Hometown Hero (or not!)
Matthew 12:53-58

Let’s summarize Jesus’ life to this point:
-From the line of David > born of a virgin, but who believed that? No, they considered him a manzer, an outcast.
-As a child, an attempt made on his life by Herod, the Jewish ruler, (who was also the richest man in the world.)
-Had to leave and go to Egypt for a while till things cooled off.
-A prophet named John the Baptist announced the Lord’s coming, baptized Jesus, and had a few choice things to say to
the Jewish religious leaders.
-Jesus was led into the wilderness and was tempted by Satan for forty days, while he was also fasting.
-Then he began to preach about The Kingdom of God, and he gathered some disciples. (rogue rabbi)
-Crowds followed him everywhere. (not much rest) They followed to hear him preach and to be healed.
-Then he preached a sermon, which is still famous, called The Sermon on the Mount.
-This sermon was about the Kingdom of God. Specifically: Who is blessed, Salt and Light, the Jewish Law, Anger,
Adultery, Divorce, Vows, Revenge, Treatment of enemies, Giving, Praying, Fasting, Money, Possessions, Judging, The
Golden Rule, Narrow gates, Trees and fruit, True Disciples and Building on a Strong Foundation.
-Then he healed and healed and healed and calmed a storm, healed some more and healed some more, and called
Matthew (a tax collector – manzer), talked about fasting, healed and healed, *Sent out the 12*, with a warning about
-Then he told John the Baptist’s followers, “tell John YES I AM THE ONE,” then he praised John, and said it doesn’t
matter what I do or John does, you criticize and don’t believe either one of us. REJECTION
-then he said his burden was light, then “discussed” the Sabbath with the religious leaders, then he healed on the Sabbath
– and then Matthew stated that Jesus would bring justice!
-*** the people, in spite of the miracles, were getting disenchanted with prophet or rabbi or???? Because he wasn’t
acting like a KING who would rescue them from ROME. REJECTION
****the religious leaders were mad, jealous, it was building and building, and now they go too far saying he is from
-His family visits him and are concerned that he might be mentally unstable – MORE REJECTION
-PARABLES – he’s been rejected by Israel so he shifts to parables that are not for everyone – for the disciples.
– Finally REJECTION in his own home town. (Home town heroes can usually be found in the High Scholl trophy case)
53 When Jesus had finished telling these stories and illustrations, he left that part of the country. 54 He returned to
Nazareth, his hometown. When he taught there in the synagogue, everyone was amazed and said, “Where does he get this
wisdom and the power to do miracles?” 55 Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his
mother, and his brothers—James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. 56 All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he
learn all these things?” 57 And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Then Jesus told them, “A prophet
is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.” 58 And so he did only a few miracles
there because of their unbelief.
1) Today, what is the general public’s opinion of Jesus?
It’s been > Good person, a great teacher, etc. <but it’s shifting>
Nowadays you may hear > a homophobe, a divider of people, his teaching just stir people up. He’s not real, he never
existed, he’s just one of many that claimed to be God.
2) V54 What was the home town’s initial reaction to Jesus return? Why?
Amazement and wonder. Because of his teaching and power to do miracles.
3) V55-57a “Then they scoffed” Why? What caused them to abruptly change their minds?

Did you catch why they took offense? It was basically because He was one of them. They knew Him. He was becoming
renowned in the area, and it seems they didn't like it.
In that culture boys carried on the family business. If Joseph was a carpenter his sons would be as well. So it makes sense
for them to say, "Hey, this guy doesn't have authority to preach to us . . . he's not a rabbi, he's just a carpenter."
He's a faux rabbi. He's nothing special. Who does He think He is? We know he's getting a lot of positive press everywhere
else, but we aren't that easily impressed. Mike – Bismark Maurice – ? Bill – ? Thomas – Sheridan, redneck capital of
AR, born Pine Bluff. Here’s another famous person > biggest concert in AR ever > Garth Brooks, took forever to get a
record deal.
What to do with rejection? And in this case, it was the rejection of his hometown people who attended his hometown
church. He probably had an affinity for them.
4) V57b-58 How did Jesus react to their rejection?
Made a statement, did a few more miracles and left.
We know Jesus continued on his mission that he knew he was called to do! This is one very important way to handle
rejection. Keep going forward with your “mission,” your “calling.”
SLIDE: 1 Stay on mission. Continue focusing on your calling.
TABLE QUESTION: What is your mission? What are your goals? Where did you get your mission and goals?

But first SLIDE: 2 Beware of Approval Addiction
5) Beware of approval addiction. What is it?
Matthew 6:1 “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from
your Father in heaven.
-The opposite of rejection.
-It's to live in bondage to what other people think of me, to make my life a performance to be seen by them, the disease to
The alternative to approval addiction: to live before an audience of one. Have an audience which
consists just of God. What this recognizes is we're made to seek approval. We just need to get it from the right person.
6) Be honest. Who’s opinions really matter to you?
Example – People on American Idol, whose opinion? Nice randy Jackson or Simon Cowell.
Who are the Simon Cowells in our life? You know Randy Jackson and the guest judges on American Idol are usually
nice, but people look to Simon for the ultimate in approval – his opinion matters more than all the other's put together. If
Simon gives you the golden ticket to Hollywood you've made it; if he shows you the door then you haven't.
In other words, the opinions of some people matter more to you than others'. Are you choosing the right people to value
their opinions?
Example: Coaches, teachers, friends, people you work with, stars?
SLIDE: 3 It is good to have trusted people whose opinions you care about.
Truth: not every opinion is equal. Jesus was smart enough to know that. What would have happened if Jesus had crumbled
under this rejection, if Jesus had buckled right here? What if Jesus had cared more about the opinions of his hometown
friends than His heavenly Father?

