Mark Pt 25: Getting Past Prejudice
1 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. 2 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? 3 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. 4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
Hard to witness to those who knew me in the old days, hard to to go back to the old hometown and share my faith with them.
They remember the old Kevin and they can’t get past that,
they see the change, the difference, but there is an indifference to that because they can’t get past their prejudice
We pickup at the start of Marks gospel and the Lord Jesus, after a spectacular and indeed successful ministry tour around the Galilee area, is now coming back home to place he spent the majority of his earthly life - Nazareth
1 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.
In his own country he would be reunited with family, he would be reintroduced to old acquaintances and friends, and he would face many people who couldn't get past their prejudice.
Many people are like this today when it comes to the Bible, when it comes to Jesus, or indeed even when it comes to Church practice. They just can’t get past their prejudice to the real Jesus, to the real Christian faith, to the real truth of the Age of Grace we live in.
Challenge - I wonder is that you this morning, are you trapped by your presuppositions, by the opinions you have built up, which have boxed you in, confined you and kept you from truly coming to Christ and walking in his strength and power?
If that is you this morning then I want to urge you to get past your prejudice and allow the Lord to work in your life, because as we will see, Jesus homecoming is full of those that couldn't get past their prejudice and as a result they restricted the work of God in that community.
Notice with me firstly then that initially the people where
The Crowds Reaction To Christ
2 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? 3 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.
Astonished by His Practice vs2
Jesus is teaching in his home Synagogue on the Sabbath
This is the second recorded time of His teaching at his hometown
The first was almost a year ago, and is not recorded by Mark, but is recorded by Luke
Ref Isaiah Isaiah 61:1-2
notice where the Lord Stops - and the day of vengenece
why stop there?
because it wasn't that time!
So Jesus has taught before at Nazareth and look how they reacted
They wanted to stone him
29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
why does he come back you say?
Home is where the heart is, isn't that what they say?
although this world was not His home the Lord I believe had a soft spot for those he had grown up with
30 years remember!
What compassion and grace
Jesus’s teaching once again leaves them blown away
You see they can’t comprehend how this can be
“From whence hath this man these things” vs 2
he didn’t learn this at carpentry school
“what widsom” vs 2
“what works” vs 2
they should have connected the dots and rejoiced at this Son of Nazereth who was much more that a carpenter
Angered by His Person vs 3
here comes there prejudice
“is this not”
you can hear the venom and the spite with which this is said can’t you
“the son of mary”
could indicate Joseph was dead by this point
or they could be slandering Christ
This seems to prove conclusively that Mary had other children after the birth of Jesus, her Firstborn (Matt. 1:25).
Now Rome claims Mary was a perpetual virgin, so what happens with this verse
Catholics claim, correctly, that the Greek terms for "brothers" and "sisters" in these verses could also refer to male and female relatives, not necessarily literal brothers and sisters.
However, the intended meaning is clear, they thought Jesus to be Joseph's son, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, and the brother of the unnamed and unnumbered sisters.
Father, mother, brother, sister. It is straining the meaning of the text to interpret “brothers” and “sisters” as "cousins" or "relatives" with the mentioning of Jesus' mother and father.
46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.
31 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. 32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. 33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? 34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
19 Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press. 20 And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. 21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.
12 After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.
14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
All mention Jesus' mother with His brothers. If they were His cousins, or the sons of Joseph from a previous marriage, why were they mentioned with Mary so often?
The idea of the perpetual virginity of Mary cannot be drawn from Scripture. It must be forced on Scripture, in contradiction to what the Scriptures clearly state.
Because of who he is they are “offended” vs3
“offended” in the Gk. is Skandalizo
to be or become filled with disgust or revulsion for someone, conceived of as stumbling and falling
they could not explain him so they rejected him!
Why the rejection?
they acknowledged his works and his wisdom, yet they rejected!
Why? because they couldn't get past their prejudice
Jesus wasn't educated in the rabbinical schools
he wasn't qualified
he was just a common carpenter
there was no way they would accept Christ as anything but their idea of who he was to them, the uneducated common carpenter
Now, must never despise education, we must seek as much as we can get in one sense, and not be fools for the sake of it.
We must never think that this world's awards mean anything in the spiritual realm.
and so their prejudice kept them from Him
he wasn't a qualified rabbi he was just a common old Nazarene who had gotten to big for his station
46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
illustration - Middlesborough winning award for worst place to live in uk
They looked at Jesus at couldn't see then Son of God, just the son of Mary, the son of a carpenter that they had grown up with for 30 years
They couldn't get past their prejudice..
So that is the crowds reation to Jesus but what of
Christs Reaction to the Crowd
4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
Addresses their Prejudice vs 4
“a prophet is not without honour” vs 4
familiarity breeds contempt, isn't that what they say
not true of course - wife :)
depends on the context doesn’t it
in this case it bares truth
often harder to witness to those that you have grown up with
they no the old you
and to them that will always be you
illustration - Clare writing comment on Davy J’s facebook feed
they cant get past their prejudice
I think of witnessing to my own family especially my peers
“I changed your nappies”
now you want to tell me about!!!
Accepts their Position vs 5-6
“he could do no work there”
God works in response to faith. Unbelief ties the hands of Omnipotence, except in judgment, and the hour for judgment had not yet come- ironside
Jesus never forces himself upon people
no mighty works were done
think about what we have just witnessed in the lead up to this
the woman with 12 years of disease - healed
the daughter of 12 years dead - raised to life
we have saw the power of people faith and who Christ responded to that, but now we have the effect of unbelief and how Christ responded to that
“he marvelled because of their unbelief”
What made Him marvel was their unbelief despite all they had been privy too!
He had lived among them for thirty years.
He had exhibited before them His perfect humanity.
They had heard from all over Galilee stories of His deity and of the outpouring of supernatural power in miracle after miracle.
Many of them had seen some of these miracles for themselves.
Yet, when He stood before them, ready and willing to demonstrate His deity in many mighty works, they stared Him down in cold, critical, and caustic unbelief.
He marvelled at that fact, at the hostility of His own hometown.
illustration - I have to admit this fact also, that I marvel at some peoples unbelief too - many in Church weekly that still dont truly believe
Just that continually reject Jesus today, the people of Nazareth who rejected Jesus had to live with the consequences of their choices
Man has a choice
God will accept that choice, but man has to live with the consequences of that choice for an eternity
Hell or Heaven - its as simple as that!
So what is the real issue here, what is keeping these people trapped in their unbelief, why won’t they accept Christ?
Well we no that all those that have not been born again are blinded by the God of this world
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
and we know that no man
44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
so I absolutely recognise salvation is a work of God, but I also recognise that human choice is in their somewhere, all be it a minuscule part
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
So what is going on with the people of Nazereth, what is happening, because God had come to them, and yet they still rejected him!!
The simple truth is that they couldn't get past their prejudice!!!
Jesus didn't fit what they thought, and so they rejected!!
Let me illustrate it to you by speaking of John Bunyan.
John Bunyan was in prison because he would not cease from preaching - a bit like the Apostles here in Acts 4. Of course, he was a non-conformist being outside the Church of England, and he could have been released from prison - many people don't realise this - if he just had agreed not to preach in public without being ordained in the established church. He could have walked free, the door was open for him. There were times, if you read his life story, where his young daughter would have come to the door and pleaded with him: 'Daddy, Daddy, come home' - she didn't understand what it was all about.
He said that that experience was like having your skin peeled from off your body alive. When he was released, people would gather to hear him preach, and up to 3000 people would come to hear him when he was in London. His fame even reached the ears of King Charles II. The King ridiculed John Owen, the great Puritan, for one occasion for hearing Bunyan preach, who he called 'the illiterate tinker prate'. The King received from the learned and eloquent John Owen this reply, listen to it carefully: 'May it please your Majesty, could I possess that tinker's ability for preaching, I would most gladly relinquish all my learning'.
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
You see Jesus, didn’t fit the image they had for the Messiah, he didn't have the educational resume they required for the position, they couldn't get past their prejudice when it came to Jesus.
and maybe thats you this morning, you cant get past the prejudice you have about the Bible, or Jesus, or the Local Church
you have an idea of how things should be and if there not like that then its not right
no dog collar - not right
no tie on - not right
no degrees from esteemed university - not right
Our prejudices all focus on the outward and that is exactly how the people at Nazareth behaved.
but God is always about the inward first, and if these folks had of just moved past their prejudice and look at the one who was before them, then what mighty works He would have done in that community.
The message for us this morning folks, is if we truly want the Lord in our lives, if we truly want him to work in our lives, then we have to get past our prejudice and move to that place of total surrender to the Lord, and not see him as just a carpenter from Nazereth too common to be anything else, but to see him as he truly is - The Lord of Glory..