“Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him” (Mark 6:3).
“And they took offense at him.”
What did the people in his home town of Nazareth find so offensive about Jesus?
- That Jesus was a carpenter didn’t bother them.
- That Jesus was the son of Mary didn’t bother them.
- That Jesus was the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon didn’t bother them.
- That Jesus had sisters living in Nazareth didn’t bother them.
Then what exactly was so offensive about Jesus?
As long as Jesus was one of them, a fellow human being, a good teacher, a wise rabbi, a good man, Jesus would have been the pride of the town. As long as Jesus was a fellow man, that Jesus was so wise and such an amazing teacher would have been the source of pride.
“Jesus…he is from our town. We know his mom. We saw him grow up. Even when he was a kid, we knew there was something special about him,” the people in his town would have beamed.
But it wasn’t these things that was offensive. What offended them was that this kid who grew up in town was claiming that he was the Son of God. And that, they couldn’t take.
Not much has changed in two thousand years. Very few people have problems with Jesus as a good teacher, a good person, a wise teacher. The problem is that Jesus claims to be the Son of God. The problem is that he claims to be the only way to the Father. The problem is that he claims to be the way, the truth, and the life. No one can enter heaven except by believing in him. The problem is the exclusive claims Jesus makes about who he is.
Because, you see, if Jesus is who he claims to be he is, then we have no choice but either to obey and follow him, or reject and disobey him. There is no middle ground. Either Jesus is Lord, or he’s no different than any other human being who’s ever lived.
Abraham Lincoln was a great man of principle. But not agreeing with Abraham Lincoln has no eternal consequence to you or me.
Mother Teresa was an amazing woman. The world would be a better place if we would all live as she did. But if we don’t, there are not lasting eternal consequences to those who choose to live a selfish life.
Not so with Jesus. What we decide about who Jesus is, is the only determining factor for whether you and I will spend eternity in God’s presence or separated from him in eternal punishment.
So, who is Jesus? Is he who he claims to be in Scripture? Then obey him. Trust him. Follow him.