Red Letters

John 3:16

And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” Mark 6:4

Friends and neighbors in Nazareth marveled at Jesus’ teaching.  Admired his wisdom. Wondered at his mighty works. Yet, they rejected him.  Hearing with their own ears, seeing with their own eyes, knowing him and his family—and this would have to be knowledge of good character rather than bad—they still did not recognize him as the Son of God.  He was famous. Nevertheless, they rejected him.  Jesus’ conclusion that the prophet is without honor in his own hometown, is a sad commentary on the neighborhood. They had become accustomed to him over time.  To them, Jesus’ presence was ordinary, even though he was revealing wisdom and power they had not seen before.  They thought they knew him.   By rejecting Him, they closed the door to marvelous gifts of help and healing that he could have given them.

This convicts me and it makes me sad, because I see myself in the people of Nazareth.  I have been a Christian for 56 years!  I am committed to Jesus and my life belongs to him.  However, have I become accustomed to Jesus?  I cannot ever imagine myself rejecting him, but maybe I have been neglecting him.  How could my mind drift during prayer?  On Sunday, when I should be remembering how Jesus suffered and died for me during the Lord’s Supper, why am I thinking about what to fix for lunch after church? 

Maybe we all have something in common with those Nazarites.  When faith becomes common to us, rather than vibrant, our Enemy has an open door to block Jesus’ power in our lives.  I am afraid that over the past few months the depressing political scene, the CoVid epidemic, and some physical ailments have loomed larger in my mind than the power of Jesus.  My dreary mindset moved my blog to the sidelines.  The only action my computer saw was a look through emails and Facebook. Could it be that I too have fallen into the trap of allowing my faith to become too familiar? Who knows how God might have used his Word, and even mine, if I had maintained that vibrant relationship with my Savior? What blessings did I miss by not acknowledging the power, wisdom and mighty work that my Lord is capable of?

The Easter season reminds us of who Jesus really is.  The scriptures walk us through his last week on earth. Monday he released the sacrificial animals and cleansed the Temple; he rejected the corruptf religious leaders.  On Tuesday, he taught in the temple.  Probably on Thursday, he established the Lord’s Supper, encouraged his disciples, and prayed in the Garden. Friday, he was crucified, and Sunday, he rose again.  Alive. Vital. Vibrant.  He would now gift his followers with salvation and his own Spirit. Let us give him the highest place in our hearts and minds, even as our disposition ebbs and flows. He will never leave us. Let us give him honor and glory because only he is worthy.

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