In the prophet’s own country

When the two days were over, he went from that place to Galilee (for Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in the prophet’s own country). When he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the festival; for they too had gone to the festival. -John 4:43-45 NRSV

Familiarity is something that many deal with. The word itself seems to have it's root in the word "family". It is said that "familiarity breeds contempt". It is sometimes difficult for some to honor a person who one has known all of their lives.

Consider Jacob's son Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers. His brothers listened to Joseph speak of his dreams of leadership and nothing but contempt grew in their hearts. When they had enough they did a terrible thing.

Sometimes children raised in religious families develop a contempt for their religious environment, leaders and family. Children are very insightful and when they see a bit of hypocrisy they often react with a bit of contempt.

The sad thing about familiarity is how it cuts you off from faith. Familiarity with people and organizations can sometimes obscure God and skew our impressions of Him. And many times if takes an unfamiliar face to bring faith to the surface.

Lord, help me to be an unfamiliar and welcoming face for someone today.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.


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