READINGOld Testament: Genesis 45:1-15
Psalms: Psalms 78:1-39, 78:40-72
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 7:32-40
Gospel: Mark 6:1-13
Evening Psalms: 78:40-72
DEVOTIONAL“Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. ‘Where did this man get these things?’ they asked. ‘…Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?’ And they took offense at him.” (Mark 6:1-3)
I can’t imagine growing up with someone in a tight-knit community, learning a trade together, sharing family meals together … and then one day hearing that He is actually the Son of God. That would be quite the shock!
It strikes me as ironic that those who seemed to know Jesus best—the people from His hometown—were unable to see the most profound aspect of who He was. Complete strangers were able to accept and delight in God among them, but His childhood friends only saw Him as the ordinary guy next door, despite witnessing His powerful wisdom in person when He came back as an adult. Because they knew Jesus so well, I can only imagine how they could have helped with His ministry if they had been willing to see and accept who He was. They could have attended to the little details, such as knowing what kind of soup Jesus would like at the end of a long, cold day of ministry. Perhaps more importantly, they also could have served as His confidantes and friends as He went about His difficult work. Wouldn’t that have only augmented the fulfillment of God’s purpose?
Today’s passage from Mark made me wonder, am I seeing my friends and family as familiar human beings, or am I seeing them the way God sees them? Could I be missing something significant in someone God has placed in my path because I’m assuming I know everything there is to know about that person? Could I help fulfill God’s will just by having an open mind to what He is trying to accomplish through my loved ones?
This Lenten season, I pray that God will lend me His eyes when I’m relating to others, especially those whom I believe I know well. What might this person have to offer the world, and how can I help him or her share it? Amen.