Mt13 53-58 - Consequences of Mistaken Familiarity
Matt. 13:53-58 - Consequences of Mistaken Familiarity Jesus finishes his string of parables and then goes to Nazareth, where he grew up, to teach the people in the synagogue. But the supposed familiarity of the people with his upbringing prevents them from seeing him for what he is. Their relations with his family contrasts too much with his role as teacher and Messiah for them. They are locked into the view of this small town boy and his brothers and sisters and parents and that he was just another neighborhood kid. In a sense this is a continuation of theme that those who he was sent to redeem are blind to the work of God among them (that others will in the Last Day stand in judgment of this generation because they repented/etc when a lesser voice called to them - Matt. 12:39).
There is most definitely a lesson here for those of us who tend to hold onto history too much. This calls for a delicate balance between where one has come from, what God is doing in one’s life, and letting the Lord work in one’s life. On a human level, I very much believe in the benefit of understanding people and their beliefs based on where one is coming from, but by no means do I believe that one is locked into a particular chain of events, etc. I mean, that is the whole miraculous intervention of God in one’s life, that people can change and that we’re not locked into some pre-programmed stimulus response. And when one is faced with such small-mindedness, it reveals more about their difficulty to move beyond their own restrictions and not about the change or power in ones own life. They miss out on the boat load of miracles that God wants to do when they close their eyes to the possibility of change in the life of someone close to them. JBB 8/10/2004