Jesus was telling them, “A prophet is without honor only in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his own home.” (Gospel of Mark, chapter 6, verse 4)
Although I dearly love the rhythm and flow of the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, I figured I’d go with the International Standard Version (ISV) here, because it’s much more clear in terms of meaning in modern language.
This passage is from a comment Jesus made to his disciples, and probably anyone else in listening range, when he was preaching in his home town of Nazareth. He wasn’t getting the warmest reception, either. People who had known him for years, since he was a child, were acting like, “Who the hell does he think he is? This is that carpenter son of Joseph, right? Go out and build some cabinets already instead of trying to teach us about God.”
And Jesus’ point about how prophets and others like them can get a good reception abroad, but rarely with people who think they know them, is well taken.
But it makes me think of something else.
Are we making Jesus welcome in our own hearts? Or even in our Christian churches?
I think that it is becoming increasingly comfortable for preachers to preach God, but to minimize or ignore Jesus. Despite the fact that without Jesus, Christianity is meaningless and so would be our salvation.
People don’t like to hear about Jesus unless you just say, “He was a wise and just teacher.” Point out that he is the only path to God, and suddenly, even some Christians start going, “Whoa there!”
It seems to be that more and more (and I’ve seen this at various churches I’ve attended), Jesus is without honor in the very house of God…the physical churches…and in the true body of the church, which would be us so-called believers.
Are you truly honoring Jesus? Or are you kicking him to the curb like his neighbors, friends and family in Nazareth did?