The Gospel of Matthew

This devotional is written by Stephanie Beckford. Stephanie Beckford has been part of the St Mary's family for about 13 years. She is a Life Monster for the Life Course and is involved with serving the homeless and hosting Pamper Evenings at Bakhita House where women are trafficked in the sex trade. She enjoys ballroom dancing, cooking and baking.

Matthew 13:53-58

A prophet without honour

53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54 Coming to his home town, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. 'Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?' they asked. 55 'Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren't all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?' 57 And they took offence at him. But Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is not without honour except in his own town and in his own home.' 58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

Reflection

Whose Ability Do You Doubt?

Returning to your hometown years after leaving it to pursue an educational or professional opportunity overseas can often leave you feeling a little different upon return.  But do the people you used to know make you feel misunderstood or rejected?

Why is that? Could it be a hint of jealousy because they see the wisdom and maturity gained whilst being away?  Does this leave you feeling alienated to the point of questioning your authenticity? Or your ability because of your background?

Jesus, after his teaching on the parables of the coming of the Kingdom of God in and around Capernaum, went home to his hometown Nazareth and began teaching the people in their synagogues. Whilst they were amazed at his wisdom and miraculous powers, their lack of faith in him caused them to take offense at him, doubted his ability and hardened their hearts against him because of his background; he was just the son of a Carpenter and they couldn’t see past that. Such doubt and unbelief prevented Jesus from performing many miracles there and beyond.  

Doubt is a fundamental hinderance to faith and belief in the good news of the Kingdom of God.

Let us not doubt in someone’s ability to bless, encourage and edify because of their background or where they come from. Let us not harden our hearts and deny the opportunity for the power of God to bring healing and deliverance to our lives. Instead, embrace what you have witnessed and heard with discernment, determine whatever is noble, right, pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things (Philippians 4v8) and apply it to our lives for spiritual enrichment and growth.

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