The people of Jesus’ home town recognized the wisdom with which Jesus spoke and the life-giving powers that were at work through his actions. Both were clearly evident to all. They go on to ask a probing question, ‘Where did this man get it all?’ As people who have come to believe in Jesus we would have no hesitation in answering that question, ‘Jesus got his wisdom and his life-giving powers from God’. ‘It is God who is at work through what Jesus says and does’. However, the people of Nazareth were unable to give a satisfactory answer to their own very good question. His very familiarity to them closed them off from seeing him as in any way different to themselves. They were closed to the revelation of God’s presence in and through someone who was just like themselves in so many ways.
In the language of John’s gospel, the Word who was God became flesh without ceasing to be Word. The people of Nazareth were unable to recognize the Word in the flesh of one of their own. We are being reminded that God is often wisely and powerfully present in the familiar and the ordinary.
We can be tempted to look for God in extraordinary and unusual phenomena. The mystery of the Incarnation proclaims that God-in-Christ is touching our lives in and through the ordinary, day-to-day experiences of life. Amen
Fr John Peter