“Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” Hebrews 4:14-16, The Message
Have you ever felt not matter what, you could not measure up?
Maybe you have a complicated family.
Maybe you have a physical attribute you wish you hadn’t.
Maybe you were born into something you don’t like.
Maybe you want to reach out and accept Christ, accept the personal relationship He desires to have with you, but because of this hang up, you can’t.
Maybe, you just can’t take the risk of one more rejection, especially from someone who is so holy, from someone who should love you, no matter what.
Do you think Jesus could ever relate to your situation?
Let’s look at Luke 18:35-37.
“As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. The told him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.'” NIV
Several passages in the Bible refer to Jesus as ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ On the surface that might make sense to us. Jesus grew up in Nazareth. He was from there. Adding his town served to help identify him.
Yet, when you study the culture of that time, you learn that the only reason someone was identified by his town, was in the case that the father’s identity was unknown. If you think that scenario is shameful today, it was much more so back then.
Every time Jesus was addressed, introduced, or spoken of, he was reminded of how he was not accepted in his society. How he was different. How others thought he ought to be ashamed.
He knew the pain of not being accepted for what he was, and for who his family was.
He knew how hard growing up unaccepted can be.
If that concept of Jesus’ unacceptance is new to you, how does that change your perception of Him?
He was the Son of God. He was holy. But, that does not mean his earthly existence was easy. He also knew hurt. The kind others’ opinions can inflict on your self-esteem. He knows the pain of not measuring up. And He knows the truth: That through the grace of God, and our acceptance of Christ, we do measure up.
We can not change our genes or family history, but we can let God lead our the future. And we can cling to who we are in Him.
Monday: What spoke to you in the above devotional? Why?
Tuesday: What insecurities hold you back from a closer relationship with God? How do you view those now?
Wednesday: Note the speaker and imagine the tone used in the following verses: Mark 10:47, Luke 4:34 and Mark 1:24. How does the Enemy play on your insecurities? How can you diffuse his ammunition?
Thursday: Read John 18: 4-7. Can you imagine what it cost Christ to claim that name, even while being arrested under false pretenses?
Friday: Read John 19:19. By this action, Jesus facing death, knew He would always be remembered there as ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ No matter what you achieve, there will be some who always remember your prior labels. How can you accept that truth, and then move on with God’s plans for you?