Let us do what we are called to do
“Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.
“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.” — Mark 6:1-6
To be rejected by strangers is expected, however, when one’s own people rejects one, then it is disheartening. It was not long ago when we Bahamians rejected our own local doctors in favor of those abroad, even though they went to the same universities and probably got better grades than those abroad.
In the above text Jesus made a visit to his hometown and was rejected by his own people. The people would not accept him because they reasoned that he was the son of a woman whom they knew quite well. Furthermore, his brothers lived in their community.
Even though the miracles that he performed and the wisdom he displayed amazed them, they would not accept him. Having grown up in their community, they were not aware that he had studied with any of the great rabbis, or that he received instructions from any prominent institution outside of the community. Consequently, they would not accept him.
His family was not of substance, nor was his family of prominence within the community. They could not give an appropriate answer to the questions they had about him, therefore they had to dismiss him as probably crazy.
The people were disputing the messenger and as a result rejecting the message. This is common in our world today. The message is being ignored because people do not like the messengers.
The people of Jesus’ hometown tried to discourage him and raised doubt in the minds of the few who would listen to him. Notwithstanding this, Jesus did not let it sway him. He continued on his mission, proclaiming the gospel.
We in the Christian church constantly encounter the same setbacks. However, we were called to proclaim the gospel, make people aware of their sins and guide them to the cross of Jesus Christ.
We cannot save anyone. It is not our responsibility to save people. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. We are to stay on course and keep focused on the gospel.
When we do what God has called us to do, we are fulfilling our calling. Yes, some people close their ears and minds to the word of God. They ridicule the church but we should not let this discourage us.
As we go forward proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ, our Lord will guide us and give us the strength and courage to carry on, even in the face of adversity. Jesus reassures us in his own words, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the very end of the age.”
Again, don’t get caught up in trying to change the minds of people. We cannot convince the devil to serve God. Many who will hear us are his agents. They will not listen. Remember, we do not change hearts, the Holy Spirit does that. Let us do what we are called to do i.e. proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will do the rest. Amen.
- Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas or telephone 323-4107; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.