A Prophet Without Honor
6 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.
“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.
The Parable of the Persistent Widow
1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’ ”
6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Faith. That gift given to us from God Almighty.
Now, I know I complain a lot about the state of the visible church; especially after seeing that poor man a few days go, who could have done with some spiritual support. I could have prayed with him, but he decided to leave me before that happened. To tell you the truth, I felt in a bit of a stupor after that. I could not get him out of my mind, and still can’t.
But, you know what? We have a God Who asked the question: “Will I find faith on the earth when I return?”
He IS coming back. He IS going to deliver His people. He DOES know how to keep what belongs to Him. Aren’t we of those whom the Father gave Christ as an everlasting inheritance for Him?
Aren’t we the ones who are going to spend eternity worshipping Him? Haven’t we all said, at one time or another that we want to be first in line to be with Him and even TOUCH Him?
The Request of James and John
35Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
36“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
37They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
38“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”
39“We can,” they answered. (!!!)
Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
41When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
We, like ‘the ten’ in verse 41 can also be rather indignant when we hear others speak like this! I’ve heard: “I want to run up and give Him a hug!” to which a preacher might respond, (as I have also heard), “No one will run up for a hug. You will fall on your face before Him.”
Oh, such indignance! You know what? I call it faith. Faith which moves mountains of doubt and confesses: “I belong to Him; He belongs to me! I love Him and want to be near Him.”
Folks, we NEED faith like that. It moves ALL the great mountains of doubt. Christ couldn’t do much when we read back in Mark’s passage; and Christ was astounded at the lack of faith He found in that place.
If stones could speak, imagine what they’d tell us lot in the West, as they sit in Israel: the land which saw God with Moses and Abraham. The place where prophets spoke and fire came out of the mountain. The place which carried the imprints of Christ’s footsteps. Can you imagine what those stones might say? Wouldn’t they rebuke us? Wouldn’t they shout: “Where is your faith? Don’t you remember how the Lord questioned? Don’t you all realise that He asked: “Will I FIND any faith?”
Where’s our faith? What happened to it? Where’s the God of Abraham; Isaac and Jacob? Where is the Holy Spirit? Where’s Christ?
He’s HERE! He’s within us! We don’t look to a building, hoping someone might be in so that a suffering soul can pray with someone there. We’re the salt. We’re the light! We can go boldly to the throne of grace to find help in time of need! Let US pray with those in need. 🙂
Have we forgotten? Where is our faith? Will He find it in us when we go to Him?