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 6:4-6
I’m amazed at the notion that Jesus was amazed…about anything, really. If he were just “fully man” and nothing more, then it wouldn’t be quite so amazing…but that he was also fully God makes me wonder about what, exactly, could so captivate him, so catch him off guard, as to “amaze” him. So here it is: “He was amazed at their lack of faith.”
As it turns out, amazing God isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Jesus goes back to his hometown, to the people who changed his diapers and whose kids played with him on the playground and who saw him working long hours in his dad’s carpenter shop…with hopes they might be willing to see his growth, his ministry, and his power and authority over everything in this world. He had an expectation that his hometown would not be so constrained by their preconceived notions of him, that they would have room in their hearts for a hometown boy who turns out to be the savior of the world. As those hopes were dashed and his disappointment set in, he was amazed that their hearts could be so closed to the possibilities.
I like studying the gospels and paying particular attention to various people’s responses to Jesus. In each case, we ask ourselves, “Do I ever respond that way?” “Could that ever be me?” In this case, I suppose it is true that this could be any of us. God could well be amazed by …
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:30-31
The sending out of the twelve in Mark 6 was the disciples’ first real taste of ministry. Up until then, Jesus alone bore the burden of having crowds pressing in around him with their pains and brokenness. But for this short time, Jesus filled the disciples with the miraculous powers of the Spirit. Suddenly, they were casting out demons, healing the sick, speaking amazing words of wisdom and drawing the crowds. Quite apart from Jesus, each of the disciples were, for the first time, feeling the long hours of bearing the burdens of broken people following them all day long insisting on miracles and healings and words of wisdom. For the first time, the disciples had to deal with the utter exhaustion of personal ministry. No surprise, then, that Jesus addressed their exhaustion when they gathered back together for their debriefing. Jesus’ very first words to them were words of wisdom to every pastor and minister today…
“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Every leader in the church, EVERY LEADER, must take seriously these words from Christ.
Even the secular world has figured out this eternal truth. Nobody wants a surgeon operating on them when that surgeon is in a state of exhaustion. Nobody wants a pilot flying their airplane when that pilot is sleep deprived. Nobody wants truck drivers operating 18-wheelers on our highways when they are falling asleep at the wheel. When none of …