There is a great passage in Scripture. It is found in Mark 6:1-6.
Jesus has been out doing ministry and returns to His hometown. On the Sabbath, as He is teaching in the synagogue, the listeners begin to wonder where He got His wisdom and the ability to perform miracles.
All they truly see when they look at Jesus is a carpenter, a son of Mary, a brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon. A man with sisters who all live among them.
And the end of verse 3 says they, “took offense at Him.”
Jesus realizes that He cannot do anything in His hometown. The people can’t get past His earthly family, His known lineage, His carpenter training. He is left to wonder about their unbelief.
And, as is often the case in our own lives, we find the same thing.
No, we do not have the gift of miracles, or the wisdom Jesus possessed, however, we find ourselves looking into the face of those who know where we came from, what our background is, what our past looked like. And these same people hear our testimony, see our changed lives, may even hear us speak words of wisdom, yet they cannot look past the things they know.
Too often they see our failures, our family history, our scars, and they refuse to notice what God has worked in us and through us. Our past has become a hang up to those who know us the best.
Now, a quick side note, Jesus was sinless. We are not. Part of helping people see what God has done in us and through us is that there has to be consistent change. We cannot continue in sin, then wonder why people question our testimony and our words if there is no consistent change, no longing to be more like Christ.
However, when we are changing, growing, and learning, and we find people unwilling to look past our past, what do we do?
I think this passage shows us. In verse 5 we see that Jesus did what He could. He healed where He could and where people could get past their earthly knowledge of who He was.
And in verse 6 it says He went around to the other villages teaching. He had a mission. He had work to do and He would not let those in His hometown distract Him with their unbelief. He kept doing the work His Heavenly Father gave Him to do.
So, my encouragement to you today, regardless of how others react to you, especially the reaction of those who know your past mistakes, keep doing what God has called you to do. Be diligent to follow and obey His voice. If others watch with disbelief in your mission and ministry, remember that Jesus faced the same thing.
“And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.” Mark 6:5-6