“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 are not his sisters here with us?” 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.”
There are a lot of ways in which we enter into “the fellowship of His sufferings”. This is one of them. Do not be surprised if, as Rodney Dangerfield quipped, you “can’t get no respect.” First, that’s not what this is all about anyway. Second, it’s been fairly clear from the beginning that people are hard wired for skepticism and cynicism…a result of the vast disappointment of the Fall. We had perfection. It was taken away. Now anything which seems to have the scent of Heaven about it is immediately suspect…especially if it steps on our toes.
“Where does she get the right to quote that Bible verse to me?” (even if it was done in tenderness and with empathy)
“I don’t agree with her interpretation of that passage.” (when the exegesis was spot-on…and it found its way directly to the sin target)
“Where is her authority in saying/doing/thinking/acting ________? She has no authority over me.” (when one is trying to walk in the Spirit, even their reactions to things can bring conviction to those around them)
“I know her family…where she grew up, the faults of her parents, the weaknesses of her husband, the failings of her children…she’s not perfect enough for her words to have any influence upon me. But never point out my imperfections.” (if only we would all consider scripture…look at the life of Josiah, one of the most righteous kings Israel ever had…and look at his pedigree, for example)
Pride is at the root of all of this denial and hardness. We need to pray for real, spiritual, life changing activity in our own lives before we’ll see it in others.
The humble, teachable spirit is precious in God’s sight. The person who is able to listen for His instruction all throughout the day, and glean wisdom even from the most unlikely sources, simply because it is truth…that person will succeed spiritually.
Psalm 119 is full of requests: teach me, lead me, guide me, instruct me…this needs to be our prayer today. No. Fine. Print.