Discounting Potential

Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown. The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. They asked, “Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?”

Then they scoffed, “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon.” Mark 6:1-3

When people encountered Jesus, they were generally amazed. It’s a word that comes up a lot in scripture. Amazed.

And when amazed, they were left with a decision – they would either follow and believe in this man who amazed them, or they would call it evil, or offensive, or magic.

But I noticed something extraordinary in this passage. Rather than any of those usual responses, the people responded by discounting the potential of Jesus.

He’s JUST a carpenter.
He’s JUST the son of ordinary parents.
He’s JUST from an ordinary family.

How often do we discount the potential in other people?
Maybe a better question is: How often do we discount the potential in ourselves?

I get it. He’s Jesus. We’re not. However, as followers of Christ, we’ve been forgiven of sins (one half of the incredible equation) AND we’ve also been given the righteousness of Christ (the second half).

I am not JUST a man from Longview, Washington.
I am not JUST a man of ordinary intelligence.
I am not JUST…

With Christ, I am so much more than JUST my circumstances, my past, and my ordinary-ness.

The same is true with you: Don’t discount your potential. In Christ, you are more than JUST _____.
You are a conqueror, capable of more than you think possible, all because of the righteousness given to you by Christ, the one people originally tried to write off as JUST.

Don’t discount your potential. Eliminate the JUST.

Live Love Lead by Brian Houston


It’s rare to come across a book that is filled with equal parts inspiration, knowledge and story.

Live Love Lead by Brian Houston (senior pastor of Hillsong Church) is one of those books.

Houston pulls back the curtain and let’s readers see behind the heart, vision, and past of his life as well as the life of Hillsong Church, which are inextricably linked. With vulnerability, compassion, and love, Houston combines story with teaching and inspiration to bring to life a book that is faith inspiring.

As he says in the introduction, “It is my firm belief that following Jesus is the only journey in life worth taking. After seeing the way God changes hearts, meets impossible needs, heals incurable diseases, and restores people, I am convinced beyond a doubt that God didn’t create us to live mediocre, settle-for-less lives.”

Perhaps what I loved most about this book was his willingness to show readers his scars. Ministry,even leading a church like Hillsong, comes with deep pains, wounds, and scars. And he didn’t hold back showing them to us, admitting his own mistakes, and writing with vulnerability. I can trust a guy who shows us his wounds and admits his mistakes.

If you are a pastor, leader, or a follow of Christ, I would strongly suggest reading this book. I’m looking forward to seeing Hillsong and Brian Houston in Minneapolis on Sept. 22 and can’t wait to hear more from a man I now deeply admire.

Live Love Lead Testimony video: