Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

My Scripture reading this morning, Mark 6:1-6, is one which I have always found rather unremarkable in passages focusing on Jesus.  In it, Jesus journeys back to Nazareth, his homeland, and is preaching in the synagogue.  The people listening are astonished and condescendingly inquire as to how a "carpenter" could attain the kind of wisdom Jesus was displaying.  They took offense; they judged; He left.  Verse 6 says, "He was amazed at their lack of faith."  I used to close the reading of this passage with the thought, "Well whaddya think, Sherlock?  Why would you think they would have faith - most people were judging You at that time!"  (Terrible, I know...)  I would fantasize that things would have been different had I been there...that perhaps I would have recognized the Messiah without all the miracles and majesty.  (I know, the gall...)

For some reason this morning, however, verses 4 & 5 struck me dumb.  (Jesus said,)" 'A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.'  So He was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying His hands on them."  When I read the second part of this, I stopped short in fear.  Then to confirm my interpretation, I glanced down at the footnotes for 6:5:

"According to Mark, Jesus' power could not take effect because of a person's lack of faith." (My underline)

I felt nauseous.  Yes, exactly as I feared, the passage was talking about me...

For the times I believed in myself and my own gifts rather than the power of God's hand...
For the times when my anxiety and focus on worldly cares trumped my faith in His bigger plan for my life...
For the times when my anger, jealousy, judgment, stupidity, or carelessness hurt others rather than blessing them as He meant me to...
For the times I felt small and insignificant, unworthy and afraid, rather than the proud warrior He envisioned and created...

For these and other times, "Jesus' power could not take effect because of a person's lack of faith."  I have been that person.  How blind I have been.  How I mourn my losses.  How I endeavor to leave that person behind, leaning only on my faith for the miracles intended for my life and the lives of those I touch.

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