His miracles, his teaching, his kindness, and his confidence set Jesus apart and above the typical celebrity and left people astonished and in awe, and then Jesus went home. You would never know of Nazareth had Jesus not grown up there. Population 500, it was a little place, 25 miles southwest of Capernaum, in the middle of nowhere. Jesus came home “and they took offense at him” (Mark 6:3). They knew Jesus and his brothers and sisters and his mom, and they do not mention his dad because it is a small town and there were rumors about his birth. He was not what they expected of a prophet, let alone a Savior. They sought majesty, he was ordinary, too ordinary to be extraordinary. They deserved better, “and he could do no mighty work there” (Mark 6:5).
He had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men, ~Isaiah 53:2-3
Later, far from home, outside Israel, a woman fell at his feet. “Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter” (Mark 7:26). Jesus is Israel’s Messiah, the Savior of God’s children, and he rebuffs this foreign woman, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs” (Mark 7:27). I do not know how to make that sound not rude, yet the woman accepts her role as dog, and still insists on her food, “she answered him, ‘Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs’” (Mark 7:28). She is not allowed at the table, she is not of the tribe of Israel, she does not worship Israel’s God, she does not read the Bible, she does not follow the Law. She knows she is unclean and unworthy in the eyes of Israel, and so she does not ask Jesus of Nazareth to give her what she deserves because she is good; she asks Jesus to give her what she does not deserve because he is good. “And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone” (Mark 7:30).
One of the disciples, when he was first told of Jesus, asked, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Another answered, “Come and see.” (John 1:46).
My God, You are righteous and good, but more than that, You are full of grace. I do not deserve Your favor, I am neither righteous nor good, and yet You looked upon me with love, and sent Your Son to bring me back into Your family. Thank You.
May I look at others as You look at me. May I see each person as a special creation, lovingly made by You, and give them the grace and the goodness You have shown me.