The gospel accounts of Mark, Luke and John record incidents of Jesus and his ministry being rejected in his home town of Nazareth. When we read these accounts we sadly discover that this meant the people of Nazareth were unable to receive everything that Jesus had for them, even though in Luke’s account the people seem to be asking Jesus to, “Do here in your hometown what we have heard you did in Capernaum.”
I think in our churches today it is imperative that we have a culture of raising and releasing our own and not rejecting our own. The rest of this post considers five reasons and the roots that they stem from those reasons that cause us to reject our own, rather than release them.
The accounts in the gospels can be found in these passages:
John 7:1-3 (note verse 5)
“Isn’t that the carpenter?” “Aren’t these his brothers?” Brothers, by the way, that at this point did not believe in Jesus themselves. The hometown crowd knew Mary and the scandal surrounding the first born, they also knew Jesus’ brothers, James, Joseph, Simon and Judas and his sisters who are unnamed. Their questions reveal a common trait. This person cannot be special, we know him.
The root of this problem is JUDGEMENT. Our judgement of people and their circumstances prevents us from receiving from them when we should recognise that each and everyone of us are broken vessels and any use that we have to God is by his grace.
2. THE TALL POPPY SYNDROME
This is the human tendency to cut down a person who seems to be getting ahead. A peer whose profile is increasing or whose skill is developing, whose work or character is getting them noticed. This trait is very evident in British culture, just take a look at some of our reporting media, looking for any opportunity to dish the dirt as we say. Of course, it is us, the public, that fuel that because it sells.
The root of this problem is ENVY.
3. OUR OWN INSECURITIES
Not dissimilar to the tall poppy syndrome our own insecurities can cause us to be really negative about people in our world and therefore be slow to praise and empower.
The root of this problem is FEAR. We wonder, fearfully wonder, will there be a place for me?
4. OUR PRECONCEPTIONS
Jesus faced rejection at different times for all kinds of reasons but imagine facing rejection for healing a man who had been paralysed for 38 years. The reason for the rejection, you did it on the sabbath. Our views, our preconceptions can mean that we are not open to new things, to things that are done differently than we’ve previously known or experienced.
The root of this problem is RELIGION, and it is far more widespread than we think.
5. NEPOTISTIC ACCUSATIONS
Our failure to praise and raise our own, or from within can come because we fear that people will accuse us of providing jobs for the boys. They will question our motives and therefore, even when our motives are pure we draw back because we fear the accusation.
The root of this problem is THE FEAR OF PEOPLE. We need to remember that God said to Jeremiah, “Do not be afraid of them for I am with you.” Jeremiah 1:8
My hope is that in all our churches and organisations we will raise, praise, equip and empower our own more than ever before to be the very best that they can be and take what God has begun in and through us to a whole new level.