What are we to make of Jesus not doing deeds of power due to the lack of belief of the people in his hometown of Nazareth? Just prior to this scene in Mark’s Gospel, we encounter stories of extraordinary healing miracles that include pleas for help. Jairus begs Jesus to heal his daughter. The woman with a hemorrhage boldly reached out for Jesus and voiced the faith she had in his healing power. I have always felt that stories like these emphasize how important it is for me to always realize that I am not only on the receiving end of God’s love and grace, but am also called to cry out to God in thanksgiving and distress.
The story of Jesus’ rejection in Nazareth seems to reinforce this message. Today, I think this has something to say about how when I reject God that I limit God’s ability to work with me, in me and through me. This usually happens when I think I can manage things on my own. But even then, God is not powerless. After all, Jesus was able to do some things in Nazareth. But I believe that with our cooperation — inviting, pleading, praying — with God allows us to not only receive God’s healing grace but to become better instruments of that in the world ourselves.