Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Why Jesus couldn't do many miracles in Nazareth - a suggestion.

Mark 6.1-6

We are told that Jesus 'could do no deeds of power' in his home town.
Why could he do no 'deeds of power' there?

Forgive me; this is a little bit speculative.

There is a film in the UK that was shown on British television on 21 June 1969, and subsequently banned (although clips were shown from 2011). It is a documentary about the Royal Family, filming their everyday life, and it shows them living life in a way that is remarkably similar to every other family. It was banned, because it was felt that it stripped mystique away from the Royal Family, it made them too ordinary. If people see them living just like us, then people may start to question why we do, in fact, treat them differently.

That, I think, is the opposite of what is going on here.
Jesus comes to his home town, and the film of his life shows that he is far from ordinary. They are astounded by his teaching, and they have heard of the wonderful things that he has done. But even though he is far from ordinary, people are trapped in their little world, with its boundaries and boxes, and they are blinded by their pride, identity insecurity, envy and jealousy.
And they cannot begin to conceive that Jesus really is different. 

They think he must have gone somewhere - a first century Hogwarts where he could learn all these special powers - because they ask, 'Where did this man get all this?'
They want to know, because then it all makes sense, and they can send their children there, and they in turn will be able to do the sort of things that Jesus can.
They simply cannot accept that Jesus is different.

We know, as people who have read the gospel of Mark, that the reason that Jesus could teach like this and do the wonders he did is because he is different.
The demons and aliens recognise that he is the 'Son of David', that is language to describe the Messiah, and that he is the Son of God.
But his own people could not accept that he was any different to them.
And I think that is the reason Jesus 'could do no deed of power there'.

It was not from lack of power or compassion - that is clearly not the case, because he does cure some sick people.
Rather, he 'could not' do them because there was no point in doing them.

Given that they were refusing to believe that he came from God, if he did such works then all it would do is wow them - and then make them more hostile to him. Why won't he tell us where he got all this?
And Jesus was never driven simply by the compassion of the moment.
If he had just healed all the people who came to him who were suffering, then it would have taken up every minute of his day, been very localised and limited, and inevitably been temporary. Those people who had been healed, would have fallen ill again, would suffer again, and would die.
No, Jesus was driven by a much deeper purpose and a greater compassion: he had come to set free all who put their trust in him as Messiah and Son of God - to set us free ultimately from all suffering, from sin and death.
That is why, before he goes to the cross, Jesus' main focus is not on healing, but on teaching.
We see that in the second half of verse 6: 'Jesus went about the villages teaching'.
The answer to unbelief was not to wow them, but to teach them.

So Jesus 'could not' do such 'deeds of power' in his home town of Nazareth, because it would have been pointless. The deeds were meant to point to who he was, that he is the Messiah bringing in the Kingdom of God, and if people are point blank refusing to even consider that he is the Son of God, then why do the signs?

We do need to be careful that we are not blinded by the little boxes in our minds which tell us what is possible. And we need to be careful that we are not blinded by our pride, envy and jealousy - of a Royal family who live just like us, or of 'one of us' who is different.
It is that pride, identity insecurity, envy and jealousy which ultimately blinds us to seeing who Jesus is.

No comments:

Post a Comment