A Prophet without Honor

Matthew ends this interesting section with a sad statement: “And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.”

Matthew 13:54-58, Mark 6:1-6

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One Reply to “A Prophet without Honor”

  1. Note: The references here are from Matthew and Mark, but also found in Luke 4:24 and John 4:44.

    The miracles performed by Jesus before this event and the amazing teaching he provided were not enough to convince his home town that God was moving among his people. They could not fathom the possibility that this was all a divine plan to restore the relationship with God, to remove the barriers that were strongly built by men and to offer eternal hope. They simply couldn’t let go of the past and their myopic view of Jesus, the carpenter’s son. They missed the point. How often are they actually we?

    Yesterday I received a phone call from an old friend, someone I haven’t heard from in a few years, but a man of God who pours out his heart on those incarcerated at a local state prison. He’s especially gifted for this ministry because he spent many years inside that prison for his mistakes. His story is one of redemption, of restoration. To many it’s unbelievable and impossible to accept. To those of us who know him, who have worshiped and worked with him, there is no doubt his heart has been transformed by God. I consider it a blessing to know him. But the requirements of our government for some former inmates never lets go, it continues to nag and remind him of a past that’s long been left behind. I pray for my friend as I hear the pain that simply won’t go away, the thorn in his side.

    Jesus knows our pain because he walked around in human flesh and subjected himself to mankind. Only in Christ can we move forward, regardless of the taunts and sneers from those who do not know better.

    Deep inside I think Jesus wanted to heal everyone in his home town. He did, after all, grow up their as a child, as a young adult. They may not have noticed anything special about him, but if they stopped to consider, I wonder if they would have remembered his perfect demeanor. We don’t have records to corroborate that which we believe, but I’m willing to say that Jesus, as a child, was exceptional in every way, was meek and mild, was gentle and strong. Notice the questions of the crowd don’t reveal a scandalous past, only that they knew who he was as a younger man and child and that he had brothers and sisters. For some reason, in their finite minds, this excluded him from being a prophet–certainly not the Messiah–they knew better (somehow).

    Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith. Amazed, in the Greek: thaumazo, to be amazed (at), in wonder, astonished, surprised. The word is used 43 times in the New Testament. It’s a great word that expresses a genuine sense of surprise and acceptance at the same time. Surely we’ve all felt this sense at one time or another. In this case, it provides a very sad and negative connotation. For my friend, I’m thaumazo that our government won’t let go of the past. For the world that needs to know Jesus, I’m hopeful that thaumazo will not be the word we use too often in a negative sense. Rather I hope we’ll marvel that those who come to Christ from all sorts of backgrounds.


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