Have you ever known someone from your hometown that has gone on to make it big? If you live in a small town, there can even be more hype around it. I remember a couple of people over the years. One became a movie star, one a star NFL quarterback, and another an American Idol winner. Now I never knew these individuals personally, but I knew from where they came.
In the scheme of things, these people are just people like you and me. We went to school together or shopped at the same store, or worshipped at the same church. They were just “normal” people–until they became famous. Then they were just famous normal people. But Jesus was not “normal” was he?
Jesus was God, too. Jesus was 100% man, the carpenter’s son and brother to James and his sisters and brothers. But the things Jesus could do were astounding. Normal men could not do those things. Normal men would not have the spiritual wisdom Jesus had. How could it be? The people were perplexed, and that turned into doubt and possibly fear.
I’m guessing Jesus was exhausted after teaching on the kingdom. Being in demand with people following him everywhere had to be wearing him out. It was time to go home and rest. But “home” in this case was his childhood home. There, everybody knew him as the son of Mary and Joseph. It sounds like he has a lot of brothers and sisters, too. Jesus was probably a fairly “normal” kid for anyone casually observing the family. He didn’t grow up as they expected. Even his own family was probably a bit unsure of how to co-exist with the Son of God!
Sometimes it’s hard for people to accept when others change. Unlike what we see today of hometown pride when someone makes it big, in Jesus’ day the people just couldn’t accept Jesus for who he really was. They knew him “back in the day.” Again, how sad for these people not to recognize and applaud the fact they had the Son of God in their midst.
We need to be careful when we see transformed lives around us, too. It’s not that we are in the presence of the Son of God, but that very presence may be what has made our broken friend whole or gave our destitute friend hope. Jesus has the power to transform our lives to make us into the people we were meant to be. When our hometown crowd sees us, they may not recognize us either because we are now shining with the light of Christ in our hearts.
Let’s pray. Lord, I sometimes feel alone and separate from others I used to know because I am now following you. I pray for them that they will come to know you, too. Continue to transform me into the person you want me to be. Help me follow your path for my life despite what others may say or think about me. I want to keep my eyes fixed on you and sluff off feelings of sadness when others ignore me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.