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The man from Nazareth; the man from God

A crowd gathered when they saw Jesus speaking openly despite the fact that the authorities were looking for him. They were offended because, well, this was just the son of Mary and Joseph. Jesus said in response: “You do indeed know me and know where I am from. But I have not come on my own; the one who sent me is true, and him you do not know…”

Two matters of recognition were required of the crowd to truly grasp who Jesus was. First is to know that he was simply from their midst – the son of Joseph and Mary; a carpenter. Jesus did not deny his human origins. He was indeed the man from Nazareth. In this, he agreed with the people who were offended in him. In affirming his human origins Jesus set himself apart from other religious claimants to savior-ship, whose origins always tend to be shrouded in myth; or at best in historical fable. It adds to the mystique; to the hocus-pocus. But Jesus affirmed that, yes, he is the son of Mary and Joseph; that is “all” that he was, and it ratified his humanity.

Being from Nazareth establishes the fact that he is one of us, which is a fundamental requirement for his mission of dying in our place.

But Jesus did not only affirm that he was the man from Nazareth. He also said he was the man from God. And this God the people did not know. And they were even the chosen people of God. The demand here is ultimately upon the crowd. They must do the double duty of not only recognizing his human origins, but also his divine origins. To know just the former leads to belittlement and disbelief. To know the former in context of also knowing the latter results in that special gift of salvation and the hope that comes with it: God with us, Emmanuel.

He is with us today because he, human being that he is, came from amongst us. But he is also the man from God, sent by God to be with us. His faith has saved us; and all who have recognized him doubly are in his faith today: the man from Nazareth, the man from God.


Mark 7. 25-31 Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, "Is not this the man whom they are trying to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, but they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah? Yet we know where this man is from; but when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from." Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple, "You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me." Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come. Yet many in the crowd believed in him and were saying, "When the Messiah comes, will he do more signs than this man has done?"


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