July 3

Mark 6:1-6

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’” vs. 4

The people who thought they knew Jesus the best, the people of his own home town, took offense at his words when he returned to Nazareth during his Galilean mission. It isn’t that they weren’t impressed–they thought he was astounding and that his wisdom was unparalleled. Jesus wasn’t surprised by the rejection–it was what prophets had come to expect. The only prophet anyone had listened to in Israel’s history was Jonah and he had been preaching to Assyrians. It’s just difficult to hear a word from the Lord when it comes from someone you know well. The familiarity blocks our ears–and it’s really sad. Often the prophetic word that comes from a spouse or a family member is totally ignored, even when what they have to say is exactly what we need to hear. Somehow we can’t imagine that a person we’ve actually lived with, who knows all of our weaknesses, can offer wisdom that could change our lives. What a blessing it is when the day comes that our ears are opened to their intervention! There were a few people in Nazareth who did listen to Jesus in spite of their familiarity, and the text tells us that they were healed. That’s how it is when prophets come home–when we finally decide to listen, lives can be changed. Just because we know someone well doesn’t mean they can’t be trusted.

Thought for the Day: Why does familiarity breed contempt?

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