He’s just spent some time casting out demons, healing people and doing all sorts of things that were causing a buzz. I can imagine Jesus needing to get away from it all, so he decides to head back to his hometown of Nazareth.
On the Sabbath following his return home, Jesus goes to the synagogue to do some teaching. A lot of people are impressed with what he has to say and what he’s been doing. Then, in a sudden turnabout, they begin to scoff at him. They remember who he and his family are. For one reason or another this causes them to see him in a less impressive light than they had at first.
Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family. And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.” Mark 6.4-6 (NLT)
If you’re a kid growing up in San Antonio, you will take at least one class field trip to the Alamo. It is the “cradle of Texas liberty” after all. But after that field trip, most don’t ever give it another thought. But in spite of most San Antonians taking the iconic site of a pivotal battle in Texas history pretty much for granted, a lot of people outside of Texas think it’s a pretty cool place to visit.
Every year almost 4 million people come to see the place where Dave Crockett died in battle and Ozzy Osbourne once relieved himself. Phil Collins (yes, that Phil Collins) is a well-known Alamophile and is alleged to have the largest collection of Alamo memorabilia in the world. His obsession with the Alamo is so intense, I hear that he believes he was at the Battle of the Alamo in a former life. Yet, those of us who live here barely give it a second thought. Most of us are always a little surprised when others make such a big deal about something that is little more than a childhood memory.
If you ask a dozen native San Antonians, they can probably speak in very general terms about why the Alamo is important and will tell you they have some level of appreciation for it. But they would be hard-pressed to speak in any detail about why the Alamo is such an important part of history. They also probably couldn’t tell you the last time they actually went to visit it.
It’s easy to overlook what’s closest to you. Familiarity may not always breed contempt, but it sure can breed a yawn. We can have a general appreciation for someone and think we know why they’re valuable, but completely miss what’s truly unique and special and that’s a real shame.
Jesus knew what it was like to be without honor among those who should have been quick to embrace him. I wonder if that always has to be the case. Let’s hope not.
I wonder how much more we would appreciate and understand the people around us if we took the time to listen. With a little digging, it’s not hard to find out what someone is passionate about, what their dreams are, what they hope to accomplish with their lives. Maybe there’s something that could be done to help them to realize their goals. At the very least, it would make it a lot easier to encourage them to keep – or maybe start – taking steps so their life can tell the best story possible.
Remember the Alamo.