A Prophet's Honor
"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 miracles there because of their unbelief." (Matthew 13:57, 58)
Why does Jesus tell us that prophets are not honored by those closest to them? Jesus wants us to understand what makes people what they are. The Apostle Paul gave us an accurate description of a human heart when he wrote, "Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man..." (Romans 1:22,23)
All idolatry begins with the worship of self. Pride is that force within the heart of people that contends with all others and says, 'I am better.' Competition flows from a heart of pride. There will be no competitive spirit in heaven because all who are there understand that God is working through all and all are dependent upon Him.
In Matthew thirteen, people were offended by Jesus because they saw him as a carpenter's son. They couldn't imagine Him as something special. In the minds of most, people who speak for God are extraordinary. The reality of the spokesman for God is they are merely a channel through whom God works. However, the idolater cannot handle an ordinary prophet because they do not receive God's message.
The message of God is this, "All have sinned and fallen short of God's glory." (Romans 3:23). The prophet himself is a sinner worthy of hell apart from God's saving grace, and that's as common as we're going to get. God is the only one deserving glory, a message that only those ordained to eternal life can receive.
Application for all church-going evangelicals, beware of how you view your pastors. Have they been placed upon a pedestal by you, from which they can do or say no wrong? Maybe you know they are only sinful men in the depth of your heart, but something in you wants to believe they are more. The ground is level at the cross; there, we should think little of men, less of ourselves, and everything good as coming from God.
There is a massive difference between saying, 'I thank God for you, or you are great. To believe well about men and not recognize God in the mix is to live in Biblical unbelief.
I elaborate upon these thoughts in the episode "Cultural Christianity," the latest message on the Podcast That They Might Know.
Link to Podcast