Matthew 13:54-58 Familiarity Breeds Contempt

54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him.

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”

58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Jesus, you were rejected by the people who knew you best.  They could not accept that the little boy down the lane had incredible power and authority.  It is heartening to see that people would not allow you to be different than their preconceived ideas.  I look back on my foolish behavior growing up , and I think, “I am so different now.”  However, I know the potential for the same mistakes is there again.  Sometimes, around old friends, they will tell me that I am ‘still the same old Peter’.  It unsettles me because I wish so much not to be.  You were not swayed by local people’s contempt for you.  I pray that I would not be swayed by local people’s preconceptions of me if I make it back to England this summer.

We can not become anyone we want to be.  However, we can become anything God wants us to be.  Help us to pursue higher things and leave the base things that we once wallowed in behind.  We have caused a lot of heartache and pain to friends and family growing up, and we have caused a lot of joy for some.  As they are closed to the possibilities of what we might be, help us to remember that people rejected you.  You were like us.  You were sometimes isolated and abandoned.  You pushed through, and in the Spirit, we can have the same strength.

Questions

  1. What did Jesus do in his home town?
  2. How did people respond?
  3. What would have been the motives of local people when they dismissed jesus as anyone worthy of allegiance?
  4. How have some people become so familiar with Jesus that he is nothing special?
  5. How have you been dismissed by someone close to you?  Did anyone tell you, “No-one is looking at you!” or “A leopard can’t change it’s spots!”  Remember God dotes upon you and he can change you into whatever he wishes!
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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