Too Close To See Clearly
Daily Reading and Devotional from the Gospels
1 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. 2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. 4 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. 5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
Jesus went back to his boyhood home of Nazareth. They were so blessed that he had grown up there. The town was very small and unknown. The people of the place were the subject of ridicule. Nathanael expressed the common view of just about everyone who knew about the little village when he said, ”Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?”(John 1:46) You would expect royalty to reside in Rome, maybe Jerusalem but never Nazareth and yet Jesus was raised in this small country village. Jesus lived in this little town from early childhood until he was roughly thirty years old. It is almost as though he wanted every common person to know that he loves them and is there for them. Ask just about anybody in Nazareth and they would tell you, “Jesus? Sure I know him.” They saw him grow. They knew his parents, they were poor. They knew his brothers and sisters. As a matter of fact, they thought they had all the facts about him. They didn’t need to know more. There was one problem, the things they thought they knew were all wrong! They thought he was the carpenter’s son. It turns out Joseph was only the step dad. Jesus was actually the only begotten Son of God. Just because he lived poor they assumed that he was poor but actually he was heir to all the cattle on a thousand hills. That is the problem with thinking you know it all isn’t it? What if you don’t? The person that thinks they know it all never learns.
Mark 6:4 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
Sometimes the people closest, are too close to see clearly. No doubt we take family and friends for granted and we must be careful to avoid that. More importantly we must be aware that our Bible Belt past doesn’t actually do us harm. The Scripture says that Jesus could do no mighty work there because of their unbelief (Mk 6:5-6). It turns out that living in Nazareth was a very dangerous place to live. Everyone there was too close to see clearly. Everyone knew too much to think they needed to look further. Could it be that those of us who live in a gospel saturated area are living in a dangerous place too? We think because we were raised in church that we know all there is to know about Jesus and his Word. We judge everything based upon our experience.
What if all we saw wasn’t really all?
There is more to Jesus than what you have seen. There is more to know than what you have heard. That hypocrite that you knew, didn’t show you the real complete Jesus. When Nathanael asked, Can anything good come from Nazareth? Philip answered, “Come and see” (Jn 1:46). There is more to see and know about Christ. Come and see for yourself.