There is a famous quote that says, "Familiarity breeds contempt." This implies that when we have a long experience of someone we tend to devalue who they are in our life. Jesus experienced this when He returned to His hometown operating in His Divine destiny. To quote from the Bible,
‘Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honour in his own country’ (John 4:44).
"Christ also said ‘no prophet is accepted in his home town’ (Luke 4:16-30)
"Only in his home town and in his own house is a prophet without honour’ (Matt. 13:54-57)
‘Jesus left there and went to his home town…When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked…Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James…Jesus said to them, “Only in his home town, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honour.”…he was amazed at their lack of faith’ (Mark 6:1-6).
The one place we might expect Jesus to receive a warm welcome is in Nazareth, the town in which He was raised. The people of Nazareth are amazed at the wisdom and power of the carpenter’s son. However, due to their familiarity with Jesus and His upbringing, knowing His family well, and apparently no one in His clan is all that remarkable or had formal education, they assumed Jesus should not be able to teach with the authority that He conveys. Yet Mary’s son is unafraid to instruct with boldness, but the Word makes it clear that their questions arise from contempt and offense. Scriptures states:
‘When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.’ (Mark 3:21);
‘For even his own brothers did not believe in him.’ (John 7:5)
‘But his own did not receive him.’ (John 1:11)
‘Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother”’ (Mark 3:31-35).
Basically they are saying, "How can He possibly act as if He has the right to do what He is doing?” They fail to discern the source of His authority. For them, familiarity has bred contempt, and they were prejudiced. Why? Because He had lived among them, they had closed ears to His message.
There is something about familiarity that changes the way we respond to others. Often there is no love from the hometown. We tend to think differently about people we don’t know well. How do we look at the people around us? Is it possible that God actually can be speaking through them? Could they have insights that would be useful to us? Are we ignoring the people we know, and placing an imbalanced importance on people we don’t know?
The potential trap to hopelessly try to have your family, friends, those who know you to appreciate and benefit from your work, has a dangerous capacity to exhaust and destroy you. Yes, it is natural to want your family to appreciate and support your work, however at some point you must realize the futility of trying to ‘reach’ your own family and be prepared to get on with your work without their support. I know this all to well. Some of my most consistent support has come from those who I don't have years of history to look back on or have been a personal relationship with me. Some of those who think they know me have ignored, diminished or dishonored me to the point of being hurtful and disrespectful. But I have had to come to a hard truth is that the very last place you can expect to find support is from those that are familiar with you and in taking this step I drew comfort from the knowledge that all people constitute family and that my work for the Kingdom take precedence over what's familiar.
We see this all the time now. When someone who has notoriety launch a new ministry or business endeavor we are quick to get online to find out how we can support their tenth venture. We are happy for them. Congratulating them on social media as though they were close family friends. But when our own friends, co-workers or family launch a new venture or ministry we are less than enthused and our lack of support shows it and we can hear crickets.
In your life remember that God can use anyone. Be careful not to ignore someone just because you may know them. And don’t just honor someone because they are unknown but seem to have a higher social status.
Ask the Father to help you to be open and sensitive to His Spirit. Help you to know when He is speaking to you thru those you know and don't know. And to give you ears to hear and a heart to be support to those you do and don't know.
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