He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Then he went about among the villages teaching.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The people of Jesus’ home town were astonished to find that the carpenter was doing extraordinary things. Their astonishment did not lead to faith or awe, but to offense and outrage that Jesus would dare claim to be something other than what they expected of him.
How many times have we missed a message from God because we rejected the package it came in? I think of times that someone I considered uneducated or nonspiritual revealed to me a truth about the world or God that I had struggled for years to grasp. Rather than thank God for the gift of his presence in that person, I rejected the message because of the deliverer.
God is not bound by human expectations. When have you failed to see God in unexpected places? How can you become more aware of God’s presence in everyone you meet?
—Rachel Forton is the Marketing & Retreat Coordinator for Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL.
Teach me to seek You,
and reveal Yourself to me as I seek;
For unless You instruct me
I cannot seek You,
and unless You reveal Yourself
I cannot find You.
Let me seek You in desiring You;
let me desire You in seeking You.
Let me find You in loving You;
let me love You in finding You.
—St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury