Menu Close

Addressing Biases and Redeeming Perspectives (Day 30)

Lenten Devotion – Addressing Biases and Redeeming Perspectives
Day 30, 19 March 2024

“Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? … Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.” Matthew 13:55-58

Jesus faced this strong rejection from people who had watched Him grow up and knew His earthly family. Their reaction stands in stark contrast to the great crowds from other parts of the region that had gathered to hear Jesus speak (Matt 13:2), witnessed His miracles and responded in faith.

For the Nazarenes, their familiarity led to disbelief. They couldn’t look past their long-held perception of Jesus as an ordinary carpenter’s son to see His true divine nature, and their hearts were thus blinded to the reality of God’s salvation plan.

Reading this reminded me of when I too doubted God’s work because of my preconceived notions. For example, when I met a previously problematic friend who now seemed like a new person after becoming a Christian, I found myself wondering whether he was just putting on an act, or if God had really changed him. There were also times when I doubted how God could redeem broken relationships and situations that seem so hopeless, at least from our human perspective.

This is an ongoing struggle, but God in His mercy reminds us that “His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts our thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). Let’s pray that God will soften our hearts, remove our unbelief, and enlighten us with the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, that we may see His great work in this world.

Let us also not become easily discouraged when others (especially our family and loved ones) do not recognize or receive our message and service to them in the Lord. If Jesus himself was rejected by the folks from his own hometown, what makes us think we will be spared from suffering the same fate? To be cynical and to doubt is a universal human reaction. Let us instead ask for the Spirit’s help to persevere in praying and doing good towards them!

Anna Cheang🙏