Ezekiel 2:1-5; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Mark 6:1-13

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

It’s often said that familiarity breeds contempt. We start to take for granted those things that we’re familiar with, be it a best friend whom we see every day, our house that we live in, our job that we work week after week and so on. When things become overly familiar, we begin to have contempt for them and their imperfections. Because some things are super familiar to us, we begin to look only at the bad parts to see how they could be better.

The corollary to this might just be “the grass is greener on the other side.” We will often sit and daydream about that ideal thing, something without all the flaws and imperfections we perceive from the familiar. We will build up the ideal in our mind as we grow in contempt for what we already have. “I want a new house because this one is too small.” “I need a new car because I don’t like the color.” Etc. etc. 

This is the issue in our Gospel lesson as Jesus goes to visit his hometown of Nazareth. Jesus grew up among these people. Jesus’ own family lives here, those who perhaps know him the best. Jesus lived among them for nearly three decades before he began his public ministry. You might think they would be his biggest fans, but it’s the opposite. Because he’s so well known, they have contempt for him. “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us? And they took offense at him,” Mark 6:3. Their familiarity with Jesus has bred contempt for him so that Jesus marvels at their unbelief (Mark 6:6). 

I’ve heard this far too often today when it comes to families with unbelieving members. As Christians, we want them to believe and listen to us as we share the good news, as we share Christ with them, but it’s shrugged off because it’s familiar. We marvel at the unbelief that surrounds us in our families, with our friends, and especially in our world. It’s difficult to share the faith with those you know so well because it’s familiar. For so we lament and marvel at the rejection we see when sharing our faith with those we know. 

This isn’t to say though that we should just give up and leave it for someone else. No matter how difficult it is to share our faith with family and friends, we know it’s important. Even Jesus dealt with rejection, so we shouldn’t be surprised when we face it too. But this is what we can learn from Jesus. Don’t give up. For there’s only one remedy for unbelief… and it’s Jesus. Jesus didn’t give up on us when we rejected him, when we sinned against him, when we shrugged him off and said, “Don’t bother me”. Jesus kept teaching, kept healing, kept giving us more of himself. He gave us everything by going to the cross to die for us and our unbelief. For it is God’s goodness and mercy that pursue us to win us over, to bring us out of unbelief and into faith. So too shall it be for those we love. So, keep giving them Jesus, his goodness and mercy so that Jesus may win them for eternal life!

Pastor Sorenson


O God, Your almighty power is made known chiefly in showing mercy. Grant us the fullness of Your grace that we may be called to repentance and made partakers of Your heavenly treasures; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen!