Mark 6:1–3 (MEV): He went away from there and came into His own country. And His disciples followed Him. When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get this? What is this wisdom that is given Him, that even miracles are done by His hands? Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him.
When Jesus returned to the place of His rearing and taught in the synagogue, people were astonished. These knew Him better than the other places He visited. They knew His upbringing. He was the carpenter.
Because these had a more intimate knowledge of Jesus growing up and working… What they thought He is became a stumbling block. How could a carpenter have so much wisdom teaching in the synagogue and even do miracles?
Mark 6:4 (MEV): Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own relatives, and in his own house.”
Speaking truth is just that. For anyone who does it to strangers, they may be more apt to listen. They may have no preconceptions. But when it is done with those who you grew up with, objections start to rise. Not because the truth is spoken. These know you or think they do be preconception.
For those who have preconceptions, what you say is going to be measured by who they think you are. A stranger speaking the truth is going to appear to have great wisdom. If that stranger is labeled conservative, what truth offered is going to be measured through what the label means to the person hearing.
What you say is going to be measured by who or what your audience thinks you are. The words themselves will be filtered through that myopia. The more specific the preconception applied to you, the more easily it will provoke some offense.
People will judge what you say by preconceived ideas.
In the instance above, to those who knew Him, it was a carpenter speaking with great wisdom and doing miracles. To the stranger, the inherent baggage of carpenter didn’t exist. Jesus’ humble upbringing was more of a stumbling block to those who were around Him growing up.
Today, those who have a preconceived notion of what a Christian is will filter the truth spoken by that Christian through that idea. In fact, most likely the Christian will seem hypocritical, even among other Christians.
It’s not that the hometown folks didn’t honor Jesus. It was their preconceived idea of Who they thought He is… That became the offense. In other words, He didn’t fit in their box.
Don’t let the box another person wants to put you in to be the prison for you. It is actually a prison for them.
Mark 6:5–6 (MEV): He could not do any miracles there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He was amazed because of their unbelief.
Because they had imprisoned themselves, it became difficult for Jesus to do anything really good in their lives.
There is a deeper theological issue here, too. It has to do with synergy. There will be lots of folks who balk at that term. What is clearly being taught is that the people themselves weren’t receptive to Jesus. It became an impediment to them. He couldn’t help them.
If He could have changed their hearts by His own will and turned a faith-switch on, don’t you think He would have done that to have compassion on them?
Yet He didn’t. Perhaps it is because we have to come to Jesus in child-like faith, setting aside our own preconceptions of what we think is really real, believing what He says. Only then can He do miracles.