“It is what it is. And it is profound.”
“What is ‘it’, that you are referring to?”
” … ‘it’ is the Word, as it connects to the Trinity, our hearts, our minds, our lives, our relationships.”
I’ve come to a place … actually, I’ve been here for a number of years … where I actually appreciate being a “layman”, with the scriptures, as opposed to a (what’s the word?) “non-layman”, or a theologian, or an “authority”. The reasons why are a) I still have to struggle with what the Word means, and how it applies, and b) ultimately, God is powerful enough to speak to me through the Word, even though I do not have the knowledge and skills of the non-layman, the theologian, the authority. One parable in particular, the Sower in Matthew 13, has emerged as a favorite for quite some time. And the last passage, there, involves Jesus going back to his home town, seeing that he is not honored, not well received. The contrast between the setting of the parable of the Sower and the setting of the last passage comes across to me as a (I’ll use this word again) profound contrast. Jesus’ telling of the story, or parable, of the Sower happened with many, many, people around … so many that he stepped away from the shore and into the boat, just so that he could effectively address everyone. The people there honored Jesus; they were hungry for what He had to offer; and they had faith in the power of His words. Going beyond that, literally, Jesus had a group of guys around Him, the disciples, who honored what He had to say, and had faith in the power of His words.
Now, switch over to Nazareth, His hometown, where those who knew him did not appreciate what He had to offer. They were skeptical, if not cynical, of what He was about. In fact, in the NIV, these words stood out: “And they took offense at him … (v.57) “; and “And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith (v.58).”
Here’s some tension to think about. I am not a prophet; but I am one of those guys who believes that when I go back to my home town, I am not very well-received. Everyone is polite. And I feel as though I am simply “tolerated”. I was / am the black sheep. I was / am the prodigal that chose to leave the deep south, for a place where I have lived for the last thirty years, a thousand miles away. So, a question: ” How prevalent is it for individuals … who moved away from their home town … to sense a distance, or a tension, from those living back in their “point of origin”?