Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Fresh Look at Matthew: Matthew 13:58

--> The verse states, “Now he did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”  That’s a reason to think about.  We say belief comes from seeing mighty works, but it operates the other way, too.  Belief leads to seeing mighty works.  I take that at the face value, but at a deeper sense.  A person who sees the world with belief will see mighty works that others take for granted as nothing, because they do not slow down to see their mightiness and they do not attribute the works and their mightiness, their miraculous nature, to God.  Seeing miracles makes us more grateful, too.

“Mighty” is interesting.  Healing crowds is mighty—where else are they going to see healings like this?

Jesus bluntly states, “A prophet is not appreciated by those closest to him.”  This may not be “original” with Jesus but he sanctifies it.  Those closest to us may think they know us better, but they also, as here, have reason to dismiss us and to be jealous of us.  That seems to be the case here.  “He’s nobody special, he’s just one of us, why is he doing this?  He’s causing trouble.”  They may have feared retaliation, too, from Rome or even the religious elites (I don't know that we should call them leaders).  Although that is not explicitly stated here, human emotions are complicated and there could be mixed reasons why they reject Jesus and his works.   

The text leads us to see them not so much as fearful as offended and scandalized.  Scandal comes from shame and believing something is out of order, not right.  To their thinking, Jesus was out of order.

Takeaway: Do we sacrifice obedience to be “in order?”

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