Fire in my Bones Youth for Jesus

Familiarity that breeds contempt | Pst. J.O. Lawal | April 13, 2022 | Youth for Jesus | Vol. 4, No. 48

“When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Coming to his hometown, 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?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” (Matt 13:53-58NIV)

Why couldn’t Jesus do many miracles in his own home town, among His people? Unbelief! But why were they unbelieving? They were unbelieving because they allowed their familiarity with Him to result in contempt for Him.

As the account shows us, these people thought they knew Jesus well. That was because He and His siblings grew up among them. They knew their parents. They knew their family occupation. And while He and His siblings were growing up among them, they most probably did not show any special sign that they would be better off or greater than other children in the town. But what they did not understand was that they only knew Jesus as a natural man; they did not know Him as a spiritual man. They did not know who He was on the inside and what measure of authority He carried in His Spirit.

So, when He began to teach them and to perform miracles, they were shocked to their bones. And instead for them to rejoice that God was using one of their own sons to do big things in the land, they allowed bitterness to take roots in their hearts against Him. So, they began to ridicule Him and to tell useless stories about His past and His years of growing up among them. And by doing so, they shut the door against God’s blessings of healing, deliverance and restoration that could have been theirs.

In like manner, many today are allowing their familiarity with certain family members, neighbours, friends or church members to hinder the flow of God’s blessings in their lives. But the fact that you are close to someone, see them every day, live with them or eat with them does not mean that you know the place they hold in God’s scheme of things. So, do not allow your exposure to their natural state to become the very thing that will hinder you from enjoying the goodness of God through their lives. Instead, see how you can make the most of it in experiencing God’s favour, exaltation, healing or restoration.

For example, though Mary was Jesus’ mother, the very mother that nursed Him as a child and brought Him up with the word of God to be a man of character, she did not allow that to prevent her from seeing the spiritual man in Him. That was why she was instrumental to the first miracle He performed at Cana in Galilee, the miracle of turning water to wine. (Cf. John 2:1-11)

Also, though Hanani was Nehemiah’s brother, he did not begin to treat his brother with contempt when he became the governor of Judah. He did not go around town messing up and saying, “What can Nehemiah do to me? Is he not my brother? He may be your governor, but he is my brother. So, I can relate to him as I please.” If he had behaved like that, he would most probably have ended up being killed by Nehemiah’s guards. But that man so conducted himself well that Nehemiah later entrusted the whole city to him, for he considered him to be a man of integrity and one that feared God more than most people. (Cf. Neh 7:1-2) 

So, if God has caused those close to you to be great in one way or the other, don’t allow your closeness to them breed contempt in you for them or bitterness in you against them, so that you begin to misbehave as you relate to them. Instead, learn how to relate to them with respect and caution, so that whenever the opportunity arises, their greatness will serve you well.

Then, don’t ever assume that the greatness of someone close to you will certainly or automatically work for your good, whether you have character or not. If the person is truly a great person, then, they will not use their greatness to sponsor or promote you, if you lack character and diligence. So, if certain great people in your life will not help you, you may want to check out your life for character and diligence. And even if, though you have these things, the great people in your life will still not notice or support you with their greatness, don’t be upset or bitter against them. Instead, rest your matter in God’s hand, for no one, however, great they may be, can help you, if He does not help you.

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