Stop Offering Hospitality (Yes, I’m Serious)
In our gospel lesson today, Jesus comes to his hometown, and far from welcoming him with open arms and proclaiming him their rightful king, his neighbors scoff at him, imply he’s crazy or deluded, and flatly refuse to believe that he is a prophet and a miracle worker.
Jesus is a big flop in Nazareth.
And he’s not expecting it. “He was amazed at their unbelief,” Mark says.
Poor Jesus. He must have been crushed.
Everyone wants to look good at their high school reunion, to show up twenty pounds lighter and a thousand dollars richer than everyone else.
But Jesus’ friends, the people he grew up with, the people who watched him play in the streets as a little boy and bought benches and tables from his carpentry shop as a young man, turn their back on him.
He wants to show them all the amazing things God is doing through him, but he cannot access his power and he has to leave in disgrace.
Anyone after this humiliating experience would feel vulnerable.
Anyone after this failure might consider approaching things a little more carefully, with a little more thought and planning, would want to ensure success before taking any more risks.
Not Jesus. Continue reading