Boxed in

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Reading: Matthew 13:53-58

Why is it difficult for us to accept that a person we know, of lowly position or of humble origin could be so highly favoured by God?  Well maybe you don’t have that problem, and I thought I didn’t as well.  But in reflecting today’s reading, I recall of having been as guilty as the folks in Jesus’ town.  There might have been other bigger issues where I initially took offense—such as too much attention and flattery being lavished on a person who received gifts from the Spirit–to the point where I thought our God was no longer the centre of the worship; or putting the person in leadership right away without any skills and training which could jeopardise the whole flock.  Valid, perhaps.  But nevertheless, aside from the reservations, there were probably traces of personal resentment that surfaced by being with the wrong ‘faction’ in the church.  Oh how I wish I reacted differently!  But praise be to our Lord Jesus who has taken our place of punishment and to our Father who forgives!

How it must have hurt our Lord.  Apart from his earthly family’s low social standing, in that town Jesus grew in “wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52).  There wasn’t anything about him that should offend them; they just simply thought the carpenter’s son couldn’t be suddenly promoted to the position of a prophet, much less the Messiah.

Jesus did not do many miracles in his town because of the people’s lack of faith.  Lord Jesus, who are you to me?  Please help me take away the limits I put on you and make a miracle in my life.

“He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him” (John 1:10-11).

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