Mark 6:1-6 (CEB)

6:1 Jesus left that place and came to his hometown. His disciples followed him. On the Sabbath, he began to teach in the synagogue. Many who heard him were surprised. “Where did this man get all this? What’s this wisdom he’s been given? What about the powerful acts accomplished through him? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t he Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” They were repulsed by him and fell into sin.

Jesus said to them, “Prophets are honored everywhere except in their own hometowns, among their relatives, and in their own households.” He was unable to do any miracles there, except that he placed his hands on a few sick people and healed them. He was appalled by their disbelief.


Here was Jesus in his hometown, yet the question of who he is began long before…. 

On a wondrous night in Bethlehem, a child came into this world without much fanfare. There was no room, so he came quietly and unannounced and was placed in a manger, far from the crowds and unbeknownst to most. For Jesus, life had poor and humble beginnings. Before Jesus becomes an adult and begins to preach, he probably grew up just like any other child. But today, we also know that in the quietness of the night, his seemingly ordinary birth will become the extraordinary moment that would change the world forever. 

So now, let’s return to the scene of a grownup Jesus…. 

When Jesus starts his life’s work, he begins in his hometown, Nazareth. He had to begin somewhere, so why not where the people knew him? Or so they thought they did. Yet the people weren’t expecting Jesus’ radical words, so much so, that when some hear him for the first time, they can’t help but ask, “Who is this guy?” Or “Where did this man get these things?” Jesus’ words are not ordinary. Now his words are radical and belie his simple beginnings.

From what seems like the ordinary, has become the extraordinary. Not everyone will recognize Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Not everyone will know that there is a radical thing that has happened –that God came into this world in an ordinary way, to live among us, as an ordinary man, and then to offer us the chance to be transformed.    

But it isn’t just Jesus whose life is transformed into something extraordinary. Although we are only human, in so many ways, God wraps our ordinary moments with God’s extraordinary grace. Maybe we don’t see it right away. At first, maybe it seems like every other day, but it is a life known in simple truths. In gentle ways, God’s grace makes the ordinary extraordinary, by offering us God’s radical and unconditional love, which will be seen and known when we slow ourselves down enough to really witness it. Many times, it is felt through small but humble moments. Many times, it may seem simple and ordinary at first. Yet our lives have God’s extraordinary grace written all through our existence.

by Barbara Carlson

For Pondering & Prayer

How often does something ordinary become something extraordinary? Something radical? Something unexpected? It didn’t just happen with Jesus. Think of all the unique stories of how people all around the globe come to know one another. How about how someone’s simple words change hearts and open minds? Perhaps it is just the miraculous way you came to be where you are today: in a relationship, at a job, in averting a crisis or simply by having the chance to really see another’s pain. How is your unique life an example of God’s extraordinary love and grace?


Gracious God, let me know you. In small and simple ways, let my life reflect all the ways that you have transformed me. Let my life be extraordinarily yours. Amen.