HYMN You are the King of glory
You are the King of glory,
You are the Prince of Peace,
You are the Lord of heaven and earth,
You’re the Son of righteousness.
Angels bow down before You,
worship and adore,
for You have the words of eternal life,
You are Jesus Christ the Lord.
Hosanna to the Son of David!
Hosanna to the King of kings!
Glory in the highest heaven,
for Jesus the Messiah reigns!
READING – Matthew 13: 53-58
53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 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, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”
58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
SERMON – Familiarity and Contempt
Our neighbour in Montrose said of her son I don ‘t know where he gets it (referring to his brains and love of reading and studying). You know the old saying – Familiarity Breeds Contempt is often true, as we shall discover this evening. I want us to look at the people of Jesus’ home town this evening and then I want us to look at Jesus Himself: one of the Nazareth boys.
The Nazareth People
When their own boy Jesus comes home, you might imagine there would be some celebration. If a former pupil of Glen Urquhart High School was to become Man. Utd.’s keeper- I dare say the people would turn out in their hundreds if he came home to speak at a meeting in the Blairbeg Hall! When Jesus spoke – the crowds were amazed. They could hardly believe it His teaching was extraordinary – and they had heard of all the miracles He had done in other places. Lots of people are amazed at Jesus. Being amazed will not get anyone into heaven!
Well what did the amazement of the Nazareth people lead to? For many people, in other places, their amazement led to faith. What about Nazareth? How would Jesus’ fellow townspeople react? Well it made them ask questions. And what sort of questions did they ask? What kind of hearts did those people have as they asked those questions? Well, the answer is that their questions were cynical. Who does He think He is? WE know who He is! He cannot be for real, surely. Does He think He’s better than me?
Yes, their amazement led them to ask questions and ultimately to anger. They resented Jesus, the local boy trying to pretend He was someone special. THEY had watched Him grow up – they knew Him so well – AND THAT was THEIR reason for rejecting Jesus! What is YOUR’S?
Well, lets turn from the people to Jesus Himself. Let’s notice the three aspects of Jesus life which were evident on that day:
Firstly He spoke to the people. He brought to them the very message of God. He taught them in their church, the synagogue. Jesus had a mission to fulfill – part of which was to teach the people – but they didn’t want to be taught by Jesus (DO YOU?)
Secondly let’s see that Jesus was greatly saddened by his townsfolk. This was the people with whom He grew up He went to school with them, he played as a boy with them – they were His pals and their rejection of Him broke our Lord’s heart.
We all know the shortest verse in Scripture Jesus wept. Jesus must have had great sorrow over His rejection by His own townsfolk. There is a song, isn’t there, you always hurt the ones you love – the ones you shouldn’t hurt at all. Isn’t that true ?
Thirdly Jesus was stopped from working among these people because of their rejection of Him. Jesus could not and would not work where He was hated and despised.
YOU CHRISTIAN do you find that home is the hardest place to be a Christian? Do you find that it is harder to be a true witness with your spouse, your parents, your children than with anyone else. Is it very difficult to stand up for Jesus amongst your unbelieving friends – those you’ve known for years? Do some of these beloved people give you a hard time if you mention your Saviour’s Name? Well, be encouraged that it was so for JESUS – as it is for you. Jesus has known this same rejection by family and friends He will help you and give you the strength you need. He’s been there!
WHAT OF YOU – WITHOUT CHRIST? Are you sometimes amazed at what Jesus says to you – either in the preaching here or in other ways ? Are you sometimes forced to ask questions of God and do you sometimes get angry at Him for the word He has brought to you (or angry at the preacher?). Do you go on then to resent God for speaking to you like that? You’ve been to Church, perhaps, all your life – and your familiarity with the CHURCH has bred in you a CONTEMPT for Christ. Friend, I have to tell you this evening that you have hurt and saddened Jesus.
He has brought His Word to you out of His great love for sinners – as you have spurned Him – and continue to do so, He finds Himself, as in Nazareth long ago, unable to do anything for you. He will not be able to do a thing for you so long as you harbour that bitterness in your heart against Him.
There were some in other places whose amazement at Jesus led them to fall at His feet and confess their sins and their utter and desperate need – and that is what you must do – nothing less – do it soon, I urge you.
Hymn Today Your mercy calls us
1 Today your mercy calls us
to wash away our sin,
however great our trespass,
whatever we have been;
however long from mercy
our hearts have turned away,
your blood, O Christ, can cleanse us
and set us free today.
2 Today your gate is open,
and all who enter in
shall find a father’s welcome
and pardon for their sin;
the past shall be forgotten,
a present joy be given,
a future grace be promised,
a glorious crown in heaven.
3 Today the Father calls us;
the Holy Spirit moves;
the Son has given his lifeblood
for every soul he loves.
No question will be asked us
why we so late have come,
or why we always wandered:
this is our Father’s home!
4 O all-embracing mercy!
O ever-open door!
What should we do without you,
how can we ask for more?
When all things seem against us,
to drive us to despair,
we know one gate is open,
and you will hear our prayer.