Who Is This?

A re-telling of Mark 6: 1 – 4.

A man of indeterminate age arrived in the town on foot, looking dusty, tired and travel-worn. He was accompanied by a small, disparate band of companions plodding along behind him equally weary. Most of them were in patched robes and old sandals, that had clearly walked for many miles.

To look at their leader, his age could have been guessed at as being anything between early twenties to the late thirties. It was impossible to tell yet his eyes, to anyone who bothered to look, were those of much greater age and experience with a maturity belied by his physical appearance.

A few people glanced his way as he passed by them and in one or two of the faces that turned toward him was a question; have I seen him before, maybe should I recognise him?

He obviously knew where he was going as he strode along the main street, without asking directions from any of the passers by. At a home occupied by a widow he stopped and without knocking or calling out, he went inside. It was a small house without enough room for all of his band, so he sent some of them on to find other lodgings.

On the Sabbath day, along with his friends, he joined the men and women making their way made through the village to it’s synagogue. Upon reaching it he went straight inside, along with his friends who spread themselves around between the people already seated on benches around the walls and wherever there was space on the floor. As the room filled, to the amazement of the local people, the leader of the band of visitors stood up and began to speak to them. His companions showed no surprise at this, though many of the village people did not expect it and were taken aback.

It wasn’t just that the stranger stood up to speak that was a bit of a shock, there was also wonder and astonishment at the wisdom of his words, as he shared what he believed about how men and women should behave toward each other.

Before he had finished speaking, he was interrupted. A man whose eyes showed sudden recognition of the speaker stood up. Butting in, he said ‘Don’t I know you? Aren’t you a carpenter, Jesus, the son of Joseph and Mary? You’ve got brothers and sisters too, I’m sure of it.’

Jesus said to the man who had spoken and all the others looking on, ‘Why did it take you so long to remember who I am? You see me still as the son of the carpenter but you do not know how much has changed for me since I went away. People grow, as I have, but you are sceptical and cannot accept it. This is my home town, where I was brought up, but in your eyes I am without honour here, though I have done nothing to deserve this treatment.

As he left the village of Nazareth, he healed but a very few people. He could hardly believe their lack of faith.

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