FAITH – Scholars and Dogs

1 Mar

My mind’s been on two passages from Mark the last few days:  Mark 6: 1 – 6 and Mark 7: 24 – 30. I’ve studied them with the Observe, Interpret and Apply technique.

In the first passage, Jesus has returned to his hometown area in Nazareth. (Answers the observation questions: who and where.)

Jesus is teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Jesus performs few miracles here. (Answers observations of when and what.)

We have a secondary who, the many people listening in the synagogue. We have a secondary what, they are offended by him (Jesus). Let’s see how the offense came about:

  • The listeners were first amazed and recognized wisdom in Jesus’s teaching and his power to perform miracles
  • This initial response gives way to questioning, questioning that gets progressively worse:
  1. Where’d he get that message?
  2. Where’d he get that wisdom and power?
  3. Isn’t he the carpenter? (I expect scholars are present and using this not only to identify who Jesus is but also to belittle a man with a laborious trade)
  4. Don’t we know his mom and siblings?

Ultimately, they are questioning WHO Jesus is. Satan uses questioning, planting doubt as a tool to distract our minds from the truth (see the example in Gen 3:1).  So this is how the people became offended.

In verses 5 and 6, Jesus “could not do many miracles there” and (paraphrasing) it was due to their lack of faith.

When you look at the original language for the word “could”, the “not” doesn’t appear as a separate word, but added in the English translation. The original negative meaning is encompassed in the Greek transliteration “ouk”. The original primary root word in Greek is “the absolute negative”, used as an adverb. It is a “no” answer in response to a direction question that expected an affirmative answer.

So, Jesus gives a negative answer by not performing many miracles there because of their lack faith. Because of their questioning HIM and I believe because any miracles they asked Jesus to perform were done so with a challenging heart, saying, “Prove yourself.” Not the heart we are to bring to the Lord.  This is the why of the passage.

As contrast, we’ll look at the second passage later this week, Mark 7: 24 – 30. (That’s also where the “dogs” will come in!)

Today’s Passages: Lev 24: 1 – 25:46, Mark 10: 13 – 31: Ps. 44:9 – 26; Prov 10: 20 – 21

Tuesday’s Passages: Lev 25:47 – 27:13; Mark 10:32 – 52: Ps 45: 1 – 17; Prov 10:22

Wednesday’s Passages: Lev 27:14 – Nu 1:54; Mark 11: 1 – 25; Ps 46: 1 – 11; Prov 10:23


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: