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Jesus said; A prophet is not without honour

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posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 05:03 PM
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“A prophet is not without honour, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house” (Mark ch6 v4).

Obviously the statement is meant ironically.
Taken literally, it would mean that a prophet invariably finds honour everywhere else, and that is certainly not the case.
So it tends to be quoted, as a proverb, in the stronger form “A prophet is ALWAYS without honour in his own country”; which is not quite what Jesus said, but probably what he meant.
In fact the saying is already being remembered in the stronger form in both Luke and John.
“Truly I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country” (Luke ch3 v24).
“For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honour in his own country” (John ch4 v44).

This was an observation based on his own experience in Nazareth.
The people who heard him teaching in the synagogue “were astonished” by him and “stumbled” at him; they said “Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?”
As a result, he could not do any “mighty work” there, and he “marvelled because of their unbelief”.
So why did that happen?

I once heard the British comedian, Arthur Askey, on a chat-show, telling a story which may throw some light on the psychology of the problem.
I should explain that Arthur Askey was very popular, bespectacled, energetic, and very short.
In other words (and this is the point) he was instantly recognisable.
The story was about an incident which occurred in one of his hotel stays.
A man joined him in the lift and greeted him with “Hello, Arthur!”
Arthur greeted him back.
The man grinned at him and said “I suppose everybody calls you that!”
Arthur agreed that they did.
“Well, you do look like him, you know!”
He met the man again the next day.
The same greeting; “Hello, Arthur!”
Then the man added “Have you heard? They tell me the real Arthur Askey is staying in this hotel.”
Arthur confessed that he was the real Arthur Askey.
The man dug him in the ribs and said “I bet you wish you were!”
[See next post. I discovered a video of Arthur telling the story himself, in a much fuller version than I’ve remembered it]

So that’s the puzzle. This man saw someone standing next to him who had exactly the same face, shape, and voice that he would have known from television, and he had just been told that the real Arthur Askey was somewhere in the vicinity.
So what was blocking him from accepting the idea that this person was “the real Arthur Askey”?
I think it was the very fact that Arthur was standing next to him.
There must have been the unconscious assumption in his mind that famous people dwell in a different, exotic world, and don’t stand next to ordinary people in lifts.
Therefore the man standing next to him could not be one of them, whatever he looked like.

The perception of the good people of Nazareth seems to have been hampered by exactly the same kind of mental block.
“Men of God come from other places, not from familiar places.
This man is well-known to us, which makes it impossible for him to be a man of God”.
It would have been worse, for some of them, because they had known him as a child, making it even more difficult to take him seriously.
Like the women in the Monty Python sketch, incapable of recognising John Cleese as a grown-up man and a Cabinet Minister.

The same stumbling-block is enough to account for Nathanael’s reaction;
“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John ch1 v46)
We don’t have to assume (as commentators like to do) any rivalry between two villages. The fact that Nazareth was “local” was enough to rule it out of contention.
You can get the same reaction yourself by taking the phrase “prophet of Nazareth” and substituting the name of some local township or suburb. The phrase will immediately begin to sound absurd, the potential title of a comic film.
“Familiarity breeds contempt”.

The moral of the story is that people may be led astray by this kind of reaction.
The hotel man was wrong to assume that a famous person could not be standing next to him.
And the people of Nazareth were wrong to assume that God could not work through a local man.
In fact anywhere on earth that Jesus could have been born would have been “local” to one place or another.
If God could not work through the familiar, he would not be able to work at all.

This is exactly what is happening in the Incarnation.
The fact that Christ is born as man makes him “local” to the human race at large.
It shows that God is not just “other”, a transcendent and distant God, but also one who comes close to us in the familiar.




posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 05:04 PM
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posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 05:12 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Jesus sure turned those tables over though...



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 05:14 PM
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a reply to: AinElohim
He did.
But I wonder if even that was enough to convince the people of Nazareth!



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 05:20 PM
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There is also the element of resistance to the message. A prophet is seldom sent to tell you that everything is A-OK. Usually they are sent to lead you along a different path or tell you that a time of trouble is coming or to warn you that you're doing it wrong and change your ways.

