“Coming to His hometown He [Jesus] taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And are not His brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all His sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?’ And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.’ And He did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:54-58 ESV)
I married into a Vietnamese family 30 years ago, and I expected them to keep me at a distance—to treat me as an outsider. That would be human, right? But no. Instead, they said, “Whoopee! Someone with perfect English and valuable skills to help the family!” and put me to work right away. I was overjoyed.
It’s a pity the people of Jesus’ hometown didn’t take this sensible attitude. They had a miracle-working rabbi, and what did they do with Him? They tried to cut Him down to size. Jesus could do very little for them. They refused to trust Him.
God has offered us a wonderful treasure for free—forgiveness. Mercy. Guidance in our lives. Everlasting life. And best of all, His own dear Son Jesus to be our Savior and closest friend. And what does it cost us? Nothing. Jesus has paid the price at the cross.
Let’s not be idiots. Grab for Him! Who cares if we don’t deserve Him? He’s offering Himself for free.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I want You. Let me have You forever! Amen.
* Do you agree or disagree with the idea “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”?
* When did you get something good you felt you didn’t deserve?
* Why does Jesus offer Himself to us for free?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on March 5, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved