Thursday, November 29, 2012

In Your Stubborn Refusal

Mark's gospel gives us the account of when Jesus went back to his hometown of Nazareth and was rejected by all of the people who knew Him when he was a boy and a young man.

They just couldn't get past the fact of who he used to be as a carpenter.

They couldn't accept Him in His present role as Messiah.

The Word says that Jesus "marveled" at their unbelief.

The tragic part of the passage is contained in Mark 6:3 - "And they took offense at Him and were hurt [that is, they disapproved of Him, and it hindered them from acknowledging His authority] and they were caused to stumble and fall."

It says they were hurt and hindered. They disapproved of Him. They were offended by Him.

They couldn't put away the image of perhaps a runny nosed little kid trampling over their rose bushes.

They couldn't get past the fact that the guy who once fashioned their tables and chairs was now claiming to be the Son of God.

Can you identify?

How about when you get saved and in your exuberance evangelize your family and friends and co-workers only to be met with a lesser exuberance than your own?

How about when they start to avoid you because you are just going to start talking that "God stuff" again?

How about under you own roof when you hear Sunday after Sunday, "You go to church honey, I'm just not really into that religious stuff".

Jesus relates.

I hope you do. Because there is only one way to go if you don't, and that is to join the ranks of the marginal believer. Or worse.

Jesus doesn't like being limited, which is what He was as a result of unbelief.

Mark says that Jesus could only do a few minor acts of healing at Nazareth because the level of unbelief was so high.

The one place where perhaps He wanted His greatest triumph became the place of His greatest failure: His own hometown.

"A prophet is not without honor except in his own hometown."

From what I can ascertain from that passage the culprit really is stubborn unwillingness to submit to the authority of Jesus Christ. The limitation is not in the capability of Jesus. It is in the stubborn refusal to allow Him to do His Work!

It's typical, but not insurmountable.

Those of us who are His disciples today have done it.

We are healed and assisted instead of hurt and hindered.

Many are puzzled by our testimonies of miracles and God's providence in our lives.

It confounds the stubborn who refuse to yield.

The Rock of Offense becomes a tripping stone instead of a place of refuge.

I would like to say this is all about "the others".

However, I have seen it right in the very place one would least expect.

I have seen it in the churches.

Time and time again. Under my very nose.

There are people in the pews who have never submitted it all to Jesus.

Not in 5 years. Not in 10 years. Not in 50 years.

The rising tide of problems and difficulties always sits just below the nostrils, not quite consuming and drowning them, but never allowing for deliverance into the full flow of grace.

Some will bounce like a pinball back and forth. Something new and "better" will always drain them. What Jesus gets left with is basically the Shadow People. "Believers" running on half empty. Starving the Church of vital resources while they feed stupid and inane fantasy "shadow" lives. Eventually they become absorbed into mundane captivity.

I call it treading water.

Jesus wants us to swim, not merely tread water.

So how about yourself today?

Fully submitted? 

It might cause some rejection from your own household, but Jesus has disallowed any excuse for not following Him fully.

Become all of His. Every fiber. Sold out lock, stock, and barrel.  THAT is the believer people are waiting to see. THAT is the believer people will respect.

The decision carries eternal benefits.

Be blessed today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

No comments:

Post a Comment