When Jesus finished teaching with these stories, he left there. Jesus went to the town where he grew up. Jesus taught the people in the synagogue, and the people were amazed. The people said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and this power to do miracles? This is only the son of the carpenter. And his mother is Mary. His brothers are James, Joseph, Simon and Judas. And all his sisters are here with us. So where does this man get this wisdom and the power to do these things?"
— Matthew 13:53-56 NLT
It's so easy to put people in boxes, to neatly categorize them based on opinions we've made of them in the past. We don't want to let them change. Even more damnable, we don't want our opinions of them to change, even if our opinions were wrong or misguided. For Jesus, the hometown folk had already put him in a box—Mary's boy, the carpenter's son, brother of some folks, no big deal. After all, it was Nazareth and "what good thing could come out of Nazareth?" No big deal. Not from our town. Not from one of our boys. "Don't get too big for your britches, boy!" is what he'd be told today. "We know who you are, boy, and you ain't that great." Familiarity bred contempt just like low expectations sunk their dreams. But they were wrong! Not just a little wrong, VERY wrong. And today, when a person is in Christ, s/he can change, too. There can be no boxes in Jesus' family because there are no boxes big enough or strong enough to contain one in whom the King of glory lives!
Father, please correct me and then forgive me when I put people in boxes and do not allow room for Christ to change them. Thank you for changing and transforming me and please give me the grace to encourage others, not discourage or criticize them, when they are trying to let Christ change them. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
- John 1:43-46
- 2 Corinthians 5:16-17
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.