Rejection at Home

“But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” (Mark 6:4)

A town will give great honor to a “hometown boy” if he makes good in athletics or the entertainment world. But if he becomes known as an influential Christian, the hometown folks usually are embarrassed about it.

Jesus Himself experienced this. He grew up in Nazareth, and it was there that He had “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52). When He returned to Nazareth, however, after the early days of His ministry, “as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read” (Luke 4:16). He was already recognized there as proficient in the Scriptures, and they had heard tales about His miracles, so the invitation to speak was natural, but there were certain mumbles. “Is not this the carpenter’s son?” they asked. “Whence then hath this man all these things?” (Matthew 13:55-56).

At first, “all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth” (Luke 4:22). But then, as He applied a key prophecy to Himself and rebuked them for their unbelief, they “were filled with wrath” and tried unsuccessfully to slay Him (Luke 4:28-29). “Neither did his brethren believe in him” (John 7:5), and only His mother was with Him when He was crucified (John 19:25). As David had written prophetically, “I am become a stranger unto my brethren. . . . For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up” (Psalm 69:8-9).

Perhaps those Christians who have been rejected by their family and former friends can identify with Jesus when He said: “For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother” (Mark 3:35). We still have a family—an eternal one! HMM

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