There is a claim that absence makes the heart grow fonder. It is true at times. As we’re separated from our loved ones for a while, our hearts start craving our precious, more dearest people. We miss the good moments, the comforting feelings that come with being close. But there are also times when the heart does not grow fonder with absence.
Home was not a welcoming place when Jesus lived on earth. Mark 6 describes the cool reception shown to Jesus when he returned to Nazareth. The reaction was so disappointing that He was unable to serve as He desired.
Jesus traveled, ministering to all types of people in various locales, but His family stayed back in Nazareth. They didn’t follow Jesus, using the opportunity to work alongside Him. The family didn’t even use Nazareth as their ministry headquarters. Instead, they chose to keep living as they’d always done, which clashed with Jesus’ lifestyle.
When Jesus returned home, the people of Nazareth were offended by His presence. Based on what they experienced through the actions and behavior of His siblings, the townspeople found it impossible that Jesus could be worth all the hype. The citizens would not give Him the benefit of the doubt. No grace was extended to Jesus.
Jesus, likewise, was affected. Mark 6:5 says “And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them.” Jesus’ power was muted because the unbelief was so strong.
If Jesus were to come to our neighborhoods right now, would people be offended by His presence?
We are Jesus’ family. Anyone who accepts Him as Lord and Savior becomes part of His family. This means that in everything we say and do, we’re representing Jesus, whether purposefully or not. Our behaviors and actions affect how people may receive Jesus.
Being a follower of Jesus is more than the ability to do amazing miracles. Jesus was kind to everyone because He loves everyone continuously. He used a truthful approach with everyone, without malicious intent. Jesus lovingly mingled and interacted with all types of people. He had remarkable patience, even in the face of doubt. Jesus, who loved hard and deeply, was quick to forgive others. His very presence was inviting and magnetizing, pulling you in regardless of who you were.
As Jesus’ family, these are the behaviors and actions we should strive to demonstrate. Let’s work together to represent Jesus well. May the people around us receive Jesus with warm affection so that they may experience His amazing love and transformational power.
Written by Sabrina Jacques-Rowe
Henderson Highway Church