Summary: We are distracted by many things; allowing others to sway us; we even are distracted by our unbelief.
I am a huge Star Trek fan. I have been since I was a child watching the old black and whites. When they came out with the first Star Trek Movie in 1979, I couldn’t wait to see it. So I took my mom, who wasn’t really a fan. She fell asleep! But I thought it was a great movie!
I remember a part of the movie that I think will maybe help us understand our scripture passage today.
Tell story: Mr. Spock, Starfleet’s half Vulcan/half human science officer, had retired in 2269. After retirement, he began a process to purge all emotions from his body – a process known as kolinahr.
In a couple of years, he had completed all but the final ritual of the kolinahr. He was unable to complete the ritual after receiving strong emotions from something in space.
It just so happens that there was a powerful alien force in the shape of a massive energy cloud headed for Earth. The Starship Enterprise is dispatched to find out what it is and keep it from destroying earth. The ship, however, had been undergoing upgrades and was not running as smoothly as it should. So Starfleet called their number one science officer, Mr. Spock, out of retirement to help. It seems that it was this very energy cloud that was sending these distracting emotions to Spock and kept him from focusing on what he needed to become a true Vulcan.
Let’s watch a clip of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. (Show scene of Spock attempting to purge all emotions through Kolinahr – a Vulcan ritual that rids one of all emotions and the discipline of logic is all that remains.)
Here was Spock, on the verge of getting rid of all emotions so that he could be disciplined only in logic and he became distracted. All that he had dreamed of and had worked so hard to achieve – gone in an instant because he was distracted. He wanted so badly to become a full Vulcan, living only a life of pure logic. But he lost his focus.
Now let’s go back to our scripture lesson this morning…
Jesus had been traveling around casting out demons, calming storms, healing diseases, and raising the dead. And now he arrives back in his hometown.
I told you last week that I’m from Hertford, NC – a small town on the east coast that is the home of Jim “Catfish” Hunter – a star pitcher. I remember when Jimmy pitched a perfect game in 1968 at the young age of 22. I remember when he took the Oakland A’s to the world series and helped them win. I remember that after the series, we would have Jim Hunter Day in Hertford and have a parade, a bbq, and all kinds of celebrations. We couldn’t wait for our favorite son to come home to Hertford.
But here was Jesus – he had been all over, doing miracles across the land, and when he came home there was no parade; there was no feast; no celebrations. On the Sabbath he went to the Jewish Synagogue and he began to preach and interpret the scriptures in such a way that the people were astounded. But instead of welcoming home their favorite son, they criticized him.
Isn’t that Mary and Joseph’s son? Isn’t his dad a carpenter? Why I remember when he was just a toddler – my wife even changed his diapers! How can he know so much about the scriptures then? Who is HE to be teaching us? He’s not educated! He’s not been approved! How dare HE do that!
I believe that Jesus came to his hometown ready to continue doing mighty deeds. But what does the scripture tell us? Vs. 5 - He could do no deed of power there except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.
Why? Not because Jesus didn’t want to help them – I believe that he did. But because they – the people – were distracted by who they thought Jesus should be. They couldn’t see the Messiah. They only saw the carpenter’s son.
They were too focused on what they thought they knew about Jesus to hear God speaking through him.
They were too focused on stopping Jesus from preaching or healing or blessing – or whatever powers he was prepared to use for them – that they missed out.
Remember that commercial about V8 Juice? The one where the person looks into the fridge and gets a soda or something and then realizes – WOW, I COULD’VE HAD A V8!?
I wonder if the people in Jesus’ hometown ever realized what they had missed out on. They had everything that they needed for something powerful to happen in their lives but little happened because they were so distracted by other things…like what other’s were saying, what other’s would think.