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Friday, November 8, 2013
Today’s Reading | Matthew 13:53–58
When Jesus had finished these parables, he left that place.
He came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not this the 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 this?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.” And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief. (NRSV)
“Who does this guy think he is?” “He’s too big for his britches.” Jesus intentionally went to his own hometown, where he initially taught with as much wisdom and performed deeds with as much power as anywhere else. No one doubted that he spoke with authority. However, those who knew his family, what house he had been raised in, who his parents and siblings were, took offense at him. They couldn’t imagine that he could have acquired such stature from the familiar people and surroundings they knew. They thought they knew him and his kin. Therefore, they assumed he was a fake and did not accept or believe in him.
We may have our own experiences of not being invited to share or not being received for what we have to offer when it is in our own setting. Others think they already know us and place limits on our gifts or knowledge. We’ve all had moments when another person says the same thing we said earlier but the other was heard in a way that we were not. The definition of an expert is “someone from the outside.”
Because of others’ lack of reception and faith, Jesus chose not to do many deeds of power in their midst. He deemed that to be a waste of his time and energy. Even God’s power and wisdom won’t have full impact without an openness by people. Reflect on where your own assumptions about God or your own doubts limit what God is willing and able to do in your life.
Make me aware, almighty God, where my own doubts shut out the impact of your presence and influence in my life. Strengthen my belief in you, that I may trust and receive your transforming power. Amen.
Written by Victoria G. Curtiss, Associate Pastor for Mission
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