And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” Mark 6:4
Why does familiarity breed contempt? Why are those closest to Jesus the ones who had the hardest time accepting who He was? Ever been there?
For nearly 30 years Jesus was with them in the small town of Nazareth. They probably played tag with Him as children, ate with His family, worshiped with Him at the Synagogue, possibly even purchased furniture He built. They knew Him. They knew His character, His kindness, His work ethic, His compassion. Surely they saw these things over the years.
And now Jesus returns after a year or so. They have heard rumblings about His popularity and many miracles. Jesus begins to teach in the same synagogue they likely witnessed thousands of teachers share the Word together. They are astonished by what they hear. The wisdom with which He teaches…like no one before Him; the mighty works done by His hands.
But...they know His mother, His brothers and sisters, His aunts and uncles. A family of little social standing or importance. They know His educational background. No formal training. A mere carpenter.
And because of their preconceived notions about Him; because of their insistence that they know Him so well, they miss the most beautiful part of who He is. Instead of believing, they show contempt. Their wonder based on things they just witnessed turns to offense. How dare Jesus come back here and say things like He is the Messiah? Does He think He is better than us? We know who He really is! It doesn’t make sense.
Jesus, the carpenter, they know. Jesus, the Anointed One, they can’t wrap their head around. It just can’t be this guy we grew up with. Yes, He is kind. Yes, He is a good man. But, He is no Messiah. Familiarity left them blind.
Questions: Why do you think those who grew up with Jesus had the hardest time believing He was the Messiah? What beautiful parts about someone close to you might you be missing? What are those nearest to you missing about you?