Home Town Rejection

The tiny hamlet of Nazareth was obscure. It never found mention in the Old Testament, Josephus, rabbinic literature, the Mishnah, or Talmud. The New Testament only identifies it in connection to Jesus Christ, and otherwise it would have remained as unknown to the average person in Jerusalem as Diller, Nebraska is to the average person in San Diego. Remarkably, Nazareth rejected the most extraordinary person they could ever claim as a hometown hero. This is not to say they were unimpressed. In fact many who heard him were astonished, but amazement is not the same as faith. They were in awe, but not in love, possessed fascination but not faith. When God becomes too familiar to you, he becomes too similar to you. Thinking Jesus is just like us leads to treating Jesus as if he is just like us. The people in Nazareth don’t even call him by name. They just refer to Jesus as “this man”. Where did “this man” get these things? The incarnation demanded complete humiliation of the Son of God, resulting the in the fact that humans would view Christ as just another human. Being human is condescending enough, but being thought of as nothing but human is inconceivable. This is what it means to be “found in human form” (Philippians 2:8) or “seen as nothing but human form”. His hometown rejected him, and they will bear the blame for that offense, but even today, regarding him an anything less than absolutely divine invites the same judgment.

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