Distracted by ordinariness

Jesus went to synagogue Saturday morning. He started teaching. Everyone started whispering.

  • “He must have plagiarized that,” they said.
  • “I know the rumors about miracles, but really? Him?” they said.
  • “He’s a carpenter, not a scholar,” they said.
  • “We know his family and they aren’t nothing,” they said.
  • “Who does he think he is,” they said.

Mark’s story says that after synagogue, Jesus couldn’t do any miracles in town, other than healing a few sick people. Mark’s story says that Jesus was amazed at the lack of faith.

It wasn’t that he had done anything wrong, according to these people. No one said, “That bratty kid?” It was that he had been normal. These people were he grew up with. These were kids he had played with. These families ate their Sabbath dinner the night before at tables he had made for them. And who could believe that a table maker could become the special guest at the table.

One writer said “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”

We think that if Jesus showed up at church and started talking to us, we would find church interesting. We think that if Jesus walked into our office, walked through our front door, came into our laundry room, sat in our kitchen–if Jesus showed up in our life, we would pay attention.

But maybe we would be so distracted by his ordinariness that we would ignore what he said, the hope he offered. And he would be amazed at us just as he was at his hometown.

This didn’t mean that he didn’t know what was coming. When we reread a book, we know how it will end. But we can be amazed at opportunity missed. And saddened.