Where did this man get these things?
Mark 6:1-13 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Jesus went out from there and came into His hometown; and His disciples followed Him. 2 When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? 3 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 took offense at Him. 4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” 5 And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He wondered at their unbelief.
And He was going around the villages teaching.
7 And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits; 8 and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belt— 9 but to wear sandals; and He added, “Do not put on two tunics.” 10 And He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town. 11 Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.” 12 They went out and preached that men should repent. 13 And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them.
Many people today look at Jesus life, the way He lived, His compassion for people, His association with outcasts and sinners. Knowing how Jesus lived, what kind of man He was, they try to model their own life and actions after Him. There is a problem though with knowing Jesus as a man. He was indeed fully man and so the way He lived is a good example for how we should live. But, it is not enough that we know only Jesus the man. Jesus was also fully God. In today’s text, the people of Jesus hometown knew Jesus. They said: “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His 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 took offense at Him. Because they were familiar with Jesus the man, they failed to see Jesus the Messiah. Knowing the natural, they failed to see the supernatural. The text says: He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief.
There are at least two things which we can apply to our own lives from what we see in today’s text. First is that we need to see more than who Jesus was as a man. We need to do more than just model our lives after the way He lived. How He lived was only a part of why Jesus came as a man. His full purpose was to die for our sins. Without the cross, all that Jesus did would be just an example. He would have been a role model and a teacher. It is only through Jesus death that we can truly live. If we focus only on Jesus life, the way He lived as opposed to His death and why he died, we only know part of who Jesus is. We need to know Jesus life, His words, His death on the cross and the resurrection. We need to know more than how Jesus lived in the world. Jesus says: “In Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) We need to know Jesus as the one who overcomes. In John 4:24 Jesus says: "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." If we only know Jesus as a man, we don’t truly worship Him as we should. We need to know that He is God and worship Him in spirit and in truth.
The other application, for ourselves from this text, is that we also at times may view others, who we are familiar with, people from our churches or our neighborhoods as mere people. We may be familiar with them, knowing how they live. We may even know their weaknesses and their shortcomings. But what we should try to see and to know is not who they are as a person, but rather who they are in Christ. Even more we should seek to see and know Christ in them. I often wonder why in so many of our churches most gatherings include, perhaps some good worship, some prayer and a good message from the word. Typically though there are very few miracles. Perhaps, as Jesus did in His hometown, we lay hands on a few sick people and heal them. Yet when another minister, one who we don’t know as a man, comes, people will line up at the altar, in faith, to receive the fullness of the spirit and the blessings of the kingdom of heaven. Jesus says: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18:20) We need to know Jesus and we need to know the Christ in others.
In today’s text it says: He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits; and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belt— but to wear sandals; and He added, “Do not put on two tunics.” And He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town. Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.” They went out and preached that men should repent. And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them. Jesus gave them authority. He sent them in pairs because where two went in Jesus name, He was there with them. In John 14:12-14 Jesus says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” Just as He did for the twelve, who knew Him intimately, by the Spirit, Jesus has given us authority also. In Acts 1:8 He says: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” In Matthew 28:18-20 He says: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” In Mark 16:15-20 it says: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. If we would know Jesus Christ, fully God, and if we would know and focus on the Christ in us, rather than trying to be like He was as a man, we will do the things He did. We will, He will perform miracles and signs, and yielded to Him, through the Holy Spirit, we will show love and compassion as He did.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit I want to know You and worship You in Spirit and truth. I want to know You as God. I yield to You through the Holy Spirit, by the power of the cross and the resurrection. May others see and know not me as Christ the man, but rather may they see and know Christ, the power of God in me. Amen.