So not only are they battling familiarity of being local, but they also battle resistance to the message (or clinging to the familiarity of the local ways).
edit on 6-3-2015 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 05:23 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko
Yes indeed, but some resistance to the message as such was found all over Galilee and Judah.
Jesus himself was puzzled by the fact that it had so much extra strength in his home town.
I don't think the people in my home village would recognise me as a prophet either (if I claimed to be one).



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 05:32 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Well when I read what you wrote, it put my in mind of a fictionalized re-telling of the Iliad from Cassandra's POV. She was working against both in the narrative - her familiarity to everyone and her message was one that no one wanted to hear. There was another factor, but it doesn't apply here.



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 05:38 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko
Yes, that seems to confirm (though it's fiction) that Jesus was making a valid observation about the human psyche.



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 06:05 PM
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You are doing it wrong. Change your ways.



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 06:07 PM
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a reply to: kenzohattori69
If God said that to me, I would listen.
You are not God.
I will be writing next week's thread in the same way.



edit on 6-3-2015 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 06:11 PM
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denial is the first step in grief reconcilliation.Move on to acceptance.
edit on 6-3-2015 by kenzohattori69 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 06:17 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: ketsuko
Yes, that seems to confirm (though it's fiction) that Jesus was making a valid observation about the human psyche.



It's one of the reasons why we study the classics. They illuminate the human condition. Scripture is about God's fingerprints on Earth and His dealings with man. It tells us about His truth and His ways, but it doesn't so much tell us about ourselves and our nature.

What you uncovered through Christ's teaching is a tiny nugget of that human condition.



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 06:57 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI
you are the stationary observer, tell me it isn't so. Am I not? Mathematically it is as easy as all numbers to the power of zero equals one. Can we move forward?



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 07:00 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI For us to trade you must first show me your manifest. Happy sailing!



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 07:58 PM
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Another way of looking at it is that those familiar with you know you aren't a prophet and also know your frailties. Strangers, on the other hand, don't know what an idiot you are and will believe anything. Whether or not he actually said the phrase, written long after his death, he certainly had first hand experience with the issue.



posted on Mar, 7 2015 @ 03:07 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Well, he's dead isn't he? Zero respect from his country and kin.



posted on Mar, 7 2015 @ 03:27 AM
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a reply to: deckdel
There is that double meaning which may have been at the back of the gospel-writer's mind.
Of course the sense "immediate locality" was the one which was obvious to Jesus at the time.



posted on Mar, 7 2015 @ 09:56 AM
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"A prophet is not without honor except in his own house". I have several thoughts.

This saying has parallels in other Jewish and Greek literature, that doesn't name any certain prophet in particular. Comparing himself to these previous Hebrew prophets, Jesus hints at his own eventual rejection by the entire nation, considering how he was dishonored by his own relatives in Mark 3:21 and now here, by his hometown folks.

I've often quoted this verse to people who struggle with wayward sinners in their own household. They are seeking ways to convert their loved ones. I mention this verse, to remind them, even Jesus' own kinfolk rejected his teachings sometimes. Most of the time, a person's conversion to Christ comes from far outside, from a stranger, a coworker, someone they least expect. Very few will actually hear and listen to The Good News when preached by a close friend or family member. That is the practical application I'm reminded when studying this verse.

For our close friends and loved ones, the best way to evangelize is by our witness of Love, by our works...together with prayer and fasting.





a reply to: DISRAELI



posted on Mar, 7 2015 @ 10:26 AM
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originally posted by: schuyler
Another way of looking at it is that those familiar with you know you aren't a prophet and also know your frailties. Strangers, on the other hand, don't know what an idiot you are and will believe anything. Whether or not he actually said the phrase, written long after his death, he certainly had first hand experience with the issue.


Exactly this.

Also, in my small hometown experience, people send their young "prodigies" off to the "big leagues" with great fanfare, positive expectation and hope. They throw them parades when they return!



posted on Mar, 7 2015 @ 11:20 AM
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a reply to: windword
The question then is why Jesus had a different experience.
Perhaps it is partly to do with the difference between being "sent out", and going off independently.
Also this was not a case of "making big" in comparison with the rest of the world, with which the home town could identify.
This was a case of coming back thinking he knew better than his own people did and trying to teach them something, in effect raising himself above their level. I can think of social environments in which this would arouse intense resentments, a response of "Who does he think he is?" (I can almost hear that in the response recorded in the gospel). The hackles would be rising. Or perhaps this is a European thing.




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