It’s so funny to me when I have the chance to go back to my hometown in Covington, VA and talk to people. When my mom still lived there, we would travel back a couple of times a year to see her, and meet up with some of my childhood friends. Often, my pastor would let me do the Sunday morning service as well. Here I was, 15 years after I had left the town. I had been a pastor for over a decade at that time, had a Master’s degree in ministry, had served in Chicago, and had spoke hundreds of times. But whenever I stepped in that pulpit in Covington, I became something else. I would pray, and deliver the message as best I could, and once it was over, everyone wanted to discuss one thing: my bike. They wanted to talk about how I was always doing tricks on my bmx bike as a kid, how I was in the paper, did I still ride my bike, how funny it was to watch me ride my bike, etc. I never got past being the 16 year old bmx guy from Covington. I just learned to laugh with them, and understand that it was part of the deal.
Then I read in Matthew 13 where the people in Jesus’ hometown admit that He has great wisdom and miraculous powers. They saw the proof, the credentials. But they couldn’t get past the fact that He had grown up there, they knew Him as a kid. His mom and family still lived there, for Pete’s sake. They were offended that He had the audacity to come in and teach them anything.
I’ve always commiserated with Jesus, and felt like I understood on a very, very small level how He felt. But reading it today, it hit me that I am more like the crowd in this story than Jesus. Yeah, people in my hometown didn’t take me seriously. But who can blame them? After all, it’s me we’re talking about. But how often do I take Jesus for granted? I see the miracles in my life and in others. I hear Him talk to me, I feel His peace; yet I still blow Him off from time to time. It’s just Jesus, after all. I can do what I want here, He’ll be okay with it.
But He’s King. He’s the King OF Kings, actually. And He’s the Creator of everything. Everything. He’s not someone casual I can dismiss when He makes me uncomfortable. He’s the One. The Way.
He’s definitely not some kid who we watched grow up. And He’s never ridden a bmx bike.
At least not as far as I know…