“Who does that guy think he is? That’s just Mary and Joseph’s kid, Jesus. We know him. His family still lives down the street. His uncle still runs that five-and-dime around the corner. And now all of a sudden he thinks he’s the Messiah? Give me a break. He’s lost his mind. Somebody needs to give that boy a good talking-to. Shoot, I remember changing his diapers. The Messiah—now that’s a funny one.”
Sometimes I think it’s hard attending a church in the city where you grew up. Too many people are still around who knew you way back when. And trust me; they will be quick to remind you. We get set in our ways, we establish routines, we have our
same seats, we arrive at the same time, we leave through the same door, and we talk with the same people while at church.
The problem was that the people of Nazareth had grown up with Jesus. They were too familiar with him. So when he came riding into town proclaiming God’s kingdom, they had a hard time seeing him in his new role. It required some out-of-the-box thinking for them. Jesus was indeed God’s Promised One; they just weren’t willing to see him in a new light.
I think that many of us who have “grown up with Jesus” may sometimes have the same problem. We who were raised believing in him are no doubt blessed, but with such familiarity can also come contempt. Suppose Jesus shows up in your religion one day doing something you don’t expect. What if he appears in a worship style you’re not comfortable with, or seems to use a spiritual gift that you don’t believe in? Suppose the Jesus you grew up with seems to be blessing a group of people with whom you disagree? Or what if the Jesus you know asks you to step into an area of faith and obedience that far exceeds your comfort zone? Would you follow him then? Would you still believe in him?
Jesus fits in no one’s mystical box. None of us has a complete control on the understanding of Jesus’ revelation. There are places where I am wrong about Jesus, places where I’m too familiar with him. And because he loves me and wants
me to grow, he promises to show up in my hometown and blow my little world view away. He promises to do the same for you.
Friends’, growing up with Jesus is a gift indeed. But don’t suppose that you know everything about him. He’s bigger than any of us can ever fully know.
When you become too familiar with Jesus, you get comfortable and complacent. You lose your joy, your enthusiasm and you could lose your salvation. It is time for you to be refreshed in the Lord.
Get Involved in Your Church, in your Community and Re-Think Your Relationship with Christ.
*Excerpts from Will Davis Jr.