Dear Friend of Vision
“Jesus went out from there and came into His hometown; and His disciples followed Him. When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? “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. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.” (Mk. 6:1-6)
I suppose it is not that unusual for the people of Nazareth to dismiss Jesus, even taking offense. Did he not know that he was a fellow Nazarene, from the wrong side of town, from a single parent family system? Their lack of belief in Jesus, his miraculous power and incredible wisdom, which could have been such a blessing to them, limited Jesus’s ability to demonstrate God’s grace. You just can’t tell any book by its cover.
As teachers and leaders, we often take this scripture to heart regarding people’s inability to receive our ministry grace. That is fine, and has no doubt been the case at times. But we must be careful not be like the Nazarene’s…misjudging Jesus because of his upbringing, his family, perhaps because of economic advantage or disadvantage, or other prejudices. Of course, if you are really called to Kingdom ministry, you will likely keep going in spite the criticism. God help us to handle dishonor with grace, and not heap dishonor or doubt on someone whom the Lord has likely chosen as his divine instrument…. you can’t tell a book by its cover.