Truth Challenges My Assumptions

Julia Downey Davis

READ : Mark 6:1-6

Is this not 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. (v. 3)

In Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennett balks at reports of Mr. Darcy’s honorable character. Has she not witnessed his social snobbery? Has she not suffered from his taciturn disposition? Her negative opinion of him stands; surely his admirers are deceived. But she was wrong; they were right.

When Jesus returned to Nazareth to teach in the synagogue, his listeners were astonished, but not with the kind of astonishment that led to belief in the person and work of the Christ. Who did he think he was, with his display of “miracles” and his countenance of authority? They knew him. His mother was Mary. They rubbed shoulders daily with his brothers and sisters. He was common stock – not a superhero.

Jesus’ marvelous words and deeds clashed with his neighbors’ preconceived ideas about him. Prejudice trumped truth, leaving Jesus amazed at their stubborn unbelief. How tragic! Even the willingness to stammer “help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24) could have opened the door to healing and joy.


Lord, open my heart to accept all you are. When my preconceived notions about you are proven wrong, help me see that embracing the truth about you leads to deep joy and peace.