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Lesson # Matt. 13:57
Study Material - Matt. 13:57
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
57 And [kai] they were offended [skandalizo] in [en] him [autos] . But [de] Jesus [Iesous] said [epo] unto them [autos] , A prophet [prophetes] is [esti] not [ou] without honour [atimos] , save [ei me] in [en] his own [autos] country [patris] , and [kai] in [en] his own [autos] house [oikia] . KJV-Interlinear
57 And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is not without honor except in his home town, and in his own household.' NAS
Unbelief blocks ones ability to see the truth. That is the third deficiency caused by unbelief. The citizens of Nazareth were offended. The word for offended means to be scandalized. It was just scandalous that one so 'common' would elevate himself in claims to be something more than any other citizen of Nazareth.
Sure there were the miracles. Sure there were the words He taught which, in their minds, did sort of comply with scripture. Sure there were the large crowds that were with Jesus constantly. But was this not all just a lucky set of circumstances? After all, He was only a carpenter, of a carpenters family! And to think that a 'common' carpenters son, from a 'common' family, one who had little if any formal training (home schooling is not considered good enough), one who lacked acceptable credentials or stature within the 'temple' crowd, that such a person could expect or even be expected to rise to such levels of success as Jesus has apparently gained. But to claim to be equal with God - well, this was all just scandalous! Just scandalous!
They were insulted, offended, and all of this offense came from irrelevant issues. His family was not and never has, nor never will, be an issue. His education or even the recognition He receives (or doesn't receive) from any formal earthly organization is irrelevant. David came from the shepherds field to be king. Had they forgotten that? Oh yes but David was chosen by God. Hummm! And of the miracles that no one else in history could ever do? Where did they come from?
Also, often times familiarity with a person gets in the way with ones hearing wisdom. The person is greater than the message. That is, the flaws or perceived lack of recognized authority, gets in the way. We all too often listen to strangers and take their advice because we listen to the advice. We do not know the stranger so there is no stumbling block of character to get in the way.
But if we know someone, then we generally focus on their background ands ignore the advice. If they have been a failure in life in anything, then we discount their wisdom. Of course everyone has been a failure at some point in life, so there is always an excuse for not listening to them.
If we hear good advice from family members we may ignore it because we have little respect for the family member - so far as the advice goes. We may certainly love or like the person, but we generally place them within some sphere of existence inside of which we don't expect much more than their normal daily life within that framework. A brother is ok so long as he remains within our perception of what we expect from a brother, or sister, or husband, or wife, or whatever. When they offer advice which places them outside our preconceived notions, then we always generally frame that advice around their flaws. Then we conclude that they have no idea about what they are talking about. How could they. If a stranger tells us the same thing, then the advice carries a higher level of authority.
The same things occurs when we hear words say from a janitor vs. a Ph.D. Which carries more perceived authority? Advertising uses this concept in marketing. Movie star uses this, I should too. Doctors recommend. And so forth. We all get trapped in the superficial at some point or another. And it is all irrelevant as far as life and especially the spiritual life is concerned.
Negative attitudes in life do not affect only the spiritual life, they overflow into the normal day to day life also, as we no doubt understand now. People who are narrow minded focus on the irrelevant - penny wise, pound foolish! If Jesus' family was 'common' then do we ignore all the evidence of His Messiahship and just forget about our eternal life?
And of course this approach to salvation is not limited to only salvation. After salvation we have an even greater opportunity in our spiritual life - spiritual maturity, greater blessings in time as well as in eternity. Just as being saved is infinitely greater than being unsaved, so too, being spiritually mature is infinitely greater than being spiritually immature. So attitude toward Bible study is extremely important after salvation because an infinitely greater destiny is at stake. Would we allow anything to stand in our way of attaining that which God makes so easy for us to achieve?
Perhaps before we do anything in life - before we think, before we say anything, before we do anything, then perhaps we should ask ourselves whether or not it is 'contributing to' our spiritual growth or 'detracting from' it. Think of your spiritual growth as a paycheck. If you think, say, or do wrongly, then you get a deduction. If you think, say, or do right, then you get a big bonus. Now who among us would prefer a small paycheck over a big one????
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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