Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village.
There’s an amazed where you almost lose control, and then there’s an amazed where you lose touch. There’s an amazed when you jump up and down, and then there’s an amazed when you sit back and think.
The first kind of amazed is when someone makes an incredible play, shot, or throw in sports. The second kind of amazed is when you just sit back in wonder. You’re astonished, wondering how they did that, or why they did that.
They were all excited that this local, home-town hero, who had made such a name for himself was coming home. But as he started to speak, the doubts started to set in. Who did he think he was? He doesn’t have the background, education, or experiences, to speak like this.
Jesus didn’t try and explain himself or make excuses. He was comfortable and convinced in who he was. He didn’t need to start yelling, or defending himself on Twitter, posting detailed defense releases to the media. He came to a conclusion and gave it to the people around him.
He claimed to be a prophet, someone who speaks for God. And a prophet normally is revered, receiving honor for all who hear him. But there’s one exception, the people that he grew up with. They think they know everything about him, so they have harsher and higher expectations.
Jesus, the one who claimed to be both God and man, was amazed. It was beyond his human understanding. As God, he is never surprised, he never would marvel at anything. But as the God-man, he has human limitations, including this kind of amazement.
Yes, the people of Nazareth disappointed Jesus. He just couldn’t understand them. In some way, this was outside of his understanding and comprehension.
But Nazareth was known for not being a great place to be from. When hearing about Jesus, Nathanael says, Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?”
This might be because Nazareth wasn’t a large town, or on the crossroads of commerce. It was a small bump on the buttock of Israel. No one of significance came from such a town. No great books would be written here, no great leaders would come here, nothing important or noteworthy would ever take place in Nazareth.
And yet, here’s a chance to change all that. They have an opportunity to do something different, say something different, be somebody different.
Have you come to that fork in the road, where you had a chance to choose differently? You know what’s right, but you choose the way you’ve always chosen. You stay on the safe path that you’ve taken so many times before. It may not be comfortable, but it’s familiar.
We see this so brilliantly expressed in “Scent of a Woman” where Al Pacino’s character talks about coming to the crossroads. He knew, without exception, what was the right choice. But he didn’t choose it because “it was too damn hard.”
Is this where you find yourself in your Nazareth journey? Your reputation is questionable at best. You’re known not for what you do but more for what you don’t do. People have a general, negative feelings and attitudes about you.
You know what changes need to be made. There are so many people, books, videos, and pundits telling you what to change. You have that nagging voice in your head that’s telling you the right thing to do.
No checklist, no video, no phone app has the power to change your life. Only love does. And since God is love, he alone must be our source. Looking to him, wanting to please him, is the only power that can truly change you and your life.
And that starts with your amazing journey towards Jesus.