“Of course he’s smart! Look at the parents!”
I was watching a movie and the main characters were discussing a prodigy, a classmate of their daughter. The prodigy’s parents were an attorney and a scientist who both attended prestigious colleges. Immediately after this observation, the parents made a disparaging comment about another classmate who was barely passing his classes.
“Of course he’s struggling! Look at the parents!”
It was a fictional scene but I am sure many of us have heard variations of these observations in everyday conversations. While there are certainly some truths with both observations, it is also denigrating and insensitive to any family in either scenario, completely ignoring the innate talents of each child or overlooking any obstacles the parents or children had to face. Yet, the desire to compare oneself with another is pervasive in our culture. It happens today and thousands of years ago.
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?” Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers—James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he learn all these things?” And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him…
Matthew 13:54-57 (NLT)
The people in Jesus’ hometown could not believe His wisdom and the miracles He performed, after all, He was just a carpenter’s son. They also knew Mary and there were already whispers that she was an amoral woman since she was pregnant when she and Joseph were betrothed. The Son of a poor carpenter and a loose woman, how could anyone give Jesus an ounce of credibility? They didn’t.
…Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.” And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.
Matthew 13:57-58 (NLT)
When we allow our prejudices to color our perceptions of people, we dishonor and denigrate them. I wonder what others say about my family? I would not like to be on the receiving end of such comments. Let’s focus our efforts to see how we can be a blessing to, instead of a critic of, other families. As Jesus Christ showed us, we close ourselves to receiving God’s blessings from these relationships when we make assumptions based upon outward appearances.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.