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.

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Who Are You Looking For?

John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” Matthew 11:2-3

I seem to have an insatiable desire to look for more.

Once I get that job…
If I only could make that much $$…
If I didn’t have so many…
Once I get my hands on…

John baptized Jesus, probably spent significant time with him, and even still, was wondering: Should I be looking for someone else, something more?

What’s the deal with that?

Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. And tell him, ‘God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.’ Matthew 11:4-6

In other words, Jesus has done and is doing what he is going to do. We tend to want more. Remember, this inner desire is insatiable.

But here’s the interesting thing: The disciples, including John, stopped looking for more. They found all they could ever want and need to satisfy something that appeared insatiable.

Jesus.

This weekend, millions of people will be returning to church, attempting to ask the question: Is this the Messiah, the Savior, the One who will truly satisfy, or is there something more I should be looking for?

Our role as ministry leaders, church leaders, and Christ followers is to show them Jesus and say, this is enough.