Lessons Of A Lifetime

Hometown Unbelief
Or
Without Honor At Home
Sunday April 19, 2020

Scripture To Consider:
“Then Jesus came out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, ‘Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?’ So they were offended at Him.”

“But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.’ Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.”                    Mark 6.1-6

Something To Consider:
As Jesus left the area of Capernaum, He went back to His hometown of Nazareth, and His disciples followed Him. That, is what disciples do, they follow Jesus. True disciples follow in His footsteps. True disciples follow His example. If we are following Jesus’ biblical example, then we are His disciples and according to Jesus, His truth will set us free!

Jesus’ last visit to Nazareth did not go well. His life had been threatened. But, once again, Jesus was found teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath. And many of those listening to His teaching were astonished, so much so, that they asked one another; “Where did this Man get these things?” They were speaking of His clear understanding of the law. And again, they asked, “And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands!”

Wisdom is different than knowledge. Knowledge is that which can be taught and learned. Education, for the most part, imparts knowledge. We are instructed in Proverbs 2.6-7; “The LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth came knowledge and understanding; He [the LORD] stores up sound wisdom for the upright [righteous].”

The apostle Paul, in addressing the Christians in Colossians 3.16, exhorted; “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.” What is it that we allow to dwell within us, within our hearts, within our minds, and to rule over our lives and thought process on a daily basis? The wisdom of Christ’s words will never lead us astray!

Something Else To Consider:
Education and knowledge are earned after years of earnest study. But, wisdom, true spiritual wisdom comes from God. In Exodus 31.1-5, God demonstrated this by filling Bezalel with wisdom through the Spirit of God. James, the step brother of Jesus wrote in James 1.5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

These neighbors, childhood friends, and acquaintances of Jesus, listened and also acknowledged His wisdom and mighty works, but their hometown unbelief would not allow them to confess Jesus to be anything more than a homegrown carpenter from Nazareth. What is it that we confess Jesus to be?

Are we willing to confess Jesus as merely a prophet from God? Are we willing to confess Him as just a teacher come from God? Or will we confess Jesus to be God come in the flesh according to the Word of God? And more important, will we confess Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and soon coming Redeemer in the face of end time opposition and the real threat of death? Now, not then, is the time to decide!

Jesus proclaimed in His sermon on the mount in Matthew chapter 5, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. In Matthew 10.22, Jesus professed, “And you [true believers] will be hated by all for My name’s sake [for the name of Jesus]. But he [or she] who endures to the end will be saved.”

Something More To Consider:
But finally, Jesus said to them, and is still saying to us; “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” Jesus was and is more than a prophet, and yet He was without honor in His own hometown of Nazareth. He is still today without honor among many. Jesus was also Jewish, and He came to His own, the Jewish nation, and His own, for the most part, did not and still does not receive Him.

Therefore, we are told, “And He [Jesus] marveled because of their unbelief.” Their attitude had been as if they wanted to say, “Who do You think You are?” But Jesus knew who He was, and one day they and billions of others will too. One day in a moment of time, one day in the twinkling of an eye, according to Jesus, immediately after the tribulation of the end time days, “The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”

One day in the not so far future the governor of New York may wish he had not declared so loud and so foolishly that he and New Yorkers had slowed the spread of the deadly coronavirus. One day in the not so far future he may regret proclaiming that God had nothing to do with the slowing of the deaths in New York by the world-wide pandemic we now speak of as having escaped a China biological weapon laboratory. 

At that same point in the not so far future, many will marvel at their own unbelief, but it will be much too late. Again, according to Jesus, “Then the sign of the Son of Man [Jesus] will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes [nationalities] of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man [Jesus] coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” At that time many will realize their unbelief will have eternal consequences.

A Few Final Words:
And finally, without hesitation, as if planned from the foundation of time, Jesus declared in Matthew 24.31; “And He [the Son of Man, Jesus] will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect [true enduring to the end confessing Christ believers] from the four winds [four corners of the earth], from one end of heaven to the other.” And for many, it will be too late!

The writer of Psalm 102.12 explained; “But You, O LORD, shall endure forever, and the remembrance of Your name to all generations.” Does the mention of the name of Jesus remind us of our unbelief or of our honor for and of Him? Does the hearing of the name of Jesus, create a hunger for His righteousness, or a conviction due to our many unconfessed sins? Does the name of Jesus create an attitude of astonishment within our hearts or a fear of our final and much deserved eternal judgment?

Honor is a distinction that is either bestowed upon one or withheld from one by others. And yet, neither action will alter the true reputation one has earned over time. What reputation has Jesus earned in our minds and hearts? What kind of reputation have we earned in the heart, mind, and eyes of the Lord? “But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.’

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, let us never dishonor Jesus by our being so familiar with Him. Help us to always honor You, Your Word, Your Holy Spirit, and Your Son Jesus. In Him Always, Amen!

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