Mar 5, 2014

Hometown Hangups....

Today's Reading: Matthew 14:13-36
Find the reading plan here.

After our reading yesterday in the book of Matthew, something wouldn't quite leave me alone. I pondered on it most of the day.

It was the very last couple of paragraphs in Matthew 13:33-58.

 "When Jesus finished telling these stories, he left there, returned to his hometown, and gave a lecture in the meetinghouse. He made a real hit, impressing everyone. “We had no idea he was this good!” they said. “How did he get so wise, get such ability?” But in the next breath they were cutting him down: “We’ve known him since he was a kid; he’s the carpenter’s son. We know his mother, Mary. We know his brothers James and Joseph, Simon and Judas. All his sisters live here. Who does he think he is?” They got their noses all out of joint."

This particular version is the Message Version. After reading several translations, this one was the most clear and straight forward.

Could we all agree that we have run into this very same situation at some point in our lives?

Doesn't it seem that those closest to us have the hardest time seeing the change that God is doing in us? Aren't those in our very own hometowns the most skeptical about any change for the good that happens in our lives?

Why is that?

I think it's because they have seen us at our worst. They know us. Or at least they think they do.

It's a very frustrating thing to have people in your life that question the sincerity of your faith.

However, don't we do the same thing at times?

We often question those around us that seem to have a new found faith and love for the Lord. Especially if they had a less than desirable past. Or maybe we just think they are not so special because we know where they came from. We know who they are. Ouch.

However, in this passage, we are talking about JESUS. I mean, who would question the sincerity of Jesus?

His hometown peeps that's who.

In this case, their resentment towards Him was not due to Jesus' past behavior, but because of who He was and where He came from. They knew His mom, His dad, His brothers, His cousins. They knew Jesus was from the same place they were from, Nazareth.

What makes this dude so special? They asked.

Imagine if Jesus was even questioned and doubted about the sincerity of His Faith....how much more are we.

We should expect those close to us to be a little unsure of our changed lives. We should expect some close to us to even resent us because of it.

However, we must not let that hinder our Faith, or our Walk with the Lord. Or our belief in who we are.

It sure didn't hinder Jesus.

In fact, it actually hindered those that doubted. Jesus was not able to perform many miracles because of their lack of faith. {verse 58}

Although those around us may doubt us or even take offense to our Faith, we must remain constant. We must remain faithful. We must remain unchanged.

Just like Jesus did.

We will experience many of the things that Jesus did. If we are His disciples, we will be doubted. We will be resented. We will even be mocked at times.

This should only draw us closer to Jesus. He, more than anyone, knows our trials.

"I am a partaker of Christ...I share in His life." Hebrews 3:14

"I am an expression of the life of Christ because He is my life." Colossians 3:4

My prayer is that if you are experiencing any of this, in any way, you will cling to the Father.

Cling to who you really are.

"A son/daughter of God."Romans 8:14, 15

"I am chosen and dearly loved by God" 1 Thessalonians 1:4

"I am a joint heir with Christ sharing His inheritance with Him." Romans 8:17

Let me just say for the record...

It doesn't matter who your parents are, who your parents aren't, where you live, where you don't live, who you know, who you don't know, where you've been, where you haven't been....

You're identity is in Christ. Period.

It doesn't matter what those in your hometown, family, work place, wherever...think of you.

When you need a reminder...let Him remind you in His wonderful Word:

"I am holy and without blame before Him in love" Ephesians 1:4 & 1 Peter 1:16

"I have the Greater One living in me; greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world" 1 John 4:4

"I have put off the old man and have put on the new man, which is renewed in the knowledge after the image of Him Who created me" Colossians 3:9-10

"I show forth the praises of God Who has called me out of darkness into His marvelous light" 1 Peter 2:9

"I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony" Revelations 12:11

"I am forgiven of all my sins and washed in the Blood" Ephesians 1:7

Bottom line: Don't get hung up on what others are thinking {or not thinking} about you. It's false. It can also become an idol if we dwell on it often.

God's Word tells us who we are. We don't need affirmation from the world {or our hometown} to convince us.


believing Him,


jill