Today we get to read a section of Mark that contains three stories. Imagine three acts in a play, the curtains open – first act- the curtains close. Then the curtains open – second act, the curtains close. Finally, the curtains open – third act, the curtains close. They seem unrelated. In the first one Jesus is back in his hometown and the people’s heart are so hardened, Jesus walks away without performing any miracles (they missed out on seeing the power of God.) The second story, the disciples are sent out to preach the good news and to heal those who are sick. They have seen the master, now they get to go and do as they have seen. The last story is a terrible story, the death of John the Baptist, through King Herod’s court.
It strikes me that all three of these stories are still focused on identity. Mark’s desire is for the reader to be part of those observing Jesus and he continues to take us to the different groups who are making choices of who Jesus is. The people from Jesus’ hometown cannot get over the fact that he is basically the carpenter’s son. The disciples, though, can preach the good news AND heal those who are sick because they have begun to understand Jesus’ true identity. Herod and his friends, perhaps wealthy and educated, do not know what to make of Jesus. We later read that Herod wants to meet Jesus, driven by curiosity to see Jesus perform miracles rather than a true spiritual search.
“Who do you say that I am?” was Jesus’ question to his disciples. Today, think about who Jesus is to you. Is he just a name you hear often in church? Is he your savior and redeemer? As you read the scripture below, think about the characters who lived and walked with Jesus and their reaction to the Son of God. Then, pray the prayer of peace that you may share peace today.
Scripture: Mark 6:1-29
Prayer: Jesus, I choose to follow your Way of Peace. Lead me to one person that I can love, give hope, and bring your peace to today. Amen!
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