Let me set the stage: Jesus has been in ministry for a little while now. He has a nice sized following and has been teaching and healing all over the region. His reputation as a man of God is growing and He is spreading the Good News of heaven. Things are good! From a completely human perspective, we would say that His ministry was growing and people’s lives were being changed. Awesome!
Then He makes a trip home and the ministry takes a hit. Jesus finds Himself teaching in His home synagogue. That should be amazing! Hometown kid returns from the mission field with a message to share! Where are the parades welcoming Him home? Where is the celebration go see Him? No where. Instead, as the people who know Him best, judge Him.
“‘Where did this man get his wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Jospeh and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did the man get all these things?'” (Matthew 13:55-55)
Do you hear the judgment in their questions? Instead of being amazed with joy and pride at how Jesus has grown, they are perplexed as to how He could be so powerful. Instead of listening in, like they would have to a special speaker, they are recoiling in judgment and missing the message.
“And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.’ And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:56-57)
Because they couldn’t get over their judgment of Jesus, they stayed in an offended mindset and that cost them dearly. They missed out on the blessings of heaven because Jesus couldn’t work in them. They were so tied up in who He used to be, they were missing who He had become.
How many times do we do that to the people closest to us? We hear someone’s story of overcoming challenges and we are in awe. When someone in our family has a similar story, we tune out or downplay the situation. When a nationally known preacher or speaker comes to town we listen intently. When our teen says they heard something from God and they want to share it, we don’t make the time. When someone else in our church has a child going into the mission field, we jump for joy. When our own child feels that call, we question them and try to deter their decision.
Every nationally known minister you know of right now, started off small. They started off in ministry at church. They spent hours reading their bibles and praying, listening for God to speak to them. They received training to build their skill set. God was training and equipping them and I wonder how many of their close friends and family missed out in blessings because they were too caught up in who they were as a kid, instead of who they were becoming in Christ.
We all know people in our lives who God wants to use in vocational ministry. Are we providing a safe space for them to share their dreams of ministry for the future? Are we praying for them and seeking ways to help them grow? Are we providing opportunity for them to share their stories and how God is moving? Are we seeking to learn from them? Or, are we offended and inadvertently sending the message that God won’t use them?
Don’t miss out on miracles and blessings because you are offended or taken aback by God’s call on the lives of the people closest to you. God may have a pastor, missionary or speaker growing in your home or community right now. Make space for them to feel safe and step into their call. Help them grow into who they were created to be.