Return to Nazareth (Matthew 13:54-58; Mark 6:1-6)

Submitted by admin on Mon, 2008-02-11 14:22.

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Upon returning to Nazareth with his disciples, Jesus, as was his custom on the Sabbath, went to the synagogue. Those assembled there knew him to be an exemplary person, were acquainted with his close relatives, and had heard about his miraculous works. Hearing him teach on this occasion, they responded with amazement but could not bring themselves to believe that he was the promised Messiah. (Matthew 13:54; Mark 6:1, 2)

All they did was to question how it could be that Jesus had been endowed with such outstanding wisdom as reflected in his teaching and had been empowered to perform miracles. In their estimation, he was just the carpenter of Nazareth and a carpenter’s son. His mother was Mary, his brothers were James, Joseph (Joses), Judas, and Simon, and his sisters were still living in the town. To the townspeople there seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary about the family. Their view of him as a man of Nazareth and whose family they knew proved to be the obstacle that prevented them from responding to him in faith. They “stumbled at him.” In view of their lack of faith, Jesus was moved to call attention to the fact that a prophet is without honor in his home area, among his relatives, and in his own house. (Matthew 13:54-57; Mark 6:2-4)

Even among the afflicted people of Nazareth, few came to him to be healed. Therefore, upon only an insignificant number of sickly ones did he lay his hands and cure them. If it had not been for their lack of faith, Jesus would have been able to bring relief from suffering to many more. For Jesus, their unbelief, despite what they knew and had observed and heard, was a cause for wonderment. He left the town with his disciples and spent time teaching in various towns and villages of Galilee. (Matthew 13:58; Mark 6:5, 6)