July 4, 2012

14th Sunday - B (July 8, 2012)

Mark 6:1-6a

 To See God's Works Is Not Enough

Mark, in a sense, sets the stage for the rejection of Jesus from his own town folks a few chapters back. In the very first chapter of his writing, Mark reported Jesus' first time teaching at the synagogue in Capernaum and commented, "

The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes" (1:22)

Jesus is then found traveling across Galilee preaching and healing. Mark sums up Jesus' ministry in these words, "He went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee" (1:39).

Then, when his name was so well-known, he had to "[remain] outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere" (1:39.

Next, for some time, Jesus left the area of the Jews and stayed in the territory of the Gentiles (5:1-20).

When he returned to Galilee, as we learned last week, " a large crowd gathered around him" (5:21). They even "followed him and pressed upon him" (5:24).

So by the time he returned to his hometown of Nazareth, here in Chapter 6, people understandably have heard of his authority in teaching and power in healing. They even acknowledge his "wisdom" and "the mighty deeds ... wrought by his hands."

Yet, they could not go beyond their perception of him. They may have heard of or even seen with their own eyes Jesus' work and power, yet, they do not know him.  In the end, they have only heard and known of him.

The disciples, on the contrary, have followed Jesus. Not only have they seen his works, but they have also stayed with him and listened to him. Throughout the Gospel of Mark, we will see that the disciples' faith is still weak. They will falter. Yet, right after this passage, in 6:7, which we'll hear next week, Jesus sends them out to preach and to heal.

Here is the key of discipleship. It is not enough to see the works of Jesus. One must follow him, spend time with him, and listen to him.

No comments: