Summary: Message about the reception Jesus received in Nazareth.
A Prophet Without Honor
September 24, 2006
Have you ever been in a situation where maybe you’re well-known in a certain place, and maybe pretty popular, but when you get home, you find out that maybe you’re not all that great after all?
Me either. Just kidding.
Actually, I’ve never felt like I was all that well-known anywhere, but I did find out that no matter how incredibly popular I thought I was, coming home brought me back to reality in a hurry.
Our Scripture passage today tells of an episode in Jesus’ life where this sort of thing happened.
But there’s a huge difference in this and what I described a moment ago. And that difference is the fact that Jesus wasn’t some puffed-up, self-important religious guy who was drawing a crowd.
He was the Son of God – God in the flesh, who came down from Heaven to save mankind.
But when He came to His hometown, things got tense.
I’ve printed out the passage in your note-taking guide, and I’d invite you to follow along as I read it.
53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" they asked. 55 "Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" 57 And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor."
58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
I’ve made it a point over the time we’ve been going through the book of Matthew to point out whenever it says that people were amazed at Jesus.
Here’s another instance, but this time the amazement wasn’t that Jesus had just told them some great and wonderful things. They were amazed for another reason, which I’ll discuss a bit later.
I think I’d better warn you that this isn’t going to be as fun a message as I’d like to give.
It’s a tough message, because this passage of Scripture is tough. Not because it’s hard to understand – I think it’s pretty straightforward – but because of what we can learn from it.
I’m going to try and lighten it up a bit, but this is serious stuff, folks, and we need to listen to it.
“Why don’t you just skip over it then, PB?” Because I can’t. When I felt God leading me to preach through the gospel of Matthew, that meant going through all of it, including the tough stuff.
We’ve recently talked about some tough stuff Jesus said regarding judgment, but that’s because that was next in the book.
I think one of the reasons God is having me preach through Matthew is so that we’ll have to deal with this kind of stuff. And the question each of us has to ask is whether or not we’ll take it seriously.
That’s something only you can decide. I can’t decide for you, as much as I’d like to.
You’ll notice that your note-taking guide is a little sparse today. That’s because I was too lazy to put more stuff in there.
Actually, it’s because I want you to spend more time listening to me than in filling in the blanks.
And if something jumps out to you as we’re going along, you’ve got room to put that down.
Today I want to share with you three observations from this passage that transcend over 2000 years and are just as relevant today as they were back then.
Any my intention is to bring you to the point where you’ll really do some soul-searching about how you respond to Jesus.
Here’s the first observation:
1. Not everyone welcomes the message of Jesus.
When I first came to put my faith and Christ and start to live for Him, I figured that everyone would want the same thing – forgiveness of sins, and home in heaven, and real purpose and significance in life.
Boy, was I ever in for a surprise. I figured I pretty much knew what rejection was like, given my horrible track record with girls in high school and college…
You know what I found out? I found out that there are gajillions of people who don’t give a rip about Jesus or what He has to offer.
And there are lots of reasons – maybe they didn’t grow up hearing about Jesus and their need for Him.
Sometimes its because they were hurt by someone who called themselves a Christian and it caused them to refuse anything to do with Christianity.