Day 5 – Unlikely Places
Jesus was born and raised in unlikely places.
When wise men came from the east, they expected the king of the Jews to be born in the capital city of Jerusalem (Luke 2:1-2). When Philip invited Nathanael to meet Christ, Nathanael responded, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” (John 1:46).
In those days great people were expected to come from famous places. Surely the Messiah would come from Jerusalem or some other respectable city — not Bethlehem or Nazareth.
Jesus wasn’t treated with favor by his own hometown. “And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home’” (Matthew 13:57).
The hometowns of well known people are often remembered today. For example, some well known people from Queens include: Howard Stern, Lori Loughlin, 50 Cent, Donald Trump, Ray Romano, Martin Scorsese, Francine Drescher, Al Roker, Reggie Jackson, Andrew Cuomo.
People from Jesus’ hometown bristled when he taught in the synagogue. “Who does this man think he is? I saw him grow up. I know his family.”
His own community rejected him. “How could a person from such a low status rise to such a place of honor? That’s reserved for people with wealth, status, position.”
Jesus was also rejected by the world he created. “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him” (John 1:11). The people who should have been most eager to welcome him – many fellow Israelites, the religious leaders – were the first to turn him away.
Maybe you’ve encountered a similar theme: You weren’t born into the right family. You didn’t grow up in the right place. You weren’t affirmed by your own people.
You might find yourself marginalized. Treated as insignificant. Dismissed as inferior. Overlooked by the power people. Disadvantaged socially, economically, emotionally, or physically. Pushed to the margins of society.
But you are not insignificant to God. Live out the words of J.R.R. Tolkien: “Courage is found in unlikely places.”
Today: Express your gratefulness to God – you are not insignificant to him.
~ Pastor Dave