Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.Matthew 13:55-57
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.Mark 6:3-4
Previously we saw that the people of Nazareth sought ways to naturally explain away the teaching abilities and miracles that Jesus did among them. Their primary argument was that they knew Him from His youth and they knew His family. They felt that there was no way there was anything special about Him so they did not need to believe.
Unfortunately, this is the case in many churches when the pastor is a man who grew up in the congregation and has many relatives that are members. The familiarity of family ties is used as an excuse to ignore clear Bible teaching done by the minister of the gospel. Many ministers tell the same story that their own family members are sometimes the most difficult to lead and guide. I have experienced this in my own ministry.
So what are we to do? Does this mean that the pastor of a church must come from outside the area and have no relatives in the church?
In fact, it is actually God’s normal design for the Elders of a church to be from that area. Consider what the Apostle Paul says to Titus:
For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:Titus 1:5
Certainly God can and does call men to pastor churches that are in new areas to them but it would seem that God generally brings up gifts within each church to feed the local assembly.
Seeing that this is the case, we should give more earnest heed to the men whom God has raised up. Whether we know them as a friend or family before; or we have just met them; we need to recognize the miracle of the preaching of the gospel when it is happening. And when we see and hear that, we need to believe! And we need to obey!