Summary: Looks at why there were so few miracles in Jesus hometown of Nazareth.
Jesus in His Hometown
Jesus had been ministering heavily around the area of the Sea of Galilee and now decides to go back to His home town of Nazareth for a visit. Perhaps He longs for familiar faces and places again after being persued by crowds all the time. Mark tells us about the visit in his gospel.
Mark 6:1 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. (2) When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. "Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What’s this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! (3) Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.
Going back to the old home town one first of all hopes that someone there will remember who they are and give some recognition that they indeed belonged there in times past. Let’s see if that is the case with Jesus.
When the Sabbath came He began to teach in the synagogue. Well, there was some recognition there because Jews did not let just anyone teach in their synagogues. Apparently He had met some requirements to be able to teach there though we are not told that specifically.
His teachings amazed them. The Amplified Bible says, “ and many who listened to Him were utterly astonished saying, “Where did this [Man] acquire all this? What is the wisdom—the broad and full intelligence—[which has been] given to Him? What mighty works and exhibitions of power are wrought by His hands!” (Amplified Bible Mark 6:2b)
Those that listened, note that Mark says, “Many who listened” were astonished. Unfortunately many don’t listen and remain blind—but think they know everything. They were taken by surprise by the power and depth of His thinking and the fact that He performed miracles.
So what was their reaction?
(3) "Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.
But wait a minute, don’t we know this guy? Isn’t this the carpenter? Now where would that come from? Well, Jesus grew up in Nazareth, living there until He was about 30 years of age until He began His ministry. Matthew 13:55 clearly identifies Joseph’s profession as a carpenter. (55) "Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?" And Jesus like His earthly father also had the same profession. (Imagine things being made out of wood by the hands of the Son of God!) He likely apprenticed under Joseph as was the custom of the time. He would have done His carpentry work in Nazareth and the surrounding areas such as Cana and be known by His trade.
But the crowd wants to be absolutely sure about Him so they ask more questions.
"Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him." (Mark 6:3)
Clarifying still further they say “isn’t this Mary’s son?” “Doesn’t he have brothers?” Well, actually half brothers born naturally of Mary and Joseph after His birth. Yes I know a major denomination disagrees with that but somehow they must have missed this scripture because it is plain to see.
They named Jesus brothers James, Joseph, Judas (Jude) and Simon and then went on to say He also had sisters right there among them. Jesus was not an only child, at minimum His family consisted of Mary, Joseph, four brothers and at least two sisters. Nine people at least!
The crowd was trying to locate Him in their memory banks—it could not have been difficult since He had only been away for about a year and a half.
Now comes the sad part—the townsfolk had known Him literally all His life, watched Him grow up, perhaps had used His carpentry skills, seen Him daily yet Mark tells us-- And they took offense at him.
Let’s let the Amplified Bible interpret this short phrase so that we might understand it better. “And they took offense at Him and were hurt [that is, they disapproved of Him and it hindered them from acknowledging His authority]; and they were caused to stumble and fall.” (AMP)
They refused to accept the authority that He had and to admit that authority and they were hurt because of their attitude toward Him.
What was His response to their disapproval of Him?
MK 6:4 