“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.”
Most of the years of my youth were spent in Salinas, California. I grew up in a country church that was not real large, which enabled the people of the church to get to know me real well. They saw my youthful acts, and they saw how I grew spiritually.
About once a year, I have the privilege of going back to my home area to preach in a church that was started out of the church my father pastored. There are many people who attend this church who knew me when I was a teenager. One man who attends this church used to be a man I worked for in construction. Another man who attends this church was someone I worked beside when I was a teenager. Many of the people who attend this church know a lot about me from eight years of age up to the time I went to college.
To their credit, when I go to preach in their church, they never close their hearts to me because they knew me as a child. These people look at me and respect me as a man of God. What I am able to accomplish in other revival meetings I am able to accomplish in the church these people attend. These people are able to see me for who the LORD has made me to be and not hold me captive in their minds to the youthful boy they saw growing up.
The people in the verse above never allowed Jesus to grow up in their minds. When He came to their town to preach, He was limited to what He could do because they saw Him as the carpenter. These people couldn’t see that He was more than a carpenter, He was and is the Son of God. These people missed out on seeing the miraculous because of their inability to allow Jesus to grow up in their hearts and minds.
There are many preachers today who are either on staff or are pastoring in a church where they grew up. Sadly, one of the things these men have to battle are the people who never allow them to grow up in their minds. Many of these preachers and staff members are never respected for what the LORD is doing through their lives; instead, they are held prisoner to their youthful years because someone saw them grow up.
My friend, just because someone grew up in your church doesn’t mean that God can’t mature them into one of His great servants. If you hold someone captive to the little child in your heart and mind, you are going to miss the blessings of what the LORD is doing through their life. Many parents will miss the greatest blessings of their children because they hold them as little children in their heart and mind.
It is time you release these whom you have watched grow up from the prison of childhood. You are going to miss some of the greatest blessings of what the LORD is doing through their lives because you won’t let go of a few foolish youthful acts they did when they were young. If you are not careful, you are going to be like the people in the town where Jesus grew up, and you are going to miss the blessing of seeing God’s power working through them, which could also benefit you. Certainly, you may know what this person used to be like, but don’t hold them in that prison. Realize that God is capable of maturing them into one of His great servants. Don’t miss the blessings of what God is doing through them because you hold them captive to their youth.