Today's verses are Mark 6:4,5: "And Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.' And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and he healed them." Jesus faces the pain of rejection, first in his family, then in his hometown. He recognizes this central truth: a prophet is without honor in his own country. Or, put another way: familiarity breeds contempt.
It's true. Being around someone day in and day out, you fail to see anything special in him or her. You normalize who they are. You become calloused to heroism or uniqueness. The holy becomes common. You develop a "ho hum" attitude to others' potential for greatness.
That's what Jesus is saying here. His family knew him too well. By this time, Joseph had most certainly died. For years, as custom demanded, Jesus probably took over as "head of the household" until the next oldest brother was able to do so (was this James, the future head of the Jerusalem church and the author of the book in the New Testament that bears his name?).
The people in Nazareth most certainly had watched him grow up from childhood. Who was he to get such a following?
Jesus statement does acknowledge himself as a prophet. But he's much more, as will continually unfold as we read through the Gospel of Mark.
But Jesus is pointing to all of us an incredible truth we all need to grasp: Let's all try to fight against the "familiarity breeds contempt" in our lives. Today, find the uniqueness in your family members, in your friends, in those around you. Find their special giftedness. Go tell them how special they are! Tell them how much you appreciate how special they are! Don't allow the hum drum boredom of every day life to rob you of seeing others as God sees them.
You'll be amazed how much it will bless their day that you noticed their uniqueness. And, who knows? They may well tell you your uniqueness!
And that will make your day!