14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B - 8/7/2018 - Gospel: Mk 6:1-6
Kill joy
The idea that Jesus was going to visit his home town gave him and the apostles a good feeling. He would envisage the familiarity views in his mind and would bring it into his sleep. He was looking forward to meeting up his mother Mary and relatives and friends and they were happy to see him. On the Sabbath day, in the synagogue, his teaching gave the crowds great joy and surprises when they listened to him. The crowds enjoyed his teaching but they themselves had upset him immensely and took away his joy and excitement. They wondered about his wisdom and knowledge and his healing power but they could not accept the greatness in him. They had rejected Jesus at both physical and spiritual levels. At the physical level they rejected his greatness. His society defined a status of a person from the birthright. Jesus was born from a carpenter's family. He would become nothing else but only another carpenter when he grew up. He could do wonder but couldn't deny his background. They mentioned further that he was son of Mary; ignored any mention of Joseph's figure. One way to interpret the statement is that Joseph had already died. The other interpretation would directly aim at Jesus to humiliate him by saying Jesus - son of Mary - who was conceived by an unknown father. His teaching and wisdom and miracle worker proved that he was a great prophet, a miracle worker who would do wonder and yet they questioned as where he had got that power?

At the spiritual level they failed to see Jesus was the Son of God. They cited his background and relatives and friends to say that they knew him well, even from childhood. The mentioning of his background made Jesus upset not because of his unpopular childhood but because it was the evidence saying that they failed to see the power of God working through him. Second, the crowds had failed to see that Jesus was the Son of God incarnate. Third, the crowds had no faith in Jesus.  Fourth any question about Jesus' ability was not about his own ability but rather it was more about the power and wisdom of God vested in him. Finally Jesus went to his home town for a purpose: bringing the Good News to his people first but his people fail to embrace both him and as well as his message.

Jesus had changed the negative experience to be a positive one. The rejection at his hometown was used to teach his apostles about their future mission. In the coming days the apostles were trained and were being sent to bring the Good News to others. The experience of being rejected at his hometown would be a valuable lesson for them because they themselves would experience the same hostile atmosphere in their mission. They would experience the unexpected rejection and persecution. When it happened. There is no need for revenge but to simply walk away to a neighbouring town to do the mission there.