The Hometown Syndrome

Mark 6:1-6

1 He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 3 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. 4 Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” 5 And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.”  NRSV

I can’t speak for every minister, but for me and many of my colleagues in ministry, Jesus’ experience is one we all know. Personally, I was supported far more than I deserved from the people in my home church when I answered my call to ministry,  butI could have never been their minister.

My hometown knew me as Jim and Charlotte’s boy, and Kathy and John’s big brother, and associated me with many other things that made it impossible for me to claim the ministerial authority every pastor requires to serve the people. In a minister’s hometown, a minister can never overcome their history there. That is why Jesus “could do no deed of power there…”

Be a blessing to someone today!

Leave a Reply