Monday, March 02, 2009

The Pride of Nazareth

(by Jon Bloom for Desiring God Ministries)

Jesus and Nazareth are inseparable. Jesus spent most of his life in Nazareth. The prophets had said, “He shall be called a Nazarene” (Matthew 2:23). History would remember him as Jesus of Nazareth. Even the demons called him that (Luke 4:34).

That’s why this verse is one of the saddest observations made during Jesus’ public ministry:

And he did not do many mighty works [in Nazareth], because of their unbelief. (Matthew 13:58)


It’s a great irony that the Pride of Nazareth was rejected by the Nazarenes because of pride.

You know who this is? It’s Joseph the carpenter’s son! We know his family. I mean, they’re respectable enough people. But I know for a fact that none of them received formal religious education. Where in the world is Jesus getting this teaching? Does he really think he’s somebody great?

They were deeply offended. Why? Because he was one of them. So if he thought he was superior to them, he had another thing coming. Familiarity bred the pride of contempt in them.

What is frightening in this account is the power of pride to blind and deaden the soul. Just consider the consequence of such pride for the Nazarenes: the merciful power of the Messiah was withheld from them.

Pride is to be feared and treated like a cancer. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). We do not want to miss out on any gift of God’s grace because we are nurturing pride in our hearts.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24)


© Desiring God. Website: www.desiringGod.org. Email: mail@desiringGod.org.
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