Wednesday, September 7, 2016

stumbling at Jesus' humanity

And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.
Matthew 13:57-58

At the place that knew Jesus the most, Jesus found the coldest public reception. His hometown, Nazareth, realized that He taught with great wisdom and did "mighty works" (Matthew 13:54). Yet they were astonished at Him. They were full of unbelieving questions. How could the carpenter's son be so gifted? He came from a typically large rural peasant home. Their questions are more like offended accusations: "Where does this local boy get off telling us what to do?"

This episode anchors the divinity of Jesus in rock-solid, gritty humanity. It shows us just how human Jesus is... those who knew him the longest were convinced of His humanity to such an extent that they stumbled over the claim that He was also God. They'd seen the boy grow up! They saw just the man, Jesus... much like people do today.

Jesus is a cultural fixture, a historical personage. Only the insane would say He never really existed as a human on planet earth. He is as real a figure of history as any U.S. president. Yet people will stumble at His humanity, dismissing His deity. To do so is to miss His mighty work of salvation most of all.

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