And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 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 these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.
Matthew 13:53-58 ESV
One of the first places the ETBU group visited was the town of Nazareth. Jesus grew up in Nazareth and it was there that he learned from His earthly father Joseph to be a carpenter. The people of Nazareth watched Jesus grow up and I wonder if they noticed anything special about the young Jesus. Since Jesus never sinned I would bet that He would have been a bit different from the other boys and girls in Nazareth. A few even then probably did not like Jesus calling him a goody two shoes. Maybe they wondered why Jesus never took their dares. Maybe it was those same kids now adults that refused to believe Jesus was the long awaited Messiah.
Jesus went home to Nazareth to teach the Good News. Instead of listening to what Jesus said and believing they were more concerned with how Jesus came to this knowledge. Here was the man who would bring salvation to the world and they cannot get past the fact that Jesus was a hometown boy.
What might have happened if the people of Nazareth could have gotten past where Jesus came from and listen to His teachings with an open mind? Instead Jesus left the town He grew up in never to return.
People today still have trouble accepting Jesus for who He is. How can some itinerate carpenter form some nowhere town in a backwater part of the Roman Empire possible be relevant to me today? They block out what Jesus had to say because they cannot get over where He came from or how His followers act. Instead of reading His Word they assume they know what it says because they have been feed cherry picked verses to support preconceived ideas. In doing so they miss out on the greatest event of all history and miss the greatest gift ever given to humans.
When we filter Jesus words through our own prejudices and worldview we miss out on the message that Jesus came to earth to deliver. We miss out on a relationship with the God who created the universe. We miss out on eternity.
Have a blessed day,
PS: Daniel and the ETBU group are back from Israel.