Ready for another Advent devotional in this series on “Parenting Jesus”?
In a small town, neighbors all know each other’s business. And Nazareth was no different. Everyone knew not only Jesus but his father and mother. Luke, in chapter 4, describes what it was like when Jesus returned to his home town. He taught in the synagogue and everyone praised him. Praised him, that is, until the day he read the prophecy from Isaiah and announced that the prophet’s words were being fulfilled that day.
Those sitting in front of Jesus were stunned. “How can this be? Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” Mark quotes them as saying, “Where did he get all his wisdom and the power to perform miracles? He is just the carpenter, the son of Mary.” (Mark 6:1-3) The obvious implication is: He certainly did not get those qualities from his parents. In other words, in the court of public opinion, Jesus was just from ordinary stock. Joseph had no fine education like Gamaliel; Jesus’ father was no great orator like Paul. Mary had no super powers. They were plain, everyday, small town folk. Maybe Joseph, perhaps Mary, felt unqualified for the huge task of raising God’s son.
If you are a parent, do you ever face times when you feel inadequate? Do you look around at others with more education, more patience or more wisdom than you possess, someone who could do a better job parenting your children? What about the rest of us? Do we ever feel we are inadequate for a task that lies before us?
As you go about your activities at home or at work today, remember God’s promises in Phil. 1:6 and in 1 Thess. 5:24: “He who began a good work in you will continue his work until it is finally finished,” and “Faithful is he who has called you. He will bring it to pass.” Don’t forget to rely on him today for all you need to accomplish your work!