The home town crowd is
astounded at Jesus’ teachings and deeds of power. Jesus is amazed that it
doesn’t make a difference. He is still the carpenter, the son of Mary, even if
he can cast out demons and heal the sick and speak with wisdom the origin of which defies explanation.
To be fair Jesus is asking neighbors and relatives to suspend logic and move
beyond anything they could imagine about him. That is the difference between
knowing and believing. They can see that there is something different about him
and even name it but they cannot (or will not) believe he is more than the
Jesus they have always known. That is what happens to the
twelve sent out two by two as well. Called and commissioned to proclaim “the
kingdom come” they do the things that Jesus does, casting out demons, healing
the sick and preaching the Jesus sermon. “The kingdom of God has come near.
Repent and believe the good news.” And they receive the same reception as
Jesus does. Aren’t you James and John, the fishermen, the sons of Zebedee? There is
no indication that Jesus did any dust shaking when rejected so perhaps the
instruction to shake the dust off their sandals has as much to do with the
disciples not being discouraged as it does the house that will not welcome. But
like the disciples sent out the message received is meant to move one from
knowing to believing to doing. We might know a thing or two about Jesus and be able to
recite the tenants of the faith as described in creeds and catechisms just like
the home town crowd knew about Jesus. Faith calls us to move beyond what we know in order to
believe what cannot be known. Or in other
words what you know becomes who you are and who you are becomes more like the
One you know.