By Deanna Bartalini
“And he was amazed at their unbelief.”~ Mark 6:6
Today’s readings remind us how people of faith are treated and behave. According to Paul, we will have trials that discipline us because God loves us. And we ought to be prepared to resist our trials, our temptation to sin, to the point of shedding blood. This walk with Jesus, embracing our faith, is not meant for the faint of heart or weak of spirit. But, thankfully, we have the grace of God. For without it, where would we be?
Offended by Jesus
It is the Gospel that strikes me most, though. It causes me to consider this idea of being offended by Jesus as the people of Nazareth were offended. They admit Jesus has wisdom and has done mighty deeds, but that is not enough. That both comforts me and alarms me, it comforts me when people I know and love turn away from me or disregard help, even when it is requested.
It alarms me more frequently than it comforts me as I ponder when I have been offended by Jesus. I question why I am offended, and usually, the answer is that I have sinned or been disappointed in Jesus’ response to my needs. Yes, I said sometimes I am disappointed by Jesus’s response to me. Have you ever felt that way?
Lack of Faith
In Mark 6:6, some Bible translations say “lack of faith,” while others say “lack of belief.” I do not want Jesus to be amazed at my lack of faith or belief. But faith is what I lack when I am disappointed in Jesus as the townspeople were. I have experienced and seen Jesus working in my life and others. And yet, sometimes, there is doubt.
Only through prayer and placing myself daily with Jesus can I grow in faith and have less doubt.
Dear Jesus, thank you for all the wonderous deeds you have done in my life. Increase my faith so that it is You who amaze me. Amen
Call to Action
Write a list of the ways you have experienced Jesus working in your life. Add to it as often as you’d like. Then, when you feel a lack of faith, read and pray with your list.
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