Jesus began his ministry in his hometown of Nazareth. A city some forty miles removed from the shores of Galilee. A city never mentioned in the Old Testament.
Because of the violent reception he received, Jesus left Nazareth for Capernaum on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and, as far as we know, never returned.
What a distinction. A city who utterly missed what was standing in their midst.
The Son of God. The Incarnation. The Savior. The Prophet, Priest and King.
The one of whom the Prophets wrote and who King Herod slaughtered so many innocents in an insane effort to root out and eliminate.
Being simply Jesus, he was forced to find a new audience—one who would not see him still as a child, the son of Joseph and Mary, the guy down the street.
In short, Jesus was an activist who couldn’t gain a following with those who saw him, not as a radical, but as an ordinary citizen.
The pattern continues.
In villages, he was rejected by common people who regretted, not his lack of power, but that he used it primarily for the sick and poor rather than to bring prosperity or overthrow the Romans.
In Jerusalem, he was rejected by the elite who saw him, not as a power broker, but as an outsider and upstart.
By Rome, he was rejected and crucified by the powerful who saw him, not as one to be feared, but as another Jewish would-be leader who needed to be made example of.
The story of Jesus is full of paradox.
Jesus is the story of unlikely power.
Jesus is the story of one rejected.
Jesus is the story of bottom-up authentic perseverance and purity of calling.
Jesus is the story of leadership.
Jesus is the picture of how God changes the world.