And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” (Mark 6:4)
Jesus was more than a prophet.
In the context and understanding of the people Jesus was preaching to, a prophet refers to one who deliver the message of God, one who stand to judge on behalf of God.
We should be surprised at such statement that Jesus was not honored.
Who else could have done all those miracles and preached with such authority. In fact the entire nation of Israel and foreigners who passed that land had been seriously considering if this Jesus is the Messiah they were waiting for.
People of their own minds have their own preferences of giving honor. But the words and truths of Jesus’ message realign our priority towards serving God. Jesus was not the usual spiritual guru who seeks profits of his own.
Jesus was not expecting honor to Himself, but honor unto God Almighty.
The message of Jesus speaks truth into our hearts and souls.
The truths of Jesus’ message corner us into decision making – repent or perish.
Jesus’ message was to turn people back to God in truth and sincerity.
Humanity had learn the ways of being picky and fussy. People wanted options beyond boundaries and limits, blessings without responsibilities.
For the people who could not accept that limited options of Jesus’ message – repent or perish – the best to do is to reject Jesus.
Reject the messenger of God together with His message – Dishonor and discredit Jesus, refuse to honor Jesus.
But the people who dishonored Jesus continued to live in slavery to their darkness.
Having lived in Japan, there is this predominant system which prescribe honor to people – “Japanese Homogeneity” – the way of doing things by doing the same for all and being approved by all.
When you apply that “Japanese Homogeneity” on human behavior and social etiquette, the odd man out will always be condemned, rejected, put to shame and expected to be recycled.
In the context of our 21st century human normality of global communications and cross-culture networking, this “Japanese Homogeneity” has become an increasing cause of tension and isolation – tensions in communicating and isolation in communicating.
“Japanese Homogeneity” had given rise to preternaturally intransigent attitude, a major cause of stress in human relations, and further strain on the pockets, difficult to make friends without that omiyage お土産.
The Gospel message of Jesus is about change, repentance and transformed life.
The Gospel message of Jesus needed to be communicated in an atmosphere of open minds open hearts.
The Gospel message of Jesus needed to be released in grace and acceptance.
The Gospel message of Jesus is free!
“Japanese Homogeneity” contains essences of man-made orchestrated program to control human behavior via controlling how people should or should not think. A program based on man-made preferences or rejections.
Such programming is distracting or depriving people of achieving their full potential in Christ.
The Gospel message of Jesus has been restricted in a controlled society. What is meant to be “free” is “not so free”.
The Gospel message of Jesus is meant to set the people free and let people decide and choose for themselves the best of God –
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, (Luke 4:18)
Jesus came to set the captive free so that we can serve the one true living God Almighty.
William Wilberforce an English politician successfully led the movement to abolish slave trade.
Abraham Lincoln campaigned against slavery. The world has had enough of slavery.
“Japanese Homogeneity” is a form of slavery of the mind in contrast to the perfect will of God for humanity.
The only person who has the power to set us free from slavery of the mind is Jesus.
When Jesus preached forth the truth of God’s words –
People’s hearts were convicted.
People’s minds were awakening to the reality they had been living in sin and darkness.
People eventually realized they had been deceived and lead astray by the systems of this world.
Those who decided to follow Jesus; they found their real identity, their future and their hope in Jesus
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
In life we prepare for death, in death we prepare to meet our creator God Almighty.
In Jesus we find our eternity and full blessing.
“Slavery of the mind” blinded people from the truth of God’s word and deprive people of their real freedom in Jesus.
Jesus has come to set us free so that we can reach our full potential in God.
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