“He’s back in town!” the excited shouts of the little children could be heard in the streets as they told their friends of his arrival. They were always excited to see Him. He lovingly would engage them and ask them “fun” theology questions. He was always concerned with God, and the kingdom, and heaven. And they always enjoyed it when an adult would pay them the attention that He did.
As He trotted down the dirt path, He passed a heavy-set, old man slouching on a hand-carved bench in front of a white-washed house. “So he comes back to town, and he brings a crowd,” the old man said matter-of-factly. Looking at the group of followers, he offered up, “Old-man Joseph’s boy sure can make a plough! I bet he never told you gentlemen that he could make a mean yoke. Whew! Best carver in town!” Truth be told, in Nazareth, population of a couple hundred, that wasn’t too big of a complement. “Matter of fact, this here bench, whittled down by that fella’ there,” at this he gestured in the general direction of the crowd, not really distinguishing which one, though all of them knew.
Jesus just passed on by.
As the Master followed the familiar path down the main street to the house of His childhood, the interactions with those around Him were all very similar. People welcoming Him home. Others bragging of how He had fixed their door, or their gate, or their cart, or their whatever. Nazareth was different than all the other towns. Everybody was just a bit more familiar with Jesus. Perhaps they were too familiar.
Mary had heard all of the commotion and was waiting at the door, beaming with a smile that seemed to say, “I am so glad you are here,” but with a look in her eyes that said, “I still know you are my Special one.” She always looked at Him like that. She never forgot the angels, the shepherds and the magi.
The townsfolk filtered in all night, sharing with Him their sprained knee, or the scarred hand, the hearing problem, or the sore tooth. One after the other, He graciously touched them and healed them. But they wouldn’t hear His message.
This visit home would be His last though. The people there didn’t see Him as Lord. They saw Him as anything but Lord. They would not listen to His message, instead they told Him what He needed to do for them. Sadly, they beheld the face of God, heard His voice, walked with Him, but didn’t even see Him.
Food For Thought: It has been said that “familiarity breeds contempt.” Why do you think that the people in Nazareth had such a hard time listening to Jesus’ message?