How often have you sat in your chair at home, or in the stands at a football game, and shouted your game strategy to the finely tuned athletes who train six days a week, but refuse to play the game the way you would IF you were playing? Sure, it’s only 80 minutes of the week, but if we’re not careful we can apply this same attitude and mentality to other people in church or society to the point that we rarely attribute value to anyone.
The word honour means: to give weight; give value; esteem; admire; respect. These are all words that refer to how one views another and the value they attribute to a person.
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In Mark 6:1-6, we see Jesus was unable to do many miracles in his hometown. We often associate the lack of miracles here to a lack of faith (v. 6). But, in this passage of scripture Jesus equates a lack of miracles with a lack of honour (v. 4) attributed to Him. In other words, those in His hometown were convinced that Jesus was just like them (v. 3) and could not contribute anything beyond ordinary to them. Consequently, they received very little from Him because they attributed very little honour (value, esteem, respect, admiration) to Him.
3 things we can learn from this passage that will help us in our own discipleship journey as we honour and receive from those that Jesus has placed in our lives:
1. The level with which we give honour (to a person) determines the level with which we receive (from that person).
Reciprocity in life is inevitable! Contributing and receiving happens daily whether you are aware of it or not. The level to which you encourage others determines the level to which you are encouraged. The level at which you sow, is the level with which you also reap. The same principle applies with honour: the level with which you honour others, determines the level by which you are able to receive from others, and Jesus.
2. Honour will unlock the miraculous in your life.
In this story the people of Jesus’ hometown understood Him to be a man like every other and therefore missed receiving His divine contribution (v. 6) to them. The same can happen with us in church life when we bring the message (the divine Word) down to value that we (not God) attribute to the messenger. If you find yourself using the word “just” in front of a person’s name (e.g. ‘it’s just [insert name] preaching tonight….’) you can be sure that you have limited the person’s value to you, and therefore limited your ability to receive anything from them.
3. Honour is a prerequisite for releasing faith.
Throughout the four gospels Jesus often remarks ‘…your faith has made you well’ in response to the people that received something extraordinary from Him. What we often miss is the fact that as Jesus ministered or walked by people, it was those who valued (honoured) his presence that received the most from him. Honouring Him as Lord, esteeming our relationship with Him, and valuing the people that He has placed in our lives, will unlock the door to the miraculous for faith to operate.
Let’s be careful, in this day and age, that we don’t bring the extraordinary down to the level of ordinary and miss the miracles that Jesus offers us. We pray for what is valuable to us, therefore, let’s pray for and honour the people God has placed in our world and society. (Part 2 to come)