Since we all are seeing a lot more of our families lately, it reminded me of how Jesus’ hometown reacted to Jesus returning home, encountering the people that would assumedly have his back the most. As you might guess, they were not so supportive of Jesus:
Mark 6 (starting in verse 1): He left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands!
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?’ And they took offence at him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’ And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Except at home
Yikes! Jesus was renown for miracles and healings at this point in the countryside yet when he taught to his own hometown their reaction was something like:
“Who does this guy think he is? He was just a woodworker right? Aren’t his brothers and sisters more important around town? This is offensive, how is he an expert in anything, much less religion?”
Jesus recognizes this dynamic and calls it out: “Prophets (speakers of important and often uncomfortable truths) have a noble profession, except in the eyes of the people they grew up with, especially their own family.”
Bringing our our worst
Ultimately Jesus takes on a limited role in town. The people that should have his back the most have so little faith in him that he starts to back off his ministry.
We must admit, while our families and siblings love us (we hope) they can give us a lot of grief and bring out the worst in us.
Having faith in each other
Our challenge as we live in this forced proximity is to learn how to build each other up instead of relaxing into a lazy attitude of ‘yeah right, you don’t have anything valuable to say.’ Having faith in each other means sometimes suspending our low expectations and offering more forgiveness for mistakes.
We are called to love one another, and for our close family members we must practice some appreciation and forgiveness.
How can you show grace to those in your home?