Prophet Without Honour

(Mark 6:1-6)

After a period of time Jesus came back to the country and towns where he had grown up. He taught them in the synagogues and the the people were amazed at him. But their amazement was not becuse of his message, but because they had known him from childhood and did not understand the change that had come over him.

They questioned in astonishment saying, “Where did this man get all this? WHat is the wisdom given to him? What mighty works are wrought by his hands!” (Verse 2)

Because they had known him since childhood and he grew up amongst them, they did not understand these things. They could see the amazing things that he was doing, but could not perceive that this was the work of God. They were looking at Jesus as if he were still, “The kid next door.” They did not see him as the Son of God. They looked at him from a physical rather than a spiritual perspective for they said, “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” (Verse 3)

As an aside we see here mentioned the earthly family from which Jesus came. His brothers are named and it is shown he had sisters as well.

But the people did not perceive the spiritual aspect of the works he was doing and so they took offence. It was as if they were saying, “Jesus? He’s just a carpenter so what would he know about matters of the Church!” Too often even today people are misjudged by appearances. Too often we see people ignored because they do not have the trappings of a professional or a specialist. Too often we see people give precedence to those taught by man but ignore those taught by God.

Nowhere is this more evident than among those who know us, as happened to Jesus. His comment rings true when he said, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” (Verse 4) Amongst his own people and kin he was just the kid next door and not really special, but to the rest of the world he was something special and his message was remarkable.

So too let us look at the content of what people say and not judge them by what they may appear. Even Jesus said that perfect praise can come out of the mouths of babes. (Matthew 21:16) In Jesus case it was the content or the message that was critical and we need to learn to listen to and weigh up the messages we hear from others, irrespective of who they may be. We too may receive great pearls from the most unlikely sources…even the kid next door.

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