In today’s Gospel reading, the people during the time of Jesus, had seen many of his works and were also astonished by his wisdom when they heard him. However, they still took offense at him and questioned him. So, what is keeping them away from believing? Reflecting upon the scripture passage, there are 2 possible causes.

First, pride is stopping them from believing – “Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon.”  How can the carpenter display such wisdom? Why should we listen and believe such a lowly and poor carpenter. That was probably on the minds of the people.

Pride is most potent when one is most competent in one’s field. There may have been instances whereby you are good and competent in certain things and someone comes and offers you their advice or opinion and our response is like the Chinese saying: ‘I eat salt more than you eat rice.’ Who are you to offer your advice/opinion to me? How can we avoid pride from coming in? It’s always good to spend some time during the day or week to reflect on our actions and emotions. In this way, we will always be mindful of our thoughts, emotions, and actions.

Second, for those who could not believe, this is probably due to their lack of a personal relationship with Jesus. Had they journeyed closely with him, like what the Apostle did, they would have come into faith and believe.

For any relationship to be formed and deepened, it presupposes time and effort spent. Relationships will only be on a superficial level if we do not spend time investing in them. What about our relationship with our Lord? It is a struggle for most people. When there is so much going on in life, time for relationships takes a back seat. One’s ambition, family, friends, ministry work and all the distractions of the world leaves no or little time for our Lord?

There is a question about our priorities. If we place Jesus above everything else, then our priority will be with him.

Written by Emmanuel Tan