When the Familiar Becomes Dangerous ~ blog
After the healing of the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years and then raising the 12-year-old girl from the dead, Jesus went home to Nazareth. His family lived there. His mother Mary and 4 brothers and His sisters were all living there. Joseph is not mentioned so many assume that he had died.
On the Sabbath, everyone was at the synagogue and Jesus is standing up teaching. He must have been pretty good because everyone was astonished by His teaching. We read;
“Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?”
The next 6 words are very interesting;
“And they took offense at Him.”
The situation is this. Jesus has returned home after about 9 months of ministry. Whenever He teaches the people are astonished and amazed. He has healed hundreds of people. He has cured a leper and raised a 12 years old dead girl back to life. These deeds were all prophesied in the Old Testament. There are things one might see from the long-awaited Messiah. Some of them are on the verge of faith and belief … but no they reason … this cannot be.
The problem was they knew Jesus and had watched Him grow up in their small town. They knew Mary, his mother, and Joseph his father. Joseph was the carpenter and Jesus was also known by them to be a carpenter as well. This lad grew up on our streets and we have seen him almost every day of His life.
And because they were so familiar with who Jesus was the inference that He was the Messiah was offensive to them. Obviously, a glass-half-empty crowd, the word for offense in the Greek is the word scandalous. It was shocking … scandalous … and so much so that they were greatly offended and even angry with Him.
Mark says that Jesus could do no miracles at home, except He did heal a few and we are told that;
“He wondered at their unbelief.”
I wonder if we sometimes fall prey to the same mistake. We have grown too familiar with thinking of Jesus as just our Savior. We imagine that He is distant when in reality we are in Him seated in the heavenlies. He is in us by His Holy Spirit who is God’s seal guaranteeing our inheritance in heaven.
However, the years of consistent failure in the world of sexual sin has us doubting. We may have been raised in church and taught about Jesus using flannel graphs or puppets. We have seen our dads in church at Christmas time wearing their bathrobes and false beards pretending to be the wise men from the East.
Our image of God and of Jesus has grown way too small. The One sitting on the Throne of Grace is not some carpenter’s son whose career was cut short in the shame of crucifixion.
He is the Risen King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
He is the Son of God who spoke the universe into existence in 6 days. Who stepped down from heaven and did not consider His equality with God something He had to hold on to. Who emptied Himself and became a fetus, a baby, a child, a pre-teen, a teen and into a man.
And the body of that man … Jesus … was slaughtered on the cross to pay for the sins of the world. He rose again from the dead by the power of the Spirit and is seated again in Heaven with the Father. And He has given you the gift of salvation. He has given you the forgiveness of all your sins. He has given you eternal life where you will be perfected forever and never, ever sin again. He has placed the Holy Spirit inside of your body
Maybe it is time to get our eyes off of our sins and onto our Savior. We may have become too familiar with the gentle and mild Jesus as if He is weak and cannot help us with our sexual brokenness. When, indeed, he is the Name that is Above every Name. Who desires to help us, by the Spirit, to walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the desires of the flesh.
He tells us in His word that we are to confess our sins to one another. In Galatians 6 we read;
“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”
That is what we do in 180 Ministries. We come alongside the broken in a spirit of gentleness and bear one another’s burden.
Contact me if you would like to know more.