I mentioned before that there were two times Jesus was amazed. The first time was when he saw a Roman centurion’s great faith (Matthew 8:5-13).
The second time was here. Jesus, by this point, had become well known throughout the nation. This was, in fact, the second time we see him visit his hometown after he had started his ministry.
But though the people noted his miracles, and they noted his wisdom, they refused to believe.
Why? Perhaps it was because they had the picture of a carpenter in their heads. A person who put together their tables, and all the other wooden things in their houses. All that time, they had never thought of him as anything special. He was just “the carpenter.”
Or perhaps they still thought of him as that little boy who lived down the street. The one who played with their children, and who had visited their houses and shared their food.
But because of these things, they could not imagine taking instruction from him. They could not imagine that they could learn anything from him. And so they took offense at him when he tried to teach them.
That’s why Jesus said,
Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor. (Mark 6:4)
What can we take from this? I think there are two things.
First, God can speak to us through the most unexpected of people. But we can miss it if we’re too busy looking down on them. Sometimes we look down on them because they are younger than us and less experienced. Maybe we look down on them because they are less educated. Essentially, what it comes down to, whether we admit it or not, is that we look down on them because we don’t think God thinks much of them. And because we think that way, we do not receive the things that they say.
But God can use the old and the young, the educated and uneducated, to speak to us. He can use the pastor you respect, and he can use the brother or sister or neighbor that annoyed you when you were a kid (and maybe still does annoy you). If anyone has given their lives to the Lord, the Holy Spirit is living in them, and he can and will speak through them. The question is, do we have a heart that is humble enough to listen? A heart that can see beyond the person to the Spirit that is in them.
The second thing we can learn is that there will be some people that will reject your testimony simply for the reasons I mentioned above. If it happened to Jesus, and he was perfect, how can you be surprised if it happens to you when you are far from perfect? You can’t control that. You can’t make someone believe. All you can do is share what God has given you and done for you. And if they reject your testimony, pray for them. Because there is only one person who can change the human heart, and that’s God.
So in short, don’t get discouraged when people reject your testimony. Stay humble. And always be on the watch for whenever God may be speaking to you. And if you do, you’ll find that he speaks a lot more than you ever realized.