February 2

“And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, ‘Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?’ And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.'” (Mark 6:2-4)

There are some musically gifted children and adults in my church congregation, and in the retirement community where I live. Every once in a while, I have the opportunity to witness their talents on display, seeing them in a very different way. Since my only musical abilities consist of listening and appreciating others, I am awed by the beautiful notes from their voices and instruments. I wholeheartedly celebrate these lovely friends and their glorious gifts.

Apparently, the Jews in the synagogue were unused to the sound of true wisdom when they heard Jesus speaking on the Sabbath, and were astonished since they had never considered him as one who is able to teach so astutely. Christ had humbled himself quite successfully and now his neighbors were seeing him in a new light. They admitted that Jesus had wisdom. This insight, paired with his miraculous works baffled them. “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands?” Only the Holy Spirit working in them would give them the answers they sought if they had been receptive. But they instead chose to be offended. They would not listen or give him honor, not to this lowly carpenter. They would not concede that he was superior to them in his understanding and knowledge of God and the Tanakh. Perhaps if he had been trained by one of the leading rabbis of the time, like Gamaliel, who taught Paul, they would have responded differently to his teaching. They were judging God by the world’s standards, which they had adopted for themselves.

Every Christian has the opportunity to sit under Jesus’ teaching in the Old and New Testaments to become wise. As we share this wisdom, those who love the world will have the opportunity to hear something different and glorious. We are not to worry about the results, but to focus on giving evidence of the truth of the gospel. Are you willing to let others see and hear your love for Christ through the wisdom he has given you?

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