A prophet is not without honor except in his native place.

Mark 6:4

Scripture Reflection for the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

by Brandon Jubar

Reading I: Ezekiel 2:2-5
Reading II: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
GOSPEL: Mark 6:1-6

Jesus, the Hometown Zero?

It’s easy for us to read the Gospels and get the impression that Jesus was cool, calm and collected. He never seems fazed by anything and he always has the perfect answer for everything. Well… except maybe in his own hometown!

Hometown Hero?

Where do you think the next prophet will be born? What country, state, or town do you think he or she will hail from? Probably from someplace far away, right?

Well what would you do if someone from your hometown claimed to be a prophet of God? Would you believe the person, or laugh behind the person’s back, poking fun at the messenger-of-God-wannabe?

For many people, prophets, saints, and miracles are things from the past that we read about in the Bible and in history books. Prophets and saints are not alive today and miracles just don’t happen anymore. We believe in them — but not when we find them in our own back yards!

Or Hometown Zero?

If this is the way you feel, then don’t be too hard on yourself. Jesus ran into the same thing in his hometown when he stopped in to do a little teaching.

“Hey, isn’t that Jesus, the carpenter’s kid?”
“Yeah, it is? What’s he doin’ up there preachin’ and stuff?”
“I don’t know, but he sure sounds like he knows a lot!”
“Aw, c’mon. It’s only Jesus, fer cryin’ out loud? He’s probably just makin’ it all up!”

According to Mark’s Gospel, Jesus was not exactly welcomed as the Messiah by his family and friends. In fact, because of their great lack of faith, Jesus decided to say, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.”

This rejection of Jesus is a foreshadowing of his later suffering, death and resurrection. But it’s also an example of the fact that Jesus was fully human. In spite of his vast knowledge and wisdom (and direct line to God), he didn’t always have a pithy quip to fire back at every nay-sayer.

So, who will the next prophet be? Will he come from the other side of the globe, or the other side of the block? No one knows for sure, but I suggest we stay open-minded and don’t just brush people off because they’re local yokels. After all, Jesus had a hometown too!

Life Applications:

Do you know anyone “famous”? If so, how do you think of them?
Why do you think it was difficult for the people of Jesus’ hometown to accept him as the Messiah?
What do you think Jesus was like around his family and friends?

Copyright 2003-2015 by Brandon Jubar
All rights reserved.