Have you ever heard of the phrase: “Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.'” If you haven’t, it’s a quote from the Bible, Mark 6:4 and Luke 4:24. You may read it if you’d like. But in short, Jesus was from Nazareth, and he was a carpenter without an education. Jesus’ carpentry job meant that he belonged to the working class.
Contrary to popular belief, Jesus was an expert in the scriptures because he was divine and the son of God. His lack of formal education also indicated he needed to gain knowledge of the scriptures. His training wasn’t in the books; instead, as I mentioned, it was in carpentry. So, one of the most famous quotes that surpass the religious world is that he had no honor in his town. They just thought about him as “He’s just some carpenter without education. He can’t possibly be the son of God or divine.”
My point here is not to preach. Instead, I reflected on that verse because many of us can encounter similar situations. Here’s a simple example. When I post a quote or message on my Instagram, I mainly receive support (or likes) from people I haven’t known all my life. And yet, another popular influencer can post a similar quote or message, and I see their (family, friends) likes there. This doesn’t hurt my feelings. But I do notice. Sometimes I think, “do they think I’m a hypocrite or insincere?” Or “Did they feel judged by the post?” I am a thinker, so eventually, I’ve trained myself to move on.
Before I bring up my following example, I remember a conversation with a friend at UC Irvine. She told me she was the first to go to college. Her aunt gave her a Prius as a gift for her achievement. I thought that was amazing. In my immediate family, all my siblings have gone to college too. But we never received a “Hey, congratulations” or a card among the relatives, except for one in Guatemala who is such a sweetheart.
Another example is one time during a family gathering, as I casually mentioned my time in college, a relative of mine replied, “I don’t give a F* about your degree.” I talked about being a non-traditional student; most kids were younger than me. That’s why I never fell into the peer pressure of the “wildlife” in college. And UC Irvine is primarily Asian students. They are serious about their education. I brought up my stay at Irvine because he demanded that we (my two sisters and brother) tell him what drugs we had done. He was unhappy with the answers, so he threw a fit.
But it’s that same dilemma with Jesus. I asked myself why he couldn’t just respect us as adults. Though we may not be divine beings like Jesus, our relatives that saw us growing up can’t see beyond their narrow view and see us as adults. To them, I’m that “fat tomboy” who played in the park.
So, I grew a thick skin because I had to. Among “my people,” I am nothing and an object of mockery. However, that verse is always in the back of my head when someone close (or anyone) to me tries to belittle or dismiss me: “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives, and in his own home.”
I don’t fully understand what it is about that verse, but it brings me the serenity to accept myself. And that, above all, I matter to God and those who genuinely love me. Also, most people speak from a place of hurt and insecurities. So, that’s on them, not you. Keep going. Keep moving.