Summary: By means of super vision we can see beyond man made parameters and behold the identity we have in Christ.
“Super Vision Supervision”
When we are young, most of us have our super heroes. I can still remember the names of many of mine. Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, and Roy Campenella to name a few. All three of these guys were sluggers for the Old Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team. They were bigger than life to me because I believed in them. They could turn a bad situation into something really wonderful.
I remember one time when the Dodgers were behind something like 8 to 0 and it was late in the ball game. These three guys (along with their teammates) started hitting the ball and after the dust had settled, the Dodgers turned the whole situation around and won the ball game. I know because I was there.
No, I wasn’t in the ball park. I was several hundred miles away sitting near a little brown box in my humble West Virginia home. But I was still there. With my super vision, I could see everything that was happening. There in my box office seat I sat wringing my hands and against all odds started to believe in a miracle. I believed in a miracle and I got one.
I was convinced then and I am still convinced today, I had something to do with that baseball miracle. My heroes won the game because I believed in them. They turned the situation completely around because I held my mouth just right and in my mind I visioned it all happening. My Dodgers and I, we were a team, with super vision. We saw beyond a bad situation and together we effected a positive result.
Christians need to have super vision. Many of the early disciples had super vision and they saw miracles happen. Something strange occurs, however, in our narrative for today. Jesus had been effecting miracles everywhere he went. Last Sunday we read about Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding. That was his first miracle. But he did many others. Some are recorded in the Bible. The majority of his miracles are not recorded in the Bible. One gospel writer says that if we had all the books in the world, they couldn’t contain all the great things which Jesus, did.
And yet in our text today, Jesus miracle working power comes to a screeching halt. The greatest, most powerful man in all the world, was greatly hindered in the town of Nazareth. It seems ironic that in his own home town, Jesus loses the hometown advantage.
Another great man, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, said, “It is hard to lead, when you look over your shoulder and there isn’t anyone there.” Well, that is what happens to Jesus. He comes to his own home town, and he looks over his shoulder and there isn’t anyone there. Well, that isn’t exactly right. There are actually many people there, but they are not there for him. They don’t have faith in him. They have lost their super vision and they can’t see beyond Jesus’ carpenter’s garb.
Jesus was the greatest man who ever lived and yet he could do very little without the super vision of those around him.
Now if the greatest man who ever lived was held back by the lack of super vision, don’t you think that the same missing ingredient will impact the success or failure of you and me who fall dramatically short of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of course it will.
Now, how is it that the people of Nazareth lose their super vision. I think it is obvious. Familiarity breeds contempt. Jesus is too familiar with the people of Nazareth. Consequently, they see Jesus through eyes of contempt.
Jesus was a carpenter. His father was a carpenter before him. Chances are his grandfather and his great grandfather were carpenters. That was the way of the culture. Your identity was defined by your trade and the character of the family which nurtured you. Beyond those occupational and familial parameters you simply could not go. That was the mind set of the times. So, when Jesus (the carpenter) returns as, Jesus (the preacher/miracle worker) they just can’t see it.
Now what does this story have to do with us? Well, it has everything to do with us. Nazareth was a small town. And we are a small church. Just as the small town thinking of Nazareth effected the dynamics of Jesus ministry, the small church thinking of Norview can effect our ministry. Our small church thinking can begin to draw sharp boundaries around each of our identities; our individual identities and, yes, even our identity as a community.
For example you may see Bob Walker as the electrician, and become too comfortable with that identity. So one day he slips into the pulpit and begins the expound the Word. And you just turn your head and say, “Nah, that is Bob Walker, the electrician. He aint no preacher.” You realize I trying to give you illustrations of how we can limit the power of a church by becoming too familiar with the roles we play. Now we all know that Mel Green is an accountant, and a good one at that. We appreciate that role. But what if one day, Mel walked in the church wearing blue jeans and carrying his hammer and saw. Most of us would be inclined to say, “Nah, that can’t be. That is Mel Green, the accountant, he’s not a carpenter.”