Scripture: Matthew 13:
54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" they asked. 55 "Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" 57 And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them, "Only in their own towns and in their own homes are prophets without honor."
58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
Observation: Look for the miraculous in the natural, expect something special in the ordinary, find the exceptional among the common.
Application: I knew that guy back before he "found Jesus" and let me tell you, there wasn’t a rougher cut kid on the face of the planet. Now look at him, who does he think he is, acting all Holy Spirit filled, laying hands on people, praying for people. I just can’t believe how hypocritical he is, and I can’t believe that everyone is falling for it!
This isn’t something that was said about me, at least to my knowledge. (That’s not to say it couldn’t have been) It’s not something I heard someone say about someone else either. It’s an attitude – it’s hypothetical and I admit that it’s highly exaggerated. I just want you to think about it though. Have you ever seen someone make a big change in their lives and then you wonder about their sincerity? Maybe you’ve even wondered about a person, and then later their actions proved your skepticism to be on the money. It happens I know.
This is even an exaggeration of the attitude we find Jesus’ hometown folks giving Him, but notice what it means. It means that because they had no faith in Jesus – they didn’t get the blessings that He wanted to give them. They didn’t see miracles, because they refused to believe.
Expect the best from people, and they will bend over backwards to live up to your expectations. Expect the worst from them and you may unwittingly be contributing to their failure. I am reminded of another scripture that I think goes along with this entry for today. And I’ll close with it; please consider this as you look at those who are doing their best…
Phi 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Prayer: God of Great Expectations,
Please keep expecting the best from me; and forgive me when I fail to live up to those expectations. Help me to do all that I can to be the best that I can all the times that I can. Help me to love more, live fuller, laugh harder, and pray more often. Keep my faith in you strong and my expectations for others high.