and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this qthe carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters 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 hometown and in his own household.” And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief. (Matthew 13:54-58 ESV)
Can you imagine this scenario? Jesus grew up around these people from his hometown. Jesus was like every other kid, the lack of information about his youth is apparent. However, since Jesus was fully human it is fair for us to assume He was just like us in the fact that He played with other kids. He did kid type things minus committing any sins. Yet, if you have grown up in a town and aspired to greatness or have been alleviated to a position of leadership… those that knew you when you were younger see you different.
“I used to change your diaper.” “I used to babysit you.” One of the hardest things anyone can do is to return back to lead those whom you grew up around. If you have ever tried to witness to a family member or friend who has seen you in a different stage in life. Yet, this is exactly what Jesus was doing. He was bearing witness to what our Heavenly Father had in store for us.
There He was teaching in the synagogue about God’s plan for our salvation. Picture this; you attend church and hear God’s Word proclaimed to you. It works on you to the point where you just have to share it with someone else. Since we are shy about engaging strangers, we approach the safe people around us, family and friends. Often times instead of hearing what we have to share they will call us out on things we have done in the past, but that is exactly the key. We did those things in the past and God has revealed to us a new life as His children and we no longer do the things we once did.
Jesus says, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” Stand fast, while we are seen with honor amongst those we grew up. We have honor and glory in God. Through Baptism, we have been set apart, we are His holy people. It is through this life in the body of Christ that we don’t worry how others see us from the past, but how they see us, the change God has made in our lives. We alse need not worry about finding the right words, we simply need to be faithful to planting seeds.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11 ESV)
Gracious Father, thank you for the many blessings you have bestowed upon us. Lord forgive us for faltering when witnessing to family and friends. Forgive us for our past sinners. Lord, for the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, help your lost people us in our new lives in the body of Christ. Send Your Spirit to provide us resolve, courage, and strength so that we may be the witnesses and missionaries for You in this broken world. Amen