Offended at Him
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
"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)
There is many an individual who has by God's grace found the Lord and has had a fruitful ministry in a place far from his hometown where he once lived a lifestyle of which he has now repented. Going home is difficult, for his former companions in sin will be there to oppose and tempt and disbelieve.
In the course of His travels, Jesus returned to His birthplace (v. 1), and although He had lived a sinless life in His early years, He was still only one of the local citizens, and this resulted in their prideful opposition and disbelief.
"And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?" (v. 2). As in our text, His local roots brought scorn and pride and offense.
Their unbelief (v. 6) seemed to limit His ability to work miracles ("and he could there do no mighty work," v. 5), but such is not the case. There is no limit to the power of the omnipotent Creator! He is not limited by our feeble faith, but evidently He chose to limit His work as a way of reproof of their pride and unbelief.
Yet, note Mark's casual mention of the healing of "a few sick folk" (v. 5). Such healings were in fact a mighty display of God's power, a fact which Mark's readers (primarily Romans and other Gentiles very impressed with power) would have recognized.
Let us not allow our modern-day familiarity with Christ and His power limit the honor and obedience that we return to Him (v. 4). JDM