Summary: This message explains why Jesus could not perform a great work in His hometown of Nazareth.
Text: “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them” (Mark 6:5).
If Jesus could not do any more miracles here in Nazareth He must be classified as a failure. Do you agree with that statement?
If you or I try to write a book or a song and we are unsuccessful, are we failures? In our younger days, most of us tried to help our children with their homework, but somehow we couldn’t do it because the methodology changed or the way they were being taught was different from the way we were taught. Did that make us failures?
If we were not able to acquire a high school education or a college degree, are we failures? Just because our first job did not work out for us are we considered a failure? When people make remarks about us that are negative, do we feel as though we have failed?
The word “failure” might be considered opposite of the word “success.” In other words, if you don’t fail you are a success or if you are unsuccessful, you fail. Failure for one is success for another in a competitive sport activity. Failure can be a driving force causing one to continue to reach forth until success is achieved.
Inventors may try 999 times to make something and be unsuccessful, but due to persistence, the 1000th time success surfaces. Each failure can be a step toward success. There is reason why things do not always fall in line for us.
Was Jesus a failure? Let’s go back to our Scripture reading and find out. We are told that Jesus and his disciples went to Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth. This appears to be Jesus’ second trip to Nazareth.
The first time is recorded in the 4th chapter of Luke. This event occurred at the beginning of His ministry right after his baptism by John the Baptist and right after He was tempted by the devil in the desert.
At this time, He went into the synagogue as was His custom and read from the book of Isaiah. He did not just read words. He read with authority. He read the Scripture as it had never been read before. The people in His home town of Nazareth knew who He was because He had grown up there. They could not believe these beautiful powerful words that came from His mouth. They asked, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” (Luke 4:22).
This same sort of thing happens today. When someone from a close-knit town attains success some people in the town find it very difficult to accept and praise this person for their success. It could be jealously on the part of some of the people.
It could be lack of faith in the person who has attained success. It could be lack of knowing what the successful person had to give up in order to reach this certain level of success.
People like Tiger Woods spent his childhood days learning to play golf. He was not out roaming the neighborhood like many children today. Liberace, the great pianist, spent his childhood days practicing his piano lessons. Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five spent their childhood days reaching for perfection in the entertainment field.
This is what many people do not understand. These people had to sacrifice certain parts of their growing up years to attain perfection in a chosen field. Many times the child is under strict direction by the parent or parents. It might not be what the child wants at the time, but it is what the parent or parents want for the child.
We as Christians need to share the joy and success of those who work hard and sacrifice time and effort to reach their chosen goal in life. We are not to criticize these people. By the same token, we are not to worship them because they are not gods. We merely need to be happy for them.
The people in Nazareth did not accept Jesus for his wisdom and knowledge. They could only see the son of a carpenter and no one else. To them, Jesus was just an ordinary person like everyone else. The people knew Jesus had a following, but they could not understand why.
The people of Nazareth said, “….he even does miracles” (Mark 6:2). They had probably heard about Jesus healing the man who had leprosy (Mark 1:40, 41). When Jesus was preaching in Capernaum and was confronted with the paralyzed man who was lowered through a hole in the roof by his four friends, He said to the man, “Son, your sins are forgiven….take your mat and go home” (Mark 2:5, 11). This news spread like wildfire even to the people of Nazareth. This was a miracle.