Dear Faithful One,
How much emotional energy do you spend trying to win those who have been offended by something you said or did? Did you know that Jesus offended those around him as well? Let’s learn from how God handled situations where those around Him were offended by Him.
Matt 13:54-58 reads, “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. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t 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, “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. NIV
Observe that this incident took place among the people “in their synagogue.” These were God’s people. They were in the synagogue as compared to those in the general public. Jesus was addressing those who by their presence in the synagogue are exhibiting life choices that outwardly align with God’s commands. By where they spent their time, they were considered the religious people in their day and time.
The people in the synagogue recognized Jesus’ wisdom and that God was working the miraculous through Him as evidenced by the words, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” Realize then that the people could not deny the evidence of God’s work in action. However, instead of supporting God’s chosen servant, they reverted to human logic. The questions they asked revealed their hearts. They began with “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” They went through Jesus’ entire family and ended with the question, “Aren’t all his sisters with us?”
They could not imagine why God would work through Jesus? So denying all the evidence of the miraculous, they were offended by Jesus’ success.
Perhaps those who were offended had a more established family name in town because of all their service. Perhaps they were connected to family members who have contributed greatly in the community. Whatever the case, they were comparing Jesus’ lack of family name to the accomplishments that followed Him. In their offense, they reveal a heart that trusts more in a “Who’s who” list on earth and in their human effort than in the power of God.
I wonder today if you are in a place where family members and those closest to you refuse to recognize God’s hand on your life. While your heart desired to inspire them to marvel in God’s greatness, their heart judges you as being arrogant and disconnected with reality. Although they cannot explain the fruit in your life, they are offended that you could possibly imagine that God would accomplish great things through you.
Observe that in response, Jesus said, “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” It is a sad truth that those closest to us are the most likely to miss God’s movement in our lives. The consequence of the rejection was this: “And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” Oh Faithful One, God will express the gift He put in us. When those around us reject us, they are the ones who shut down their own blessings. They missed out on the miracles because of their own lack of faith.
Faithful one, instead of forcing the door open with those who reject us, God will move us on to be a blessing to others. You may find yourself contacted by those outside of your family, your church, your work place as they see what those around you have chosen to reject. God will not allow His gift in you to be suffocated. He will use your gift elsewhere and in time, those closest to you will open their hearts and minds to you. I wonder today if God is calling you to move on to bless those who are ready for the blessing? Is there a relationship you need to leave? Is it time to take your gift to a different ministry, company, or city?
I pray this devotion encouraged you in a special way. When I pray for you, “I hear” a victory song. I believe in you because I believe in the power of God’s Word in you as you put His Word into action.
Love, Anita Carman.