Welcome back to We Wonder: Lent. Long ago, Jesus said to his friends, "Come: follow me." Now that we are in the second full week of Lent, we are beginning Mark chapter 6. Today we are beginning Mark chapter 6. Jesus has gone home, to the town of Nazareth. I wonder what the people who have known Jesus since he was a little boy think about him now?
Nazareth was Jesus's home town. It was where he grew up, and the synagogue he goes to is the same one he has been worshiping in since he was a small boy. He's talking to the same people he has known all his life. I wonder what it was like to stand up in that comfortable, familiar place and announce that the kingdom of God was coming close, was here in Nazareth right now?
Can I imagine being one of the people who was listening to Jesus in the synagogue? Maybe I remember seeing him there with his parents, or playing with him outside when we were smaller. I wonder what it is like to hear stories about him traveling around the countryside, attracting crowds, and doing miracles?
I wonder why the people in Nazareth were not happy with Jesus? I wonder why the people who had known him his whole life did not honor him? How might I have reacted to him, if I lived there?
I wonder why Jesus could not do many miracles there in Nazareth, where people did not trust that he was from God?
Jesus gave his disciples very clear instructions when he sent them out. Looking at those instructions, it sounds like he was sending them in a hurry, to do a big and important job: don't pack a big suitcase! Find what you need to eat as you go! Go from town to town, and drive out evil powers that want to hurt people; make space for God's kingdom to come in! I wonder why this work was so important that they had to go out, right away, without packing or planning for their trip?
I wonder what it was like to be one of the twelve disciples, traveling around bringing the power of God's good news and healing to people who were sick and sad? How would I feel, if I could be a part of that work?
I wonder why some towns and places would not welcome Jesus's disciples?
Are there any words, or pictures, or moments from this story that I want to ask God about right now?
Are there any words, or pictures, or moments from this story that I want to take with me and hold close?
Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
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