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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jesus is Mocked in His Hometown

    Today’s Reading:
  • Mark 6:1 - 29
  • Psalm 39:1 -13
Read Bible Passages Online

Mark 6:1 - 29
Jesus , who had to distance himself from crushing crowds, returned home to preach and perform miracles in his hometown of Nazareth.  Once there, however, no one would listen to him.  Jesus then said that a prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown.

I guess that is very true, and the application goes far beyond prophecy.  It seems that the closer you are to a person, the harder it is to objectively listen to anything they say.  Think of anytime you give a close loved one advice and they completely shrug it off, only to later to take that piece of advice from a different source and to be truly amazed by the results and thankful to the person who gave the advice to them.  It's enough to make you want to shake some sense into that person for sure!

As a byproduct of people disbelieving Jesus in his hometown, we are told that he was able to perform only a couple minor miracles amongst them.  This verse struck out to me because it doesn't matter if the person performing the miracles has all the faith in the world -- or if that person is Jesus Christ himself -- none of it matters if the person doesn't have any belief.

The reading ended with the death of John the Baptist recounted again.  I guess all those proverbs I've been reading about a woman's temptation leading to the door of death are shown to be quite true here.  We are told that Herod was actually protecting John the Baptist, even though John was speaking out against Herod's marriage.  It doesn't say what kind of dance Herodia's daughter performed for him that day, but I would assume it was quite the seductive dance for Herod to offer her anything she asked, up to half his kingdom.  Instead she asked for the death of John the Baptist.  It really is such a shame that pure seduction caused the death of John the Baptist. 

Psalm 39:1 -13
This is a Psalm of David's suffering due to having sinned against the Lord.  This one was a bit different than the others like it in that David asks for the Lord to leave him alone.  There are two profound verses that stuck out to me in this Psalm.  The first is verse 10:
But please stop striking me!  I am exhausted from the blows from your hand.
The second is the last verse of the Psalm, verse 13:
Leave me alone so I can smile again before I am gone and exist no more.
God pours blessings upon those who are faithful to him, but the reverse of that is also true.  David must have been going through such tribulation to actually ask that the Lord leave him alone.  In everything I have read up until this point, David has requested the Lord's presence through all he was going through, even though he knew he was being punished.  But in this case David actually asked that the Lord leave him alone.

I pray that the Lord never corrects me so terribly that I pray for Him to leave me alone.  That to me is such a terrible prayer.  I can't imagine the agony David would be in to pray for such a thing.  The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.  I aim to please the Lord in all that I do and hope that I never fall into such desperation that I wish the Lord to simply leave me alone.

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