Our July 4 Sunday worship service is available on video through Facebook. You may view it without being a member of Facebook. We are excited to say that our Sunday 8 & 10:30 am services are open again for in-person worship. Services will continue to be streamed online.
The July 11 Sunday worship service will be held with in-person attendance. We have returned to regular in-person worship services.
We are glad to share our worship with you. Click on “Contact Us” above to find out more about our faith family and what we believe.
Ezekiel 2:1-5 | Psalm 123
2 Corinthians 12:2-10 | Mark 6:1-13
Jesus has been out in the neighboring villages; preaching, teaching and healing. He has been astounding those who have heard and seen him. He has just come from raising Jairus’ daughter from death, and along the way unknowingly healing an unnamed woman from a 12 year long affliction with hemorrhaging (she touched the hem of his garment while in the crowd, believing that that was sufficient to heal her). Both actions demonstrated tremendous acts of faith; from the unnamed woman, and from Jairus.
Now, he has returned to his home town, Nazareth. Remember, he actually lives in Capernaum. That’s where, and why, he’s called Jesus of Nazareth. Did you notice that here, he is referred to as “the carpenter’s son.” He’s not Jesus of Nazareth, because he is now in Nazareth. Anyway, things do a complete reversal, from faith, to unbelief.
On the Sabbath, he went to the synagogue and taught. As a visiting rabbi, and a local boy, he was probably handed a scroll of Scripture. In Luke’s Gospel account of this story, it is Isaiah. He found a place which he found interesting, read it to the crowd in the synagogue, and then proceeded to expound upon the text (we call it a sermon). It is the way that a synagogue service went.
He is in his own home town. Everyone there knows him, which can be a blessing and a curse. They have no doubt heard about the things which he has been doing, and teaching around the countryside. The two towns, Capernaum and Nazareth, are only 20 miles apart. Now, they hear his teaching, and they are astounded.
The friends and neighbors’s response, “Where does he get off saying this?! Where did he come up with this?! How can he say and do these things? Isn’t this Jesus the carpenter? (Aramaic word for carpenter, also means “wise man” maybe they didn’t like his wisdom?) Here is his family (mother, brothers and sisters- James and Jude both have Epistles in the New Testament), how can they let him get away with this?” Mark doesn’t tell us what he said, but it must have been very interesting! They took offense. In other words, they were astounded, confused and possibly jealous. Didn’t he grow up here? Haven’t we known him all of his life? How can he say these things, do these things? Just who does he think he is?
More than offense, in Luke’s Gospel account of this story, we are told that they were ready to take him out and stone him, which was the punishment for blasphemy. “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” You can’t change their minds, even if you can get them to listen. Rejected by his own. He can only say, “I tried.” It is a sad story.
The problem, shocker, comes really in vs. 6, “And he was amazed at their unbelief.” This is the stark contrast between this story, and the ones immediately prior, of amazing faith. The others believed, his friends, the people who he grew up with, do not. And, this unbelief seems to inhibit his effectiveness, his ability to do things. “He could do no deed of power, only heal a few people.” As with faith, anything is possible; without it, there is not much. So, Jesus and the disciples move on.
We are called to faith. We must receive faith in Christ through God’s grace. Without faith, we are just fallen creatures, and very limited. In faith, faith in Christ, we can do many things in Christ. We become co-workers in him. Faith is the key!
We live in a world filled with unbelief, and so without any real hope. As co-workers with Christ, we are sent into the world like the disciples. We are sent to share the good news of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So that, the world may come to faith, and share in the hope of Christ. So that, the world may be astounded by him, and also come to faith. So that, all may be members of the Family of Christ, the Body of Christ, the Church, which bears his redeeming Spirit to all of the world. The Holy Spirit which dwells in each of us, and empowers us to do mighty things. Do not be amazed at this, but only believe, and proclaim Christ in all that you say and do, to the glory of God Almighty.