17th Week in Ord. Time, Friday – 31st July 2020 — Gospel: Mt 13,54-58
Measuring one’s growth
In this section Jesus returns to his hometown of Nazareth after his wide experience of teaching, preaching, healing and doing miracles (Sermon chs.5-7; Miracles chs. 8-9, Preaching chs. 10-13). His teaching in the synagogue amazes the townspeople. It is not that they admired Him but were skeptical about the tremendous insight of His authoritative teaching. Unlike the scribes who taught in the authority of earlier famous rabbis, Jesus taught in His own authority. Then follows a series of questions raised against him that brings out the widespread unbelief among his countrymen. They debated much about the source of Jesus’ power (vv.54b&56b), sandwiched with family trade and gene (vv.54c,55,56a) . For them it was hard to believe that a local boy was the Messiah, God incarnate. Instead, his family members and neighbors expect Him to be unchanged. They wished to see Him as the same person He was before He left. This is impossible in anyone’s growth. Jesus grew without being conditioned by their mindset and demands. His growth is measured by their astonishment that leads to their interrogations and rejection. They were astonished by His message, but out rightly questioned the messenger.