Hunkered Down Devotion

Mark 6:1-6 (Voice)
Jesus went back into His own hometown where He had grown up, and His disciples followed Him there. 2 When the Sabbath came, He went into the synagogue in Nazareth and began to teach as He had done elsewhere, and many of those who heard Him were astonished.  
Those in the Synagogue: Where did He gain this wisdom? And what are all these stories we’ve been hearing about the signs and healings He’s performed? Where did He get that kind of power? 3 Isn’t this Jesus, the little boy we used to see in Joseph’s carpenter shop? Didn’t He grow up to be a carpenter just like His father? Isn’t He the son of Mary over there and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, Simon, and their sisters? Who does He think He is?  
And when they had thought about it that way, they became indignant and closed themselves to His message.  
Jesus (seeing this): 4 A prophet can find honor anywhere except in his hometown, among his own people, and in his own household.  
5 He could not do any of His great works among them except with a few of the sick, whom He healed by laying His hands upon them. 6 He was amazed by the stubbornness of their unbelief.

There’s no place like home.  Although it is the very definition of a cliché, I think it is also a sentiment that most of us can agree with.  For most of us, I think there tends to just be a special place in our hearts for our hometowns.  In general, the feeling is reciprocal as well.  Our hometowns, our communities tend to look out for us, tend to root for us and cheer us on in meaningful and enduring ways.
At the same time, there is another cliché that often comes into play when we are dealing with people from our hometowns or our communities and their perceptions of us: You never get a second chance to make a first impression.  

For all their good intentions, so often, the people around us – especially those that have known us since we were young, for a long time, or that have watched us grow up – have a hard time recognizing when we change and grow and develop.  This is what is going on here with Jesus in his hometown.  

Jesus returns home, but the news of all that he has been saying – and even more, all that he has been doing – has already travelled back and the people – people that watched Jesus (you know, Mary and Joseph’s son) grow up simply couldn’t believe that he was doing, that he was capable of doing these remarkable things.

But Jesus was not limited or constrained by the location of his birth or the circumstances of his upbringing.  And because of our trust in him, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, neither are we.  All of us have the capability and potential to grow beyond what might be capable or expected from someone from ‘where we come from’ because of ‘whom we come from’ and whom we belong to.

Sharing God’s Love,

Prayer:  Lord thank you that we are not defined by where we come from or even where we are, but instead by who you are.  Amen.

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