Verse 1-2: “He went away from there and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. And on the Sabbath, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, ‘Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands?'”
Jesus, rolls back into Nazareth. Now, this is Jesus, the guy they’ve seen grow up, play in the dusty streets, maybe fix a table or two. But now, he’s a teacher, a healer, and people are blown away. “Hold up, where did he get all this wisdom and power?”
Verse 3: “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offence at him.”
Instead of cheering, the crowd gets sceptical. “Wait, isn’t this just Jesus, the carpenter? Mary’s son? James, Joses, Judas, Simon’s brother? What’s the big deal?” And this scepticism turns into offence.
Verse 4-5: “And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honour, except in his home town and among his relatives and in his own household.’ And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them.”
Jesus, says: “A prophet is not without honour, except in his home town.” Jesus is saying, “Familiarity can be a tough crowd.” The sad thing is, they missed out on the full power of Jesus because of their familiarity and offence.
Nazareth, Jesus’ home town, becomes a stumbling block. The very place where he should have been celebrated becomes a challenge because of familiarity. The people of Nazareth let their familiarity with Jesus breed scepticism. Instead of seeing the miraculous, they’re stuck on “Isn’t this just the carpenter we know?”
Offence becomes the roadblock. Instead of embracing the incredible works of Jesus, they get offended. Familiarity breeds offence, and offence blocks the miracles. Jesus acknowledges the challenge—a prophet isn’t always honoured in his home town. Familiarity can be a tough crowd that hinders the recognition of greatness.
Due to their lack of faith and offence, the people of Nazareth miss out on the full power of Jesus. He can only do a few miracles because of their scepticism.
Familiarity can be a double-edged sword. While it brings comfort, it can also breed scepticism. Don’t let the familiar blind you to the extraordinary. Familiarity shouldn’t lead to scepticism. Instead, let it be a platform to witness the growth, wisdom, and miracles unfolding in the lives of those around you.
Offence can be a showstopper. Guard your heart against offence, especially when the extraordinary is happening in familiar places and faces.
Sometimes, greatness is right in front of us, in the familiar faces and places. Recognise and celebrate the growth, wisdom, and miracles happening in your community.
Familiarity should not dull your expectation for the extraordinary. God’s work is not limited by familiarity; it’s often right in the midst of the familiar.