Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 19, 2018
By Tripp Prince
Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home. Mark 6:4
In the Bible, prophets are, at the most basic level, men and women who are close to God. Even if God’s people are distant, living outside of his will and what’s best for them, prophets have the ability to remain close to God and specifically, see a faithful way forward for God’s people. They are set apart, called out by God, meant to be like God and therefore able to speak for God!
Prophets were seen as wild visionaries, not to be tamed or taken lightly. In Jesus’ time, people from humble origins, like Jesus, should have known their place and stuck to their carpentry and handyman skills, leaving the prophetic work to the experts. Yet when he taught with wisdom, power, and authority, people were blown away, and at the same time took great offense at his inability to “know his place”! As they marveled in Mark’s gospel, “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?” (Mark 6:3)
In your hometown people know you, your history, and your family’s history. At times this can be a great comfort and source of joy, yet it can also be incredibly restricting. People know and accept a certain version of you and leave little room for you to grow or surprise them! This is exactly what was happening with Jesus. In his hometown, Jesus was well known, or at least they thought they knew all there was to know about him. This is a significant point for us today!
To put it frankly, do we believe that Jesus still has anything to say to us? Especially if you’ve grown up in a Christian culture and have gone to church your entire life, you might feel a bit like the people in Jesus’ hometown. For the vast majority of us, I think it’s fair to say that we have a great familiarity with Jesus, yet are far less comfortable with the claims that he makes on our lives. We may feel nostalgic about Bible stories from our childhood, or find his call to nonviolence or loving our neighbors compelling, but deep down we may wonder what relevance he truly has beyond that.
If there’s anything that we learn from this passage today, I believe it is this: familiarity can be an incredible barrier to faith. We can create the Jesus we are comfortable with, not the Jesus who is Lord of all. Simply put, we may be incredibly familiar with Jesus yet deaf to his voice and, as a result, ineffective in his Kingdom.
The bold challenge that stands before us today is to learn to live lives that increasingly are in alignment with his rule and reign. If we can do this, we might be surprised to find that there’s a lot more to Jesus than maybe we’ve given him credit for. Press into the Jesus of the Bible and you will find him more compellingly beautiful and worthy of your devotion than you can possibly imagine!
PrayerFather, help us to see Jesus as he truly is, ruling and reigning with you. Amen.
ApplicationWhere have you grown too comfortable or familiar in your relationship with Jesus?
Related ReadingDeuteronomy 18:15; Luke 13:34; John 4:44
Post/Tweet todayWe can create the Jesus we are comfortable with, not the Jesus who is Lord of all. #WisdomHunters #Lordofall
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