceived ideas about the Messiah.

But Jesus persisted in announcing His Messiahship and His Kingdom on His own terms. As the Christ, this was His prerogative. Any king who bows to the will of his subjects is no king at all. John records in 6:15 of his gospel as a result of His miraculous feeding of the 5000 that He quickly had to dismiss His disciples to the boat because the people were about to seize Him and make Him King. Jesus would have none of this. The next day He would lose many of His followers when He accused them of being disciples for what they could get from Him. They wanted the bread and not the living manna.

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