January 12, 2021
Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house" (Matthew 13:57).
After hearing Jesus teach in the synagogue, the people were offended not by what He said but by who He was. Knowing Jesus as we do, no doubt His message to them was one of repentance of sin and embracing the Kingdom of God in Him. But they were antagonistic toward Him because He wasn't the person they knew as a boy.
Twice, in a span of a little more or less than one year, the Jews of Nazareth, Jesus’ home town, rejected His message, His ministry, and His Messiahship. Jesus summed up this attitude of the Jews toward Him in v.13, I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. It was the same word the Lord gave to Isaiah 750 years earlier when he was commissioned to go to the people of God with a message of repentance (Isaiah 6:9-12), Go, and tell this people: “Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive. Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return and be healed.” Then I said, “Lord, how long?” And He answered: “Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, the houses are without a man, the land is utterly desolate, the Lord has removed men far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.”
How did the Jews treat Isaiah? They stuffed him alive in a hollow log and cut it in half. How did the Jews treat Jesus? They nailed Him to a cross. Indeed, A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house. Everywhere else Jesus had received more honor than in Nazareth. They knew His family. They had seen His humble life. They had been His friends. They were envious of His wisdom and were too proud to be taught by Him. They couldn’t get past who He was and see Him for who He truly is. They had no faith in Him.
This is how our world treats the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and the followers of Jesus Christ because this is how they treat Jesus Christ. We should not expect to be honored, praised, revered or celebrated for who we are in Jesus Christ. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:10-12).
“Lord Jesus, may I keep my eyes and heart on the purpose for which You have called, gifted, equipped, and commissioned me, and that is not to seek the praise of men, but to honor and glorify You before men; to live a life and ministry pleasing You. May you receive all honor and praise through my life and work, for You are worthy of such. Amen.”