"A prophet's reward"

Jesus had just completed a successful journey of teaching and healing throughout the region of Galilee, and he was returning to share the truth of God and man with his hometown of Nazareth. But instead of finding a warm and enthusiastic audience eager to hear his healing message, Jesus found skepticism, ridicule, and even hatred. This cold reception did not provide an atmosphere conducive to much healing work and prompted him to declare, "A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house." Mark 6:4;

Here was an interesting phenomenon—that Christ Jesus was more quickly recognized by the multitudes as the Son of God than by those with whom he had grown up. After he had had just one conversation with a woman of Samaria, whom he had never met previously, she exclaimed, "Is not this the Christ?" John 4:29; whereas Jesus' longtime acquaintances, upon hearing him teach in their synagogue, muttered, "Is not this the carpenter's son?" Matt. 13:55;

How (we might say to ourselves) could those people of Nazareth have been so blind, so close-minded, as not to recognize Jesus' true spiritual selfhood? Certainly if you and I had lived in Nazareth at that time and had known Jesus personally, we would have discerned his Christly nature immediately. Or would we?

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After the star
January 8, 1979

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