Monday, May 12, 2014

"Heavens Hometown Boy"

And when He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, "Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?" So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own home." And He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:53-58
As I read these words this morning I again wondered at them. It says that their first reaction and the first thing they said was ...they were astonished and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?" Why? Why were they astonished? In Luke 2:46-47 it tells us of a time when He was a child and it uses the same word to describe their response to Him and His wisdom. ...Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the midst of the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.

Astonished? Why were they so focused on His family and who and where He came from. Why was He not given a place of Honour instead? Today when the local hometown boy becomes a celebrity, his hometown will often lay claim to him. They put up big signs that say, "So and so was born here!" or "He might get a parade, or the keys to the city." The word honour comes from 1 (as a negative particle) and 5092 meaning value and means; (neg.)unhonored or a (pos.) dishonored. They were so focused on the fact that He was the carpenter's son, that His mother's name was Mary, and they knew His brothers and sisters that they couldn't see the answer to their question was right there in front of them. They didn't have eyes to see beyond the natural to see, know or understand that the kingdom of heaven was available to them.

Sometimes we too are like that! They asked, "Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?" Were else but heaven! Jesus as the Son of Man and our perfect example received wisdom and power to say and do the works of His Father from His Father. Read it! It says that ...Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I have need to be baptized by You, and You are coming to me?" But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him. Then Jesus, when He had been baptized, came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:13-17

A lot of people stop here like that was the end of  this event but it wasn't. The next verse in 4:1 it says...Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Jesus, as our example, was baptized and immersed not only in water by John, but in the Holy Spirit by His heavenly Father, and He went forth from there being led and empowered by the Spirit.

They were astonished at His wisdom and His mighty acts because they refused to see beyond what they knew in the natural. Yes, He was the son of the carpenter. Yes, His mother's name was Mary. Yes, they knew His brothers by name. Yes, His sisters lived among them, and yes, because that is all they could acknowledge they missed out on knowing the most important thing they could have known about Him   That He was the Anointed One, the Christ sent to work the will of Heaven on earth!

When I look at the young people God has placed in my care to raise up in the way they should go ...I am never astonished. I am not astonished that Kenny is out there as a missionary, or that when Kandi came home from her time serving at a school in Africa was clothed in grace. I am not astonished that Daniel is a worship leader in his church in Michigan, or that Sam will be speaking the word to nations. I am not astonished that Teal and Chris are in ministry with our young kids, or that Bekah is to serve in worship. I am not astonished that Joy can write in such a way that it brings the people and the words of the Bible to life, or that Sean is going out as a missionary to China. I am not astonished that Christine will be an awesome teacher and will touch young lives. I am not astonished when any of the young people in my life do great things in God because I don't look at them with eyes that see their natural circumstances, their weaknesses, or their failings. I look at them with eyes that see His example and Heavens anointing at work in their lives!

I am not astonished because the mission statement of my life, my calling is Isaiah 8:18 ...Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and wonders in Israel...

Oh, and just a thought ...Jesus, Heaven's hometown boy, gets His celebration! He gets the keys to the kingdom, a thrown at the right hand of God, and the cries of heaven singing, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lamb!  

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