One of the saddest events in Jesus’ life happened when He went to visit His childhood home. He had returned to Nazareth to teach and minister and received a hostile welcome. The story is told in Mark 6:1-6. Some who showed up to hear Jesus teach in the synagogue were amazed, but the majority was offended. Their scoffing, chiding and insulting can be boiled down to one phrase: “He’s nothing special.” To them Jesus was an ordinary guy people should not be making an extraordinary fuss over.
“A prophet is not honored in his hometown.” This was Jesus’ reply to the scoffers and it gets to the heart of the situation. Prophets deliver God’s word, they relay God’s message to human beings. The majority of Nazarenes didn’t want to hear God’s will; they didn’t want God to interfere with their lives. Their justification for not listening: “Jesus appears to be an ordinary guy.” They missed the opportunity to hear God speak through His Son.
2000 years later we who call ourselves followers of Christ know who He is. But do we act differently? We say Jesus is extraordinary, but do we treat Him as ordinary? Do we take the opportunity to gather with Him every week (Jesus is present, Matthew 18:20) or miss it because we think, “It happens every week, I’ll go some other time, it is ordinary.”
When we hear or read the Bible and God is speaking to us do we pay attention or miss the opportunity because we think, “I’ve heard that before, it doesn’t apply to me, it is ordinary.”
When we pray do we pray earnestly and sincerely, believing the God of the universe is listening or do we think about our grocery lists, who’s playing or how much longer will this prayer go on?
When we treat lightly the real, extraordinary presence of Christ in the gathered community, when we treat as ordinary the sacred word and corporate prayer, we have missed that opportunity to be with and be transformed by our Lord.
I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.
- William Carey
My name is Tim Kirkes. I am honored to be the a child of my heavenly Father, the husband of Lisa, the father of two boys and the pastor of San Dimas Wesleyan church.