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They were offended by him…

He [Jesus, c. AD 30] went away from there and came to his own country.  His disciples followed him and on the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue. Many who heard him were astonished, stating, “Where from? This man? These things? And what? The wisdom given to this man? The achievements done by his own hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not his sisters here with us?” And they were offended by him. Jesus stated to them, “A prophet is not without value, except in his own country and among his own people and in his own home.” He could not achieve the doing there of any such achievement, except that he placed his hands upon lowly ones and strengthless ones and healed them. He was amazed at their own unbelief and he was circling around among the villages teaching. Mark 6: 1-62
 
Many Jersey residents will be aware of one “macro” fact about their present Island home. This is the fact that Jersey residents are divided into two main categories – long-standing Jersey families (“locals”) and more recent immigrants (“new” or “newish”).

To be fair, this division has been the case through the centuries and across the world. In Britain it’s as noticeable as it is in Jersey. It played a major background part in the Brexit decision.

Many of Jersey’s politicians are “locals”; most of its senior civil servants are “new” or “newish”. Traditional Jersey industries are often owned by “locals”; financial services businesses here are owned largely by absentee corporations and directed often by “new”.

 
But do “locals” respect “locals”? What do you think would happen if a “local” came back into Jersey and began to teach the Jersey public in such a way that this teacher was absolutely astounding in wisdom? What if that same teacher had done many well-attested things which were beyond the ability of any other human being on earth? Would this person be popular with the “locals”?

He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God….’ (John, writing c. AD 90) 
In his biography of Jesus Mark reported that immediately prior to the incident in bold above is Jesus has caused great amazement nearby by healing a chronically ill woman of her bleeding and by raising a 12-year-old girl from death. red away; raising a 12-year-old girl from the dead. These wonderful things – and others – were also later on in the first century confirmed to us by other biographers.  

But this “local” man ten comes back into his own “locality”. There, many who heard him were astonished, stating, “Where from? This man? These things? And what? The wisdom given to this man? The achievements done by his own hands?Were these (mainly) the “new”?

But the “locals” know more than these others – others who are regarded as ill-informed or gullible. “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not his sisters here with us?” These “locals” prevailed.

How did Jesus respond to them? They had made statements about him: carpenter; Mary’s son; siblings living down the road. Jesus then made one explanatory statement. “A prophet is not without value, except in his own country and among his own people and in his own home.” That statement is now part and parcel of human understanding of human nature.

When people make known the tremendous worth of Jesus, others don’t accept it. They make up their own minds based on what they are within themselves. They say: ‘Jesus was undoubtedly a man like me. He cannot be – cannot have been – anything else - other than someone like me.’

 
And that conclusion of the “locals” had – and has – consequences. He could not achieve the doing there of any such achievement, except that he placed his hands upon lowly ones and strengthless ones and healed them.

But there’s something I rather love about that statement. Don’t bother to call on Jesus if all he is is a “local”. But do call on him if you are a lowly one or a strengthless one – your need will allow him to place his hands on you. 

And, importantly, listen to him. As Mark reports: …he was circling around among the villages teaching.

 
Sinner Syvret

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