7 Feb. Mark 6:1-6

7 Feb. People lack faith in a 'local lad made good'

"Jesus left there and went to his home town, and his followers went with him. On the sabbath day he taught in the synagogue. Many people heard him and were amazed, saying, 'Where did this man get these teachings?'"

"'What is this wisdom that has been given to him? And where did he get the power to do miracles? He is just the carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon. And his sisters are here with us.' So the people were upset with Jesus."

"Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is honoured everywhere except in his home town and with his own people and in his own home.' So Jesus was not able to work any miracles there except to heal a few sick people by putting his hands on them. He was amazed at how many people had no faith."

          (Mark 6:1-6)



Jesus and his disciples left Capernaum and walked to Nazareth, where Jesus was rejected in the synagogue in which he grew up by those who saw him as ‘just a local boy’. Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith and was unable to perform many miracles – apart from healing a few sick people.

It's often difficult to appreciate that someone you knew as a young child has grown up to become an outstanding adult. It was hard, for example, when I saw a particular UK government minister, to imagine him as anyone other than the little boy I knew at school over 50 years ago!

Jesus was frequently disappointed by the lack of faith shown in the villages and towns of his home area. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus denounced the towns of Galilee that would not repent of their wrongdoings even though they had witnessed the miracles he had performed:

“How terrible for you, Korazin! How terrible for you, Bethsaida … And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to heaven? No, you will be thrown down to the depths” (Matthew 11:21-23).

Korazin (Chorazin) was one of three small towns situated just north of the Sea of Galilee. Unlike the other two lakeside towns, it was situated in the Galilean Hills about 2 miles / 3.5 km from the lake shore.

Remains of the 1st century Jewish settlement at Korazin can still be seen today, including several small stone-built houses and a synagogue. The town expanded considerably in the 2nd century after the Roman Emperor Hadrian expelled the Jews from Judaea in 135AD.

It was extensively rebuilt in the 4th century, and remains of larger Byzantine houses, surrounded by courtyards, can be identified as well as steps leading down to a large bath for ritual cleansing (see yesterday's passage from Mark 5:21-43).

The 2nd century synagogue at Korazin has been partially restored, and contains an inscribed basalt ‘Seat of Moses’ on which the rabbis and Pharisees sat (see Matthew 23:2).

The photo (by Lev.Tsimbler) shows remains of the synagogue at Korazim.

You can read more about Jesus's journeys around Galilee @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/jesus-crosses-the-sea-of…/

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