Faith Needed: Mark 6:1-6

Focus Passage: Mark 6:1-6 (GNT)

Jesus left that place and went back to his hometown, followed by his disciples. On the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue. Many people were there; and when they heard him, they were all amazed. “Where did he get all this?” they asked. “What wisdom is this that has been given him? How does he perform miracles? Isn’t he the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters living here?” And so they rejected him.

Jesus said to them, “Prophets are respected everywhere except in their own hometown and by their relatives and their family.”

He was not able to perform any miracles there, except that he placed his hands on a few sick people and healed them. He was greatly surprised, because the people did not have faith.

Then Jesus went to the villages around there, teaching the people.

Read Mark 6:1-6 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

During one of Jesus’ return trips to Nazareth, He visits and teaches at His home synagogue. The people were amazed and impressed with what Jesus had said, but this led them to be skeptical towards Him instead of believing in Him.

Mark tells us that those in the synagogue asked, “Where did he get all this? What wisdom is this that has been given him? How does he perform miracles?” (v. 2b)

These people had a dilemma. They knew Jesus (the boy) and Jesus (the carpenter’s apprentice) very well. They didn’t know Jesus the Messiah. With the group of followers Jesus brought with Him came Jesus’ reputation of being a miracle worker, and this didn’t fit with their picture of a former carpenter. Becoming Messiah was not the next step up above carpenter for these people.

These people were more interested in figuring out the trick Jesus must be pulling than on simply having faith. They wanted to discover the secret to how He could perform miracles rather than accept that His miracles were performed because there was faith present.

This passage concludes in a fascinating way: After the synagogue service, Jesus stayed to help people, but “He was not able to perform any miracles there, except that he placed his hands on a few sick people and healed them. He was greatly surprised, because the people did not have faith.” (v. 5-6)

The people rejected Jesus as being worthy of faith, and because of this, their desire to uncover the source of Jesus’ miraculous ability (the Holy Spirit) was hidden from them. Nothing Jesus could do would be able to break the preconceived ideas about Him that these people had in their minds, and because of this, only a few people out of the hundreds of people needing help were actually helped.

This wasn’t Jesus’ fault. It was the fault of the people present. These people didn’t think a former carpenter was capable of helping them. They lacked faith in God and faith in Jesus, and that is why we read that Jesus “was not able to perform” miracles. (v. 5)

While Jesus knew that God could heal those who were sick and hurting, He needed some faith from the people present, and in Nazareth, there was little to no faith.

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