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Oftentimes the words in this picture reflect our reality. You can leave your home and community and be honored and celebrated by outsiders. But when you return to your community and your home, they don’t see anything special about you, you’re just “So-and-so’s child“. Don’t let that deter you. Keep marching and pressing forward on your mission!
Jesus had brothers and sisters that his neighbors knew and spent time with. They remembered him as Jesus the carpenter, “nothing special, just did his job, and didn’t cause any problems” (Note: those are my words by the way, nothing scriptural quoted, simply implied).
How is it possible that this now 30-something-year-old can go from carpenter to Messiah? “It’s just Jesus, Mary’s son, you know the carpenter down the street” (once again these are my words folks).
Now consider his family members that watched him grow up (and those who grew up with him), as they probably saw things, “he didn’t walk on water as a child…where were the loaves of fish and baskets of bread when we were growing up and low on food?” Don’t those sound like the words of our beloved kin?
Family members reflect on their memories (and their interpretation of those memories), and have a difficult time making sense of and embracing outsider viewpoints of the person that they grew up knowing.
His mother Mary, most likely had fond recollections of giving birth to him (even the painful labor still brought her a smile after), and the glorious gift of knowing that she did so even though she hadn’t consummated her marriage to his human father, Joseph. She knew that Jesus was a special gift from God, not conceived as other children (not even her other children) but I wouldn’t doubt that even she was bewildered by what she had heard of his newfound celebrity.
From carpenter to Messiah is a big ‘pill’ to swallow. Could her son really be up there in the ‘big leagues’ with (or even beyond) Moses and the crew?
Mary probably sat back (frequently) and scanned her memory of any supernatural times spent with or watching Jesus. She also probably wondered if any of her other children had any special gifts, and if not, then why was Jesus the only one, and chosen by God?
She bathed Jesus as a child. She nursed and cared for him. She fed him. She sewed his clothes. She cleaned his wounds (because what child doesn’t fall and scrape their knees?). She watched him play. She watched him grow into a man. Mary watched her son use his gift of carpentry to contribute to the building and maintenance of homes, synagogues, markets, and more. Why and how is it possible that now he’s on a mission for God, and has a throng of disciples?
Could this same Jesus be the Jesus that “heals the sick, casts out demons, cleanses lepers, and raises the dead” all over the nation? I’m sure she had some doubts—maybe.
One of our flaws as humans is our propensity to doubt greatness and expect status quo, mediocrity, or worse, failure.
Jesus didn’t grow up in a family that despised him or was jealous of him, like Joseph (son of Jacob/Israel) did. Jesus had siblings that loved him. From what is left intact of the scriptures (because as you know, there were groups of men who chose what information would be combined into a text that we now call the Bible), it seems more fitting to say that Jesus’ family simply had a difficult time believing that he went from sweating all day hammering nails to turning water into wine.
Jesus didn’t let that deter him. He knew that God had a mission for him and that he would have to fulfill it no matter what. On the cross Jesus faced the reality that just like Moses, he wouldn’t continue on in human form, on the same path he was on days earlier. But then three days later came his resurrection, and look at him now 2,018 years later. We would pray to have such a long, and ongoing legacy, regarded and respected by most. I can tell you this, no reality TV star will ever have such longevity!
So I wrote this much-longer-than-I-expected reflection to say these simple words: No matter what people say about you, keep marching forward. Their thoughts and words have nothing to do with God’s plans for you!
Father, even when others doubt me, please keep me focused on reflecting Your Light, and doing the work that You set me out to do in Your name. Turn my head when I look too long at the naysayers. Blot out the noise coming from those who practice saying and thinking the words “can’t” and “impossible”, so that I don’t become distracted and consumed by their limited thinking.
Strengthen me Father so that any doubt is diminished and replaced by an unwavering belief. I humbly pray to You as a believer of Christ and a servant who keeps trying each day to be more like Jesus. Amen.
Questions of the Day
1. Even though this message is much longer than I expected it to be, and hopefully the length didn’t disturb you, what are your thoughts about today’s message?
2. Reflect on a time when you doubted the gifts, skills, and abilities of someone who turned around and did great things with the gifts God gave them.
3. Reflect on a time when you walked the walk and turned your doubters into your cheerleaders.
4. What would you like to add to today’s prayer and/or reflection?
Feel free to share your answers, prayers, comments, and reflections in the comment section below. You can also send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also feel free to share this post with others. We’re never quite sure who needs to hear and see what, and when! It would be awesome if whenever you run across a prayer, message, or scripture that moves you, you would kindly share it with the rest of us. You can post it on this blog or send me an email.
Please Note: This message was originally written and published on August 10, 2015. It has been modified to align with the current standards and formatting, to include an audio message.
Copyright 2015-2018. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. Prior posts from 2009-2013 are copyrighted under the name Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible,
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