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Root of Bitterness

Matt 13:54; He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?
Matt 13:55; Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?
Matt 13:56; And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”
Matt 13:57; And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.”
Matt 13:58; And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.

Jesus goes back to Nazareth. He starts teaching in His hometown.
But the people are amazed... "where did he get this wisdom and these miraculous powers"?

Isn't this Joseph's son? Isn't this Mary's son? We know those people. We know where they live.
We know the street you grew up on Jesus. We know who your sisters and brothers are.
They are all content with just being "normal people". They are content with just "fitting in"
with the rest of the town. Why do you have to come here and try to be different? Just who do you
think you are Jesus?

... and they took offense at Him. It seems people held a grudge against Jesus because...
because of what? His miraculous powers and wisdom? It says Jesus did not do many miracles there...
"because of their unbelief". ...and yet...

They believed He had uncommon wisdom, and they believed He had miraculous powers.
They saw this with their own eyes. It seems their unbelief was that Jesus... one of their own
people from Nazareth could be different... could be better than they are. That He could be
different from them. It seems many people think the same about Christians...

Just who do think you are? How dare you say you are "different" from us. Even though sometimes
they see this with their own eyes. They don't believe it.

... but of course... there are some who claim to be Christians,... and yet they really are no different
from the rest of the world.

Still... it seems that when we really do "rise above" the old man, the old lifestyle, the old
"friends and family", that many of them become bitter at us. They take offense.. like they did with Jesus.
Sometimes even fellow Christians, who should be giving us good will, also take offense.

Heb 12:14; Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.
Heb 12:15; See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness
springing up
causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

It seems here that it's possible to come up "short of the grace of God". That a root of bitterness
can spring up in some of us. This can cause many to be defiled.

I can't help but wonder... if this root of bitterness, this grudge holding that some of us cling to...
..this offense we take at some people... not only defiles us... but does it prevent God "from doing
many miracles" because of our unbelief. Yes, we believe in God (so we say)... but we don't believe
in His ability to really change people. (sometimes including ourselves).
Anger and jealousy are often portrayed as bad things.

After all doesn't 1 Cor 13 say ...
1 Cor 13:4; Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous;

..and doesn't James 1:20; say ...
James 1:20; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

But yet even God is jealous. ( Exod 20:5; Exod 34:14; )
There are over 50 verses in the Bible that talk about the anger of God.

It seems all jealousy, and all anger aren't necessarily bad things.
Even Jesus looked at the Pharisee's with anger ( Mark 3:5; )

There appears to be a difference between worldly anger and the righteous anger of God.
There also appears to be a difference between being jealous for someone, and being jealous
of someone.

I shouldn't be jealous that you have something that I don't have.
But it's OK to be jealous if my wife is giving too much attention to another man.

Eph 4:26; Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
Eph 4:27; and do not give the devil an opportunity.
Eph 4:28; He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what
is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.
Eph 4:29; Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification
according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Eph 4:30; Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Eph 4:31; Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all

This is an interesting passage here.
We are told .. "be angry". It seems it is OK to be angry sometimes under the right cicumstances.
.. but yet do not sin. Sometimes our anger can cause us to sin. Sometimes we can hold grudges
against people. We can let the sun go down on anger. In fact we can hold hold onto those grudges
for many many sun-ups, and sun-downs.

It says this gives satan an opportunity. As if he needed more opportunities.

It says here we can greive the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we can say things, and do things, that
cause the Holy Spirit grief. This goes along with Heb 12:15; that warns about coming short of
the grace of God.

... let all bitterness and anger be put away from you. Don't grieve the Holy Spirit.
Don't let the root of bitterness defile you. Don't hold grudges. The Bible even says
if we don't forgive others, we ourselves will not be forgiven. Don't come up short of the
grace of God.

Back to the 1st post... "they took offense" at Jesus. They were jealous of Him.
They were angry at Him. And He didn't do many miracles amongst them.

Are you seeing any miracles around you? If not... could it be that we are holding grudges?
That we are taking offense at people?
Having emotions isn't a bad thing. It's how God made us.
Sometimes we're happy, sometimes we're sad, sometimes we're angry, and sometimes we are simply content.
There is nothing wrong with having emotions.

But do you control your emotions? Or do they control you?

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