SLIDE: 4 What if the perceived rejection is simply someone who loves us and is telling us the truth?
SLIDE: 5 Sometimes rejection is just caused by the sin of another.
Sometimes they repent and come back to you. "I wish I could undo what I did."
Sometimes they don’t.
SLIDE: 6 You’re not alone. Rejection happens to everyone. It happened to Jesus
Jesus has felt that too. (HE HAD REAL FEELINGS) Judas betrayed Him – relational rejection. Peter denied Him –
relational rejection. And the crucifixion was the ultimate rejection.
The Son of God comes to earth as a man to show people the genuine way to peace with our Heavenly Father and after
three amazing years of ministry He was crucified. And while He hung on the cross he prayed, At about three in the
afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You
forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46) Doesn't that sound like rejection to you?
Isaiah 53:3-5 is a beautifully haunting verse about that: He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who
knew what sickness was. He was like one people turned away from; He was despised, and we didn't value Him. 4Yet He
Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains; but we in turn regarded Him stricken, struck down by God, and
afflicted. 5But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace
was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds.
SLIDE: 7 Most important point – Jesus will never reject you.
Your boss may have rejected you, your mama may have rejected you, your child may have rejected you, your spouse may
have rejected you, and those are deep wounds – there's no denying that. But you will NEVER be able to say Jesus has
rejected you. Tell Him about it. Maybe now you can better understand how He understands what if feels like to be
WORDS HURT – Personal Rejection
SLIDE: 8 Learn how to use that hurt to mold and create your purpose by shifting your perspective.
Some people can experience a painful rejection and yet find it in themselves to regroup and try again to reach their goal.
However, others have trouble once rejection has taken root, especially if they have heard the word “no” constantly.
Dealing with rejection is a behavior that you can learn. It is how you identify and analyze your thoughts and emotions
after rejection. It is learning how to use that hurt to mold and create your purpose by shifting your perspective.
Learning how to deal with rejection is not easy. Being slighted by someone stings and according to studies using MRI
scans, the brain responds similarly to physical pain and the pain from rejection.
Consider these things:
SLIDE: 9 Give yourself grace
The inner voice stems from adult experiences that seem to confirm what the childhood inner voice already demands. Have
you heard any of these thoughts from your inner voice?
You can’t please them because you will never be good enough.
No one will ever love you.
You’re not meant to do great things.
No matter how hard you try, people will never like you.
You’re not smart/pretty/clever/wealthy/talented enough.
Why even try? You will only fail.

These are harsh statements living in your head and it’s time to put a stop to them. It’s time to give yourself grace. Why
should we listen to that negative inner voice say things to us that we would never say to another human being?
Even if these are comments you heard from someone in your past that doesn’t mean you have to talk to yourself that way
now. Don’t believe these lies. Even if people haven’t been kind to you, be kind to yourself.
SLIDE: 10 Avoid Dwelling on the Situation
As we recall the painful scenario, we tend to dwell on the pain which gives permission for the inner voice to give its
opinion. Slowly we chip away at our own self-confidence. We begin to doubt our ability, talent, skills, worth, appearance,
and other things that are important to us. We become our own worst enemy. We manage to twist the truth to fit into new
belief molds that are not necessarily true.
Anger, bitterness, and resentment can grow exponentially. The problem with allowing these emotions to grow is that
they end up hurting you.
SLIDE: 11 When Your Hurt Can Help Others
Not all rejection is personal. Yet, rejection can also serve a purpose in God’s plan for your life.
Consider the heroes (not just survivors) from the Bible.
Moses was rejected by his Hebrew brethren which led to his running away until God called him to return to help His
Joseph was rejected by his brothers and falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife until God moved him into a position that
others may not have thought he was worthy to hold.
The rejection you faced may have a purpose to it that you aren’t aware of yet.
Ask Him what the purpose of this hurt is and to reveal your purpose.
As seen countless times in the Bible, God doesn’t use someone for something great without first testing them thoroughly.
Perhaps what seems like rejection is really part of a test to make you stronger, more resilient, and better prepared for the
From Amy’s classes:
It’s important to have safe people in our lives. Safe people love us and hold us accountable. This accountability does not
look like rejection. Instead, it looks like someone loving us enough to want God's best for our lives. It's hard not to focus
on the rejection; however, we must look to those that will speak truth in our lives.
..learning to respond from intention versus emotional reactions. We can intentionally use our choices and hurts from the
past to walk with others who are struggling. This allows us to come from a place of thoughtfulness versus a purely
emotional reaction. An example: we are all on a journey. Some of us have walked through the dark cave and know the
way. Because of our experiences, we can go back and take someone else by the hand and help them walk through the
cave. We can warn them about low spots that they need to duck, tight spots, and the hope that it does end. This is not
because we are experts; it's just because we have already walked this part of the journey. TG – It does end and becomes
just a story that we tell.
SLIDE: 12 Remember who you are
Remember that God created you and loves you just as you are. You don’t have to prove your worth to Him. You can be a
part of His eternal kingdom. “And this is the promise that He has promised us – eternal life.” (1 John 2:25).
You are a loved, cherished child of God. You are a family member.
Let’s flip this around:
SLIDE: What if I reject someone?

Our job as Jesus followers is to show people what Jesus is like:
Did he care what a person’s status was?
Did he care what clothes they wore? What music they liked?
Did he care if they were poor?
Did he care if they were rich?
Smart? Not smart? Pretty? Not pretty? Handsome? Not handsome? Funny? Serious?
Our job is to love our neighbor as ourself. Stay on Mission.
SLIDE: 13 Know the Path, Walk the Path, and when REJECTION COMES, Trust the Path
Let’s go out from here and do that this week!