Jesus went to his hometown and taught the people in their synagogue. They were amazed and said, “Where did he get this wisdom and these special powers? Isn’t he the carpenter’s son? Isn’t Mary his mother and aren’t James, Joseph, Simon and Judas his brothers? Aren’t all his sisters living here? Where did he get all these things?” And so they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them, “The only place where prophets are not welcome is his hometown and in his own family.” And he did not perform many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
Individualism is the moral, political and social principle that values what promotes self-reliance and liberation of the individual. It vehemently rejects any interference upon personal interests by society or institutions. In cultures like that of the Mediterranean world, where protection of individuals was weak, family ties were highly valued to help the individual. In this environment, patronage plays a crucial role. A patron provides his client what is needed that the latter could not get on his own. The way Jesus acted towards his disciples and vice versa shows that Jesus is a patron. The fishermen readily heeded his call to follow him, he provided their need for a catch with a sizable amount of fish, and Peter knelt before Jesus to acknowledge him of his patronage. (John P. Pilch)
Jesus rebuked Thomas and was bewildered why after what he taught and did for them, the latter still does not grasp that he is their divine “patron.” “He that knows not and knows he knows not is a pupil, teach him.” (Arabic proverb) We are in the same boat with Thomas. After the grace the Lord bestows on us, still we have to learn how to love and trust him.
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