February 27, 2022 Familiarity Breeds a Lack of Honor

Familiarity Breeds a Lack of Honor

February 27, 2022




Scripture: Matthew 13:53-58.


We come to the conclusion of chapter 13.  Verse 53 reads, “When Jesus had finished these parables…” He told eight parables in this chapter:


  • The Parable of the Sower
  • The Parable of the Weeds (also called the Parable of the Tares)
  • The Parable of the Mustard Seed
  • The Parable of the Leaven
  • The Parable of the Hidden Treasure
  • The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price
  • The Parable of the Net
  • And, the Parable of the New and Old Treasures.


We have considered each one of these parables over the last several weeks. Each one is important. Our Lord spoke these parables primarily to his own disciples, although they have application to the lost, as well. These eight parables have three themes. The theme of the first four and the Parable of the Net is that there are evil persons, evil spirits, and evil things in the present phase of the kingdom. At the Judgment, the evil will be cast into fire forever. The theme of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl is the great value and love with which the Lord places upon the treasure and pearl. The Lord cares for you if you are part of his kingdom, which is the church in this age. The theme of the Parable of the New and Old Treasures is what should occupy the sons of the kingdom presently, that is, the bringing out of beautiful truths from the Scriptures so that we will encourage and build up our brothers and sisters in Christ and so we may bring others into the kingdom.


We must be reminded of these three themes because we are a slow-to-learn and slow-to-remember kind of people. I encourage you to revisit the messages on these parables because of their importance.


Jesus travels to his hometown, Nazareth. He taught in the synagogue there. His teaching was so profound that they were astonished at his wisdom. The wisdom with which he spoke was one of five evidences[1] that prove He was the Unique Son of God and Messiah. The wisdom that he possessed and revealed was so far beyond what others spoke that people were astonished when they heard him. Remember when soldiers were sent to arrest him?

The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him.[2]


44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” 46 The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!”[3]


His wisdom was so great that the soldiers sent to arrest him could not fulfill their duty because they were so astounded by his words! Many of his words have been preserved for us by God’s plan in the pages of the gospels. What a privilege it is to have these words. We must hang on them as if our lives depended upon them because…they do!


The words of our Lord will not only save us from much heartache and sorrow, but they will also open doors of fulfillment and enjoyment. His words are words of life, an abundant life!


Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”[4]


Nazareth was a small town. Through archaeological research, it is estimated that the population of Nazareth in the days covered by the gospel narratives was only between 400 and 500! This means that everyone in the town would have known Jesus and his family well. Jesus was already ministering in Capernaum, so he would have been absent for a time, but not more than a year or two.


And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” [5]


This verse is fascinating. He was speaking words of wisdom, words that would both reveal God’s will and help his former neighbors to live fulfilled lives. He was speaking words of life, yet they took offense at him. From the context, it is clear that the reason they took offense was simply because they knew him! This is a peculiar phenomenon with humanity. The more we know someone, the less likely we are to receive what they say. You would think it would be the opposite. Why is it this way?


One might speculate that when we are very familiar with someone we see their weaknesses and maybe even some sins. That is also a real phenomenon. The more we know someone, the more we will become aware of their failures. The more we become aware of their failures, the less credence we will place in what they say. This holds true for you, too. The more people get to know you, the more they will see your weaknesses. It is a problem we all face.


Yet, this is not the situation with Jesus, is it? We know that he was without sin (Heb. 4:15). This means that the experience of resisting truth from those with whom we are familiar goes beyond noticing weaknesses. There is something about familiarity that, in itself, lends itself to resistance.


What does this mean for us? It means that we can expect the same reception as did our Lord. When we speak the truths of Scripture or the gospel to our family members, or those who know us well, we may expect there to be some offense. If Jesus experienced it, we can expect no less.


How did our Lord respond?


And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief. [6]


He did not do many mighty works. This means that he still did some. The offense and unbelief that the other Nazarenes displayed voluntarily restricted his outreach but it did not end it.


