Jesus left that place and came to his hometown. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.”
excerpts from Mark 6:1-13
Jesus’ hometown did not honor him which prevented them from receiving miracles of physical healing and social restoration. What is “honor,” and how can we use it today?
The English language uses honor in numerous ways: your honor roll student may be honor bound to tell the truth. A couple getting married promises to love and honor each other – oaths taken before the maids of honor. Your dinner party may include a guest of honor who, if they are a judge, is referred to as “Your Honor.” A war hero might be awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor.
Clearly, the term is nearly ubiquitous today. A common thread running through each usage is the concept of respect. For millennia, communities large and small around the globe have taught that people who accomplish great achievements – acts of courage as well as exceptional efforts or successes – deserve our respect. They have earned it.
Jesus healed the sick, calmed storms, cast out demons, raised the dead, and showered people everywhere with great wisdom through his parables. What more could he possibly do to earn their respect? Nothing.
Honor and respect cannot be forced. Opposing parties can voluntarily blind themselves to the virtues within each other. Rather than fight rejection with rejection, Jesus continually reached out to individuals and communities that rejected him. He honored them because he could see that they were still precious children of the living God, even when their actions did not reflect their soul’s origin.
If we, today, can see and honor that preciousness within all the people around us, perhaps healing will ensue. Rather than looking for openings to attack, let us make the effort to seek opportunities to bring healing and restoration.
by Charles White
Photo Credit: Honor Court at University of Nevada, Reno, by Kristen Marshall
As you go about your day, keep your eyes open.
What does “Honor” mean to you?
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