There is an old saying that probably originated from this passage, “You can’t go back home”. Not all people stay in their home towns. After high school or college, the job market may take them to another city in another state or merely across town.
People who leave their hometown make new friends and develop ways to do life in different ways. They learn in their workplace, develop new skills and generally thrive in their new life. In other words, most people grow up. They look different and are different. Why? Because change is certain and constant. We are not, (praise the Lord), the same people we were as goofy kids who didn’t always do the right thing.
However, to those who knew as as kids, who still live in the neighborhood where we played, still think of us as “that kid”.
Jesus experiences “you can’t go home”, too.
A Prophet Without Honor
53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”
58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
THIS IS WHAT REJECTION LOOKS AND FEELS LIKE…
Jesus grew up in the streets of Nazareth. Two things amazed the people of Nazareth: the Lord’s words and His works. However, they did not trust in Him, and this limited His ministry. What caused the people to doubt Him? They were too familiar with Him in a human way, for He had grown up in their neighborhoods, went to the same synagogue school to learn with their boys and played with their kids. It was a case of knowing Him as human flesh and blood while not having the spiritual discernment that God gives to those who will yield to Him (Matt. 11:25–30). These hometown people walked by sight and not by faith.
But, if His own friends and family did not trust Him, what hope was there that the nation would believe on Him? Early in His ministry, Jesus had preached at Nazareth (Luke 4:16–31) and had been rejected, and now He was rejected again. This was His final visit to Nazareth; those villagers had no more opportunities. Jesus would be known as “Jesus of Nazareth,” and His followers would be called “Nazarenes,” but Nazareth would not receive Him.
Rejection by anyone is hard, but from those we knew as beloved family and friends stings. When we face rejection, know that our LORD knows deeply what we feel.
How must we handle rejection and ridicule from loved ones and friends? Do what Jesus did. Be who you are now and move on in what God, our Father, has given us to do. Love them. Pray for them. But move along to accomplish God’s will.
How can we cope with rejection?
Who is our help?
Who understands most of all to a greater degree than anyone else on this earth?
The answer to all three questions is Jesus! He is our constant help and deliverer. Our help comes from the Lord. God, our Father sent Jesus, the Rejected One, to save us!
Camp on that blessed thought!
FROM KIDS TO GROWING FAITH-WALKERS…
I am reminded of Psalm 121, that I was required to memorize as a 5th grader. No, I did not go to a private school. My public school teacher, a Godly woman, said this was a “piece of literature” that would give us peace in life. She was right. This teacher was one of many influential people in my life who dared to be a difference in many lives. She passed on the joy of teaching to me along with the boldness of faith.
Here is where our help comes from for life:
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”
Psalm 121, KJV (the only version of the Bible we knew of at that time!)
Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank God for this teacher who instilled the importance of Your Word and YOU as a help to us at an early age in my life. I thank God for parents and grandparents who lived faith in You in front of me. I thank God for many other mentors who accepted your call to influence my life and others. Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul and giving me Your Holy Spirit to guide, comfort, convict, challenge and keep me focused on You. When I forget, you remind me of your constant help. When I am rejected, you are there to comfort and move forward in faith believing. Oh Lord, I have nothing but humbled gratitude for you this morning.
In Jesus Name, Amen