April 26

Text: Matthew 13:54-58

And coming to His home town He began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they became astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom, and these miraculous powers?  Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?  And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?"  And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his home town, and in his own household."  And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief. (NASB)

Jesus went home.  As a Jew, he did Jewish things—attend synagogue, teach in the synagogue.  The typical young man from an out-of-the-way place returned as a noteworthy man who did the incredible.

The people who knew him were both impressed and insulted.  Identical acts produced both results—both the “Wow” reaction and the “Who does he think he is?” reaction.  It is easy to be impressed with what the child became.  It is also easy to resent the “nobody special” who became quite well known.

The overriding impression seems to have been a resentful reaction.  Maybe rather than rejoicing in the fact that someone from their village “made it,” the people were unimpressed with the family.  “We know where he came from—his Dad’s work, what Jesus used to do, his mother, and his brothers and sisters (and what the siblings thought of him).  The family was good enough people—but nothing special.  Where did Jesus get his knowledge and power?  Certainly not from here—he was not that impressive!”

Wonder if they knew Mary was pregnant before marriage?  Wonder if they thought Joseph’s forgiveness was weakness?  Wonder if Jesus was much older than his siblings?  Wonder how his siblings related to him?  Wonder if the family was “weird”?  Did the family “move in” and fail to be “one of us”?

Jesus’ ministry began when he was about 30.  When he left, he was an unmarried adult in a marrying society.  When the unmarried man returned, the village’s reaction was unbelief.  Jesus felt the rejection—it impacted what he did!  He did not return to perform.  Returning home is difficult!

Suggestion for reflection: Do you limit Jesus’ influence in your life?  How?  (Read Acts 26:15-18.)

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