"Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?" And they took offense at Him.Mark 6:3(NASB)
Jesus was a Man that went about doing good, but those who knew Him as a young lad in the little village of Nazareth, were unable to accept Him and His teachings. They rejected the Lord of life Who was the Word made flesh and the Messiah of God.
It is said, 'familiarity breeds contempt', and the people of Nazareth were so biased against Jesus that He could not do many mighty miracles there, because of their unbelief. How true is the saying, "A prophet does not go without being honoured, except in His own hometown and among His own family members."
The people of Nazareth had watched the young Jesus at play and probably employed his carpentry skills... to build a yoke of oxen, repair some broken furniture, fashion a wooden bowl, or decorate a special cabinet. No doubt they had seen Him interact with His younger brothers and sisters, and they may have even remembered the uproar when He was discovered to be missing for three days during a visit to the Temple - when He was 12 years old.
There would be those that continued to view Him and His parents with disdain, knowing of the scandal that erupted around His surprise 'virgin' birth... and Mary's hasty 'shot-gun' marriage to Joseph! How little the people understood of God's plans and God's ways.
The majority of them were unable to divorce the negative bias they felt for Jesus from the gracious message of life and truth that He was proclaiming. Their familiarity with the Lord, blocked then from hearing and responding to the gracious words that fell from His lips.
It was during one of His rare visits to Nazareth that Jesus attended the synagogue, one Sabbath day. He began to teach there and, no doubt, He expanded the law and the prophets. Many were astonished at His understanding of the Scriptures and questioned where Jesus had gained such wisdom.
Although they listened to His teaching with their ears, they did not mix it with the hearing of faith. They murmured disparagingly amongst themselves saying, "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary? And brother of James, Joses, Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?" These shortsighted neighbours of Jesus were unable to shake free from the weighty biases with which they had become entrenched.
Gracious words and impressive deeds could not impact these small-minded neighbours of our Lord. They were so critical of this local lad with the shocking scandal that surrounded His conception and birth and the dis-interesting normality of His simple, family life with his younger siblings, who themselves were disparaging about His claims, that the people of Nazareth dismissed the possibility that this Man in their midst was the eternal Son of the Most High God Who had come to save His people from their sins.
They were so eaten up with their own sense of importance, that they failed to recognise that the One amongst them was the long-awaited Messiah of Israel. They could not comprehend that Jesus was the eternal Son of the Father - the Word made flesh - the incarnate God.
May we be careful not to allow our own personal biases, nor those of our family, friends, or teachers, to distract us from the saving truth of the incarnate Word of God. May we be prepared to suffer the disdain of others for Christ's sake, Who loved us and gave Himself for us.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your only begotten Son to be born into the human race so that by His perfect life, sacrificial death, and glorious Resurrection, I might have life everlasting and the forgiveness of sins, through faith in Him. Keep me, I pray, from developing any biases. Give me a teachable spirit and guide me into all truth. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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