Friday 4 March 2022

Matthew 13:54-58

54 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. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” 58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

What I believe about who Jesus is, really matters. I remember hearing apologist Dan Paterson grouping the possible thoughts about Jesus under these headings:

Lunatic: Jesus didn’t mean any harm, he was just crazy. He made some bold claims, but couldn’t back them up. This idea is not true. Multiple eyewitness accounts, including some reliable sources outside the bible verify that Jesus did back up his claims. 

Liar: Jesus made bold claims and backed them up, but it was all illusion and trickery. He did it to gain fame and power. This idea is also clearly false. The teachings of Christ did not elevate himself and He knew at least 3 years before His death that His mission was to die on the cross. His disciples, including his brothers who knew him since He was a child, followed Him so passionately that they laid down their lives for His cause in the years after his crucifixion. 

Legend: Jesus didn’t really walk the earth. His story is just myth and fable. This belief about Jesus is actually quite recently emerging. Through history, secular, non-christian, academic and practical historians have remarked on how strong the evidence is that Jesus truly walked the earth. 

Lord: Jesus was the Son of God and Messiah. He is worthy of worship, and He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. I must live my life according to His commands and teachings. This fourth option should be the response of anyone who investigates the claims of Christ fully. 

But it seems that people in Matthew 13, and people today like to take a fifth path: Likelihood. It’s easy to figure that it’s not likely that God would send His Son to Nazareth. It’s not likely He would do things the was Jesus did. It’s not likely that simply believing in Him will save me from sin and death. 

The reality for me is that even though I have faith, I can also fall into a sixth category! 

Lazy: Even though I submit to Him as Lord, I fall short of being fully devoted as His follower. 

Lord, help me to live my life in full devotion to You. And help me to lead others to understanding of your truth. 

Written by Ps. Justin Ware 

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