So, we ought to follow his example. We must speak the truths of God to our family members and our closest friends. If we do not, they may not hear it from anyone else. In so-called Bible-belt states, like Missouri, just about everyone thinks they are a Christian. When we go door to door, we seldom come across any atheists or agnostics. Maybe one in twenty. If we were doing outreach on the West Coast, for example, we would come across many more (but still a minority). The vast majority of people in Missouri think that they are in a right relationship with God. Yet, most are not. The same will be true of our family members, both immediate family and extended family. It is our task…it is your task…to speak the truth to them. You must show them from Scripture that the gospel is more than believing some facts. It is actually living for the Lord Jesus Christ. It is putting him first above everything and everyone. It is following him. It is obeying him joyfully. We must boldly tell them that they are alienated from God and must surrender their lives to Christ. Otherwise, their destiny is the lake of fire.


We must also be willing and prepared to talk about sin. Do not shy away from this subject. John the Baptist did not. Jesus did not. The apostles addressed sin often. The revelation of a person’s sin may be used by the Spirit to bring conviction to their conscience.


What do you think will happen when you tell them these things?


The answer is:  the same experience that Jesus had will be yours. They will be offended. They will be offended simply because they know you! Therefore, expect it and do not be discouraged by it.


Allow me to give you a principle to live by in this regard. Our Lord’s life is our example. There is something that he did that we can also do. I would say that it is imperative that we speak by this principle. Before we look at this principle, let us be clear that we are to follow the example of our Lord:


But whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. [7]


Of course, we are to keep his word. Keeping his word is one of the evidences that we truly belong to him and are not self-deceived. But John goes even beyond this and says that the way we can be sure that we know him if we live the same way that Jesus lived! In other words, we observe and learn what Jesus did and then we do the same thing.


Some may think: “I can’t live the way Jesus did! I’m not good enough.” It is true that you are not good enough. It’s even true that you are simply not able! But the Lord does not ask you to live like Jesus by your own power. If you try that you will fail for certain. But, you can live the way Jesus did because, if you belong to him, he has given you the power that you lack in order to do it! Not only do it, but live as he did joyfully!


So, what principle did Jesus speak by that we, too, can live by?


When Jesus had finished his Sermon on the Mount, we read this:


And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. [8]


Jesus spoke with authority! You, too, can speak with authority. You ought to speak with authority! I am not saying that we speak with the same authority as the Lord Jesus. That would be silly. He is the incarnate Son of God. His authority is unquestioned. Yet, you can and should speak with authority for one simple reason: you have this authority!


In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, we learn that it is not just from Paul. The letter begins: “Paul and Silvanus, and Timothy to the church…” (1:1)


It is good to see this because Paul says something in the second chapter that applies to us:


For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.[9]


The “us” is Silvanus and Timothy besides Paul. Yet, they say that when they spoke their words to the Thessalonians, they are called “the word of God!”


When we speak words that are from Scripture, then we are speaking the very words of God! When you speak to someone about the things of the Lord you possess authority because you are speaking in accordance with revelation!


Live by this principle: speak with authority when you speak! If you get resistance from your message you need to say, “These are not my ideas. I am speaking to you the oracles of God. What you do with what I have said is up to you. But God calls you to surrender your life to Christ. And, until you do, you are in a lost condition. Neither your life nor your heart are right with the Lord. Repent and live!”


Christians need to be more bold, more confident, and uncompromising when it comes to calling others to repentance!


What do we take away from this teaching of our Lord? It is this: Your family members will not honor you. Familiarity breeds a lack of honor. Expect not to be honored. But be bold and faithful in your speaking to them anyway! When you expect it, you will not be disappointed when it happens. Then there will be times when they receive your words. That will be a testimony to the working of the Spirit in the heart of your hearer.


Jesus was not honored. But he continued to speak and minister. “Go, and do thou likewise.” Make the opportunity this week! Do you have any relatives who are not disciples of Christ? If the answer is yes, then you have no reason to wait. Call them today!





[1] The others being: his prophecies, the fulfillment of OT prophecies in his life, his miracles, and his resurrection.

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Jn 7:32). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Jn 7:44–46). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 13:55–56). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 13:57). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[6] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 13:58). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[7] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (1 Jn 2:5–6). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[8] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 7:28–29). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[9] New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (1 Th 2:13). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.