Have you ever been helped in your spiritual walk from an unexpected source? Maybe the person who explained the gospel of eternal life to you was an “ordinary” person. Maybe someone like that has helped you understand a certain passage in the Bible, and maybe that has happened on more than one occasion.
Probably most of us can relate to situations like these. But even though that is the case, there is a tendency among human beings to look at certain people as more important than other, ordinary folks, and therefore more worthy of being listened to.
If we are educated, or if we have graduated from seminary, we might not want to admit it, but subconsciously we might not think we can be helped by those who have not obtained our educational level.
In other words, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that great things can only come from “great” people. The world will tell us who is great and who is not.
That is what happened to the Lord. In Mark 6, He visited His hometown of Nazareth. He taught in their synagogue. We are told that they recognized His wisdom while teaching and they knew of the miracles that He had performed (Mark 6:2). In synagogues around Galilee, He had proclaimed that in Him the Kingdom of God was being offered to the nation of Israel. His wisdom and miracles showed that He spoke the truth.
How did they respond to having Him in their midst? How did they respond to His message? Mark tells us that they said, “Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him (Mark 6:3). In a few words, they rejected Him.
Why did they reject Him? Because He was a carpenter. Evidently Joseph, His stepfather, had died. But Jesus had worked as a carpenter in that town for many years. He was a common laborer. We can almost hear them say that Jesus had done such and such work for them. How could He be the King of Kings?
But there was more. They said He was the Son of Mary. In that culture a man was known as the son of his father. It seems that the people of Nazareth had heard the rumors surrounding the birth of Jesus (John 8:41). How could a boy born illegitimately be the Messiah sent from God?
The people of Nazareth also knew the ordinary family from which Jesus came. They knew His brothers and sisters. At this point in Jesus’ ministry, even these siblings did not believe He was the Messiah. These siblings thought He was crazy (Mark 3:21). How could the people of Nazareth believe in Him when His own ordinary family did not?
When we see that Nazareth was not a well respected city (John 1:46), we can understand how the people of that city were “offended” by Jesus. How could the Messiah come from such a place, from such a family, from such a birth, and from such a profession?
But on the other hand, they should have accepted what He had to offer. They should have believed. His wisdom and power demonstrated that He spoke the truth and was who He said He was. But they were unwilling to because what He said came from an unexpected source.
May we never fall into that trap! We who have believed in Jesus Christ for eternal life can be ministered to by completely unexpected sources. God can use people from “ordinary” backgrounds to help and teach us. It is interesting that often people say that the Free Grace movement cannot be correct because there are no theological “heavyweights” in the movement. In fact, such important heavyweights say we are wrong. But the Lord’s experience at Nazareth teaches everyone that help from God, and truth, can come from what the world deems as unexpected sources. We might be an unexpected source of help for somebody else.