1/27 Mark 6:4

4 And Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household."

Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth. Familiarity often breeds contempt not only with one's family but with one's community. We must understand that the community of Nazareth was populated with descendants of King David from whom the Messiah was to come. When Jesus first began to apply messianic passages to Himself, the town was excited (Luke 4:22). They thought their hour had come. They imagined they would all be a part of the royal family, or at least honored above all others. But then Jesus ended the sermon by saying He was going to the Gentiles. They were so furious they wanted to throw Him off a cliff (Luke 4:29).

Put yourself in their sandals. Now that they have had time to hear of His ministry and gifts, He has returned. Yet they still do not see Him as the Messiah. Imagine a child you grew up with making such a claim. Sure, he might have been a kind and gentle child but how could he be a prophet? Their unbelief had the opposite effect of the belief of the woman who had a bleeding issue (see yesterday's devotion). Instead of drawing the power of God, their unbelief repelled that power. It kept Jesus from helping them the way He had helped others in many towns. Jesus marveled at their unbelief (Mark 6:6).

People may reject us for a similar reason. Sometimes we may even reject someone's teaching because we think we know the person's weaknesses too well. The Spirit of God can speak through people you would never expect. He even spoke through the high priest who was going to have Jesus crucified (John 11:51). Our responsibility is to be open to hear what God would say to us regardless of who brings it to us. In Jesus' case, the reason His acquaintances had to reject Him was their own pride.

Prayer: Lord, please help me to never reject Your message because of my pride or the stubbornness of my heart. Help me welcome the truth, even when it hurts.