Game Changer Week 1 Devotional Day 1
Day 1 – Monday
Mark 6:1-6; Mark 1:21-22; Mark 9:24
What sorts of things produce “astonishment” in today’s society? When have you been astonished by the work and teachings of Christ?
The word “astonished” in the original Greek language means to “be struck” with astonishment, admiration, to be amazed. It carries with it the idea of being “knocked-out” of one’s senses, or as we might say today: Mind. Blown. It may leave us speechless, or shaking our heads in wonder.
In Mark 1:21-22, Jesus had gone out to Capernaum to teach, and the people were astonished because Jesus taught as one who had authority. Immediately following this statement, Mark tells us that the people were coming from all over, bringing others to be healed. Their astonishment led them to believe, and their belief caused them to respond in faith. Not so in Mark 6.
Jesus was now teaching in his own hometown. Yes, the people were astonished. They wondered how he came up with his teachings and wisdom, how he could heal so miraculously. This Jesus who had grown up before their eyes into the man who made their furniture and did their carpentry work had not been raised or trained as a Rabbi. Yet he came to them as an itinerant Rabbi would, disciples in tow, teaching with authority, and Mark tells us “they took offense at him.” They found him off-putting, they did not respond in faith, but in unbelief.
Sometimes we are like the people in Jesus’ hometown. In our own humanity, we grapple with hard Bible passages. Increasingly, we see the things embraced by our culture as contrary to Jesus’ teachings, and we may find ourselves like the people in this story, questioning Jesus’ authority.
Think of one or two cultural values that you struggle reconciling to the word of God. Pray for wisdom, clarity, and understanding. Ask for help in transforming any unbelief to faith and acceptance, using the words of the father in Mark 9.