Mark 6:4

at which Jesus said, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his home town, and among his own relatives, and in his own home.”

looking through a lens
momentarily tangent
to an accustomed view
but fundamentally not of it
leads to prophecy
or its misspelled cousin madness

drop in on a troubled but stable
unforgiving line
brings an immediate reflection
on what seems forever set
cannot be otherwise
requires a happy-face mask

touch from beyond the present
exceeds two dimensions
intersections are deeper than seemed
inflections do add up
current dis-ease eventually welcomed
persistence reveals prevailing love

drawing a larger circle
expands contact
shocking more segments
shaking foundational assumptions
blind to options compassions
only embraced under duress

“…rejection is part of both the paradigm of the prophet and of the hero cross-culturally….” [Levine71]

Response to rejection is a formative moment in our growth. It can enhance or retard our claim on our gifts and opportunities to use them.

This saying recognizes a next shift in identity. In LaVerdiere’s schematic of Mark, we are completing the call to join a band of merry men and their early difficulties of lack of understanding parables, food, healing, and storms on the lake. We now leave hometowns and relatives behind to focus on teaching a mission of belovedness and change to the Twelve.

As Levine points out:

Jesus is eventually rejected by all of “his people”—however that may be understood. He was rejected by Jews and Gentiles: family (3.19b–21), townspeople (6.1–6), Gentiles who witness his healing power (5.17), Peter (8.32, 14.71), disciples (14.50), chief priests and Sanhedrin, and the “crowd” influenced by them (ch14, 15.8,11,15) those who “passed by” (15.29), the two men crucified with him (15.32), and finally, even God (15.34).

Any illusion we have of returning as a conquering hero needs to be left in the dust if we are going to do the work we sense is ours to do. Hero journeys are to bring us to a point beyond proof of worth.

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