I have a friend from medical school who is now a well-respected pulmonologist and practices in Los Angeles. Both he and his wife are from Hawaii and love the islands. So when I once asked him if he would ever consider returning home to Hawaii, his response surprised me.
“No. I don’t want to go home.”
“Why not?” I persisted.
“Here in LA, I’ve made a name for myself. Everyone knows me as the doctor who made that diagnosis of botulism and saved a man’s life! But back home, I am just Jerry. Doesn’t matter what I’ve done here, people back home just think of me of plain ol’ Jerry. I’m a nobody there. Here, I’m somebody...someone people respect.”
As a young resident in the emergency room, my friend’s astute diagnostic acumen correctly diagnosed botulism poisoning in a young man, saving his life. This story was circulated amongst all the Southern California training programs for years, garnering him instant and well-deserved fame and accolades.
I completely understood his answer and hoped that someday, he would be able to return to Hawaii and be rightly honored for a lifetime of helping and improving the lives of so many patients.
Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.
Jesus Christ was rejected by the people with whom He grew up. Even though He had performed mighty miracles and taught with authority in all neighboring towns, it was not enough for His own kinsmen. They only knew Him as the carpenter’s Son, nothing more. But within a few years, everyone would know who He truly was, God’s Son, our Lord and Savior. Even Jesus’ own brother James, doubted Jesus’ deity, until Jesus appeared to him after His resurrection. James went on to become one of the leaders of the Church at Jerusalem.
Jesus accepted this rejection by His own kinsmen but did not dwell upon it. Sometimes, the most difficult people to reach are the ones with whom we are most familiar, our own family. They have seen us grow up, witnessed all of our failings and faults, and spent hours counseling us on the do’s and don’ts of life. Now, if we return to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, doubt and suspicion may easily cloud and obscure our clear and earnest message. We want to share Jesus’ message of hope and salvation but all they can see is the awkward kid who played with matches and teased his younger sister.
Look to the example of Jesus Christ when we are discouraged and disheartened by those who would look down upon us because they are familiar with our past. What a glorious Savior we serve!
Blessings with Aloha!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.