The story is told in the verses preceding this one that Jesus came to His hometown planning to minister to his neighbors and friends, just as He had to the multitudes in other cities. His teaching surprised and amazed them, alright. But the locals weren’t convinced. He was one of them. The women washed clothes at the river with His mother, Mary; Joseph, His father, constructed their cabinets; and each of his brothers and sisters were literally “the guy or girl next door.” Nothing Jesus could say or do convinced them that He had any more power or authority than anyone else in town.
Jesus sensed their disbelief. He tried, but failed to gain their trust. Daily in other locations He was approached by those with needs or sicknesses, and He performed miracle after miracle. The simple act of requesting aid, of bringing the sick and the lame to Jesus, you see, demonstrated faith in Him. Evidently, Jesus’ hometown friends and neighbors didn’t line up, expecting the miraculous. Despite Jesus’ reputation and obvious words of wisdom, their hearts were clouded by disbelief and cynicism.
I think I experienced a tiny glimpse of what Jesus must have felt at the end of my Preschool class today. While several children finished up their snacks, I let the remaining children do somersaults on gym mats. “It’s time to line up. Your parents are here,” I announced after several rounds of somersaulting.
Immediately, a child just finishing his snack at the table burst into tears. “You didn’t let me have a turn!” he wailed.
I didn’t immediately go to him. First, I lined up the children who immediately followed directions. When I did approach him I said, “You know, if you had just asked me, I would have made sure you had a turn on the mat before you had to go. Next time, don’t cry. Just ask.”
This illustration may be a stretch -I certainly can't perform miracles like Jesus did- but I was disappointed that my student didn’t trust me enough to ask a simple favor, or to expect that I might grant him one. Jesus must have felt that way, too, when the people who watched him grow up, who worked with him, worshipped with him, and knew his entire family heard his message, but didn’t trust his heart enough to ask for favors. Since few were asked for, few were granted.
How often have I been guilty of the same thing? Do I always see God as a loving Father who wants the very best for me? Do I trust His heart enough to go to Him with each and every concern and request, fully expecting Him to do the miraculous, or do I try to fix things on my own, assuming that God won’t give me the results I want, anyway?
Father God, help me always to remember who You are; to come to You often, trusting in Your goodness, believing in Your power, expecting the miraculous.
If you would like to participate in this meme or read more thoughts on this verse, you will find the links at An Open Book. I am so excited that Joanne decided to start Monday Manna up once again!