The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Opinion

September 28, 2013

INSTANT MESSAGE: A Prophet Without Honor

Mark 6: 1-5

1 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. "Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! 3 Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. 4 Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor." 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.

Why is a prophet not honored among his own people? It’s not that they felt he didn’t deserve the honor. It’s just that because they were familiar with him, they couldn’t give him the respect he deserved. If he had been a total stranger, there would have been more of a mystery surrounding him. Aesop said, “familiaritybreeds contempt.” We tend to take for granted what we see every day. We tend to consider things common that may actually be extraordinary.  I’ve heard of people living in Colorado Springs who have never been to the summit of Pike’s Peak. To them it’s no big deal, just a mountain they see every day.

So the people of Nazareth wouldn’t give Jesus honor because they knew him well, but not well enough. They watched him grow up; they watched him work with his dad as a carpenter; they knew his family. How could he perform miracles and teach like this?

We must be careful, as we grow more and more familiar with Jesus, that we do not begin to think of him as common. We must give him the respect due him no matter how close to him we become.  We must never take him for granted or forget that he is God in the flesh and the creator of the universe. Jesus could not perform many miracles in Nazareth because of the townspeople’s lack of faith. Some were even offended by his teaching and claims.  Even though you have always heard of him, continue to give him your faith and respect. Then you will see miracles in your life.

————

Autographed copies of Craig's fiction novel “The Dead Peasants File” are for sale at Blaser's Books in downtown Palestine. Harris is the pastor at Brushy Creek and Mt. Vernon United Methodist churches.

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