Then He went out from there and came to His Own country, and His disciples followed Him. And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, 'Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His Hands! Is this not the Carpenter, the Son of Mary, and Brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?' So they were offended at Him.
But Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.' Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His Hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief.
I've spent much of my life around professionals: well-educated people with impressive letters following their names. I was raised among respected families: well-connected people with private clubs hosting their parties. I was churched at a lofty institution called Trinity Cathedral: an Episcopal stronghold standing next to the South Carolina state capitol.
I recognize elitism: puffed-up thoughts of superiority based on multiple diplomas, family background or church position.
But elitism stands in contrast to the background of Jesus, the Man. I continue to be amazed by His extraordinary Example. An uncredentialed history set Him up for success. 'Humility precedes honor' (Proverbs 18:12) is a tough Verse to live when the world boasts its disagreement.
Are today's leading Christians like yesterday's leading Jews? Well-schooled, well-dressed, well-churched, well-protected, well-staffed and well-stocked?
Compared to the Pharisees, Jesus was a poor, uneducated, unattractive, unconnected Preacher with an unqualified staff. Background belittlers denounced Him repeatedly, but they could not deny His work or prevent His progress--except in His Own hometown.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: the Bible proves your background is insignificant to God. What matters is your heart, your faith and your actions. You have been adopted by God Himself. What better credential can anyone have?
To some church insiders, your rowboat may be rocking their luxury liners. Even so, stay in the wake of your Captain. As Nicodemus, Jairus and Joseph of Arimathea proved, not all well-credentialed people are background belittlers. Some go straight through the eye of a needle, and work to mend the lives of others.
But for those who hate your dreams, do what Jesus did. Move on.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Dream Haters series.