Like the people of Jesus’ own country, we are often sceptical


 

The people of Jesus’ hometown, Nazareth, had the biggest mental blocks about Him. They knew His antecedents. To them, Jesus was not anybody more that “the son of a carpenter, Mary’s son…..” He was not the messiah of their ideas: a glorious, triumphant, mysterious one. Their judgment on Him was in turn a judgment on themselves. “Could someone like us, who lives in the midst of us, do the things that Jesus did?”  they thought. And so it speaks of their own low self-esteem.

There are several lessons to be taken from this piece of Scripture. We are focusing on why Nazareth rejects Jesus just because He grew up there. If we look objectively, it’s understandable. If someone we knew from childhood came back and tried to teach a message of which we were unsure of, it would be easy to label them as “just the boy or girl down the street”. This is the syndrome that faced Jesus as He tried to teach the people of Nazareth an “unpopular” message. He was known as the “carpenter’s son” and the “son of Mary” but not considered the Messiah. They could not comprehend that someone from such humble beginnings could be Savior of the world.

The people of Jesus’ own native place were just as astonished at Him as we might be about an exemplary person in our own time. How fast the people turned against Jesus, labeled Him as just another “man around town” and took offense at Him! Doesn’t it just seem that every time a good person tries to link good deeds, good behavior and clean thoughts to God, that some people seem to line up to find a way in which that person is false, somehow? It is easier to throw stones than to build bridges and it’s easier to try to hide one’s faith rather than to stand up to the crowd. That’s what happened there, but we can try to change the end of the story in our place and in our time!

Like the people of Jesus’ own country, we are often sceptical. We have fixed ideas on where religious insight will come from and we dismiss all sorts of people and ideas because they don’t fit in. Could a mere carpenter really be God? A man who was executed as a criminal? We ought heed God’s warning through Jeremiah: ‘If you do not listen to me by paying attention to the words of the prophets, I will make this city a curse.’ Because of their lack of faith, Jesus could not perform any of the mighty deeds that they had heard about. Today, we need to believe in Jesus and see Him in others. We need to have faith in what we cannot see, in order to have life for eternity. The fewer prejudices we have, the greater is the chance for us to accept and understand others and open ourselves to the truth. Let us recognize the goodness and talents of the members of our own family, our own community and of others in our neighborhood.

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