Mark 6:1-4 tells the story of how Jesus was received in his hometown of Nazareth even after word had gone ahead of Him of what had happened in His ministry throughout Galilee, "Jesus went out from there and came into His hometown [Nazareth]; and His disciples followed Him. When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, 'Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?' And they took offense [skandalizō] at Him."

Because they looked at Jesus through the eyes of the world, they took offense at Him. The Greek word is skandalizō (the word we get scandal) is best translated, "to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another my fall or stumble". With verse 3 in mind, listen to it this way, the Nazarenes (not the church denomination, but the people of Nazareth) evaluated Jesus based upon externals ("Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?") and incidentals ("Are not His sisters here with us?") causing their perception of Jesus to became a stumbling block to knowing who Jesus really was…that's the scandal. Friends, you cannot know Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of the World if you look at him with worldly eyes!

They despised Jesus because He was a working man like them, because they thought they knew Him, when they never knew Him at all. They could not see passed their own past with Jesus to see ahead to their future with Jesus.

We must beware of the temptation to evaluate people by externals and incidentals! You will miss people for who they are in God if you judge them by their past or by what you think you know about them! By what standard do you evaluate others and yourself?

What is even more scandalous is that the Nazarenes had everything they needed to see Jesus through the eyes of faith. Jesus came to town as a Rabbi with His disciples following Him (v. 1). He taught in the synagogue with great wisdom and clearly His reputation of performing miracles had gone before Him (v. 2). Verses 1-2 give us the evidence that the Nazarenes had all that was necessary to see Jesus through the lens of faith, but they choose to see Him as the world sees—to rely upon externals and incidentals.

We must not be like the Nazarenes and see as the world sees. We must see Jesus, not through externals and incidentals, but through the fruit of His life—His testimony and ministry—His death and resurrection!


Dr. Ingalls new book Live on Mission Today: Battle Drills for a Christ-Centered Life teaches you how to live a Christ-centered life by training you to live according to the training regimen of a Christian soldier. This book was designed intentionally to prepare you to be ready, at any time, to accomplish God’s calling upon your life, anywhere you are commanded to go. You are invited to learn how to train yourself, according to God’s wisdom, to grow strong in God’s grace so that you can live on mission today, without being distracted by that which is not God’s priority for your life. This book teaches you, from a soldier’s perspective, how to live your life effectively and fruitfully for God’s mission in your daily life.

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