Posted on : Tuesday October 7, 2008

Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” Can’t you just hear this conversation in this passage in Matthew? “Why I knew him when…” “He was that little boy that ran around the street without his shoes.” “Surely this is not the same boy!” “He could not be so wise as this!”

The people could not imagine that the Jesus they knew as a little boy could be the same person as the man standing before them showing such wisdom and power. Most likely they were thinking, “Who knew?” Who knew of His healing power? Who knew that He was the Messiah? Who knew that He was God’s Son? Who knew that He had all wisdom?  All of us are guilty of being surprised when someone we’ve grown up with becomes someone extraordinary. The people of Jesus’ hometown were no different.

Most of the time those thoughts have no repercussions. But on this occasion the consequences are huge! The passage even says, “They took offense at Jesus.” And because they could not find the faith to believe that Jesus was who he said he was he did not do many miracles in that place. How sad for those who needed His healing touch or His saving power!

Baltimore is the hometown of Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU). Yet over and over I hear from women and men across the state, “Who knew?” Who knew that WMU is more than an organization called Women on Mission? It is also the organizations of Mission Friends, Children in Action, GA for Girls, Youth on Mission, Acteens for girls, Adults on Mission, Women on Mission, and Sisters Who Care. If your church has any one of these organizations then it has WMU. Who knew?

Who knew that WMU has multiple ministries? International Initiatives sends volunteers around the world to work with our IMB missionaries. WorldCrafts provides income for artisans all around the world who would otherwise have no income and opens doors for access to the gospel message of Christ. Christian Women and Christian Men’s Job Corp organizations offer a hand up instead of a hand out to men and women within our own borders helping them learn work and life skills. Project Help deals with social issues such as poverty and human trafficking. MissionsFEST and FamilyFEST sends hundreds of volunteers every year to multiple sites in the U.S. for a week of focused ministries. And we have not even mentioned the local WMU ministries that take place every week across the nation. Who knew?

Who knew that WMU has its own publishing company? New Hope publishing has published authors such as Henry and Norman Blackaby, Travis Collins, Mac Pier, Frank Page, Esther Burroughs, Jennifer Kennedy Dean and more. Books include Bible studies, leadership helps, community impact issues, social issues, prayer, missions and more. Who knew?

Little Rock, Ark., is my hometown. And I have to wonder if my friends and family have ever asked about me,“Who knew?” Who knew that my Savior is Jesus Christ, the very Son of God? Who knew that sharing the love of Christ with others is a top priority in my life? Who knew that my heart’s desire is know Jesus more and more everyday? Who knew that in my day to day life I pray that my character resembles that of my creator?  Who knew that I live in Baltimore, Md., because that is where my Lord has called me to serve? And most importantly, who knows Jesus because I was there?

What about you and your hometown? What about your church and its hometown? What do people say there? Who knows Jesus because you and/or your church are there?

For such a short passage in Matthew, it sure brings a lot of questions, concerns and convictions: Do we not see Jesus work in our home state because of the believers lack of faith? Could the churches in our home state be small because of the believers lack of faith? Do we not see many baptisms in our home state because of the believers lack of faith? Are mission efforts hindered because of the believers lack of faith in giving, going, and praying?

It is my prayer that no work in my home state will be hindered because of the believers’ lack of faith. What about Maryland/Delaware? Let us commit today to pray for the believers here to not be guilty of a lack of faith so that Jesus can “do many miracles here.”

By Gayla Parker
BCM/D Missionary