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Identify this word by its definition:

to state or set forth the meaning of (a word, phrase, etc.);
to explain or identify the nature or essential qualities of; describe;
to fix or lay down clearly and definitely; specify distinctly;
to determine or fix the boundaries or extent of;
to make clear the outline or form of.

What word is it? It is what the people of Jesus' hometown did. It is what we do all the time.

They defined Jesus. Now, reread the definitions above.

Not all of them are bad things in themselves. Definitions give us boundaries, help us know the limits of and shape of ideas. The question is- what do those boundaries and limits cause us to miss, curtail, cut off, deny?

They could only see Jesus as the carpenter (whatever that meant), and as a member of a known family (whatever that meant).

How did that help them to understand what he was able to do and what he was saying?

It didn't. They couldn't see him beyond their definition of who he was. He could be no more than the carpenter and Mary's boy. That was it.

How often do we do that to others? How often do we do that to ourselves?

Jesus was only seen through his human definition by the people who thought they knew him.  What would it have meant for them to see him as the Son of God as much as he was the son of Mary?

What would it mean for you, and how you look at yourself, to remember that you are also a child of God?

What would it mean for you to look at others and also remember they are too a child of God?

How might that RE-define your relationships with yourself, your neighbor, and even God?