I was reading the bible a few minutes ago, and I came across the part in Matthew 13 where Jesus had gone back to his hometown of Nazareth. In the text, it talks about how when He went back home, He began to teach in the synagogue and the people were amazed and began to ask questions like “Where did He get all this wisdom and power? Isn’t He just the carpenter’s son?” and began to ramble on about how they knew His mom, dad, and siblings. The text then says they took offense at Him.
To me this seemed ridiculous, but it made so much sense. Jesus then says in v.57b “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.”
It made me think about when magazines and TV Shows interview the family members of famous people. They always say how shocked they were when they discovered the person had talent. Singers’ family members talk about how they saw them singing in church but thought nothing of it. Comedians’ families discuss how they always made them laugh, but they never thought they were that funny, and so on and so forth. It’s funny how at home, we shock people because they never thought we’d get to the place where we are. They wonder where we get all of our talent and knowledge and power from just because they weren’t around for some of our most transitional moments. They question it sometimes. Wonder if it’s real. And sometime it hurts to go back home because we know that’s the reaction we’ll receive. Yes it can be humbling, but it can also be discouraging. You may be successful in the business world or even grown spiritually, but to some family members and friends back home, you’ll always be what they remember you as.
In the text, Jesus’ town couldn’t see that He had moved beyond just a carpenter’s son, but had become someone who was performing miracles, gained knowledge, and had become a great man. But all they could see was Mary and Joseph’s son, a sibling, and a carpenter’s son. They didn’t take the time to embrace who He had become as a Man, they just remembered Him as He was before He left.
Sometimes it can be discouraging to go home or talk to old friends because they always remember you for who you were and many time don’t want to accept who you’ve become. Nothing’s wrong with reminiscing, but when the reminisce is nothing more than a continuous brand of who you are even though you’ve grown, it’s not healthy.
I realize that many times God puts us in new arenas, new cities, new states, new countries, and new schools where we know no one for great reasons. When we get to a new place, we have a chance to be who we have grown to be. Now in no way am I saying we have a chance to create a new identity, but you have an opportunity to express how you’ve grown with no one around you to remind you of your past mistakes and mess ups. You give people the opportunity to set the standard with who you are. No longer do you have to try and prove yourself, but now it becomes an experience where you’re stating who you are and will now be help accountable for what you’ve shown others. If you show someone that you’re kind and work well with people, as well as work hard, then that’s the standard I’m going to hold you to. But sometimes going back to where everyone is familiar with who you use to be, the standard is either set low, or there is no standard and you try your hardest to get people to see you for the growth you’ve encountered and not the old you.
Sometimes staying in a familiar place can keep you from achieving and growing as well. Since people there already love you and accept you and appreciate you, you feel as if you don’t have to do a whole lot to win people over or to show that you’re responsible. You just remain consistently stagnant, never changing, just continuing to be the same old you. I don’t know about yall but I’m tired of just being stagnant because that’s what people expect. I’ve come to the point where I’m ready to be held at a higher standard and the bard be raised when it comes to me and what I can do.
The last verse in Matt 13 says “And He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith” (v.58)
It sucks that Jesus couldn’t go back to His hometown and help out all the people there who knew Him, might have helped to raise Him, might have watched Him a few times, fed Him a few times, or even taught Him at one point in time. Many of us have the dreams and goals to go back home and help out after we’ve become successful and many of us will. Many of us won’t have to endure the hardship of having or past held over our heads when we go back home. But many of us will have to deal with the mentality that many will not want to change when it comes to who we’ve become.
I can be real and say that it’s hard for me to go back home. I’ve been a singer all my life. I’ve sung in church, choirs, everything. But I’ve gained so much more knowledge about myself and about Christ that many of my previous desires have changed. I want to evangelize. I want to preach. I want to be an entrepreneur. I want to be the founder of different organizations. But when I go home, I’m still seen as the singer. I still hear phrases talking about when I was a baby and how I’ve grown. But no one wants to know about what I’ve learned. No one asks about how I’ve grown. Some do… but the ratio is about 10 to 1. It’s hard for me to go back home because I’m tired of just being remembered at the “Carpenter’s Son” because I’ve become more than that. It’s hard for me to want to go back home and help out because of the faith in what I’ve learned isn’t as strong as the faith in me becoming a singer and a star.
I live in a little city called Berea, KY with my Mr. People didn’t know me before I got here, but as they’re getting to know me, they see that there is more to me than just singing. They saw the God in me first… then the gifts God has given me. So my identity has a range to it, instead of it being a box.
You’re more than just what you use to be. You’re More Than The Carpenter’s Son. Walk In That.