Dishonour and offence

Jesus left Nazareth as a carpenter and returned as a rabbi with disciples following.

There had been a significant development in his life. But that could not be said of his home town.

Some people never want you to progress. They want to keep you just exactly where you were even many years ago.

“When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Coming to his home town, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?’ they asked. ‘Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?’ 57 And they took offence at him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honour except in his own town and in his own home.’ And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” (Matthew 13 v 53-58)

Whilst they were impressed by his teaching and the miracles they were struggling in not being able to fit him into a box and control him. They do try. They refer to what is probably a derogatory term used many times, “You are the son of Mary.” A reference to what they knew of his illegitimacy, which was probably used on many occasions in the past. They know his family history very well and the children that were born later. Above all they became offended.

They were offended because they had remained in their understanding of who he was and not what he had become.

They were offended because of their refusal for the teacher to become teachable.

Their dishonour of this ‘new Jesus’ brought to them offence which became a barrier against a move of God that could have been a huge blessing to the town. Instead Jesus has to move on. He no longer has a home town.

The same is true today. We need to protect ourselves from being offended.

If people ‘rise above their station’ (if they try and be what we think they are not) we get offended.

When sons become fathers (the moment a young Pastor preaches lifestyle changes to an older church) we get offended.

When we try and bring the present back to the past so that we can handle these upstarts we dishonour. Dishonour has become so normal that when honour is demonstrated it is a wow moment. Social media is full of dishonour. Those occupying great positions in the world of Church and Politics dishonour others all the time to reclaim ground. When dishonour doesn’t work, offence is born. Offended hearts end the show. The lights are out. Nothing is going to be done.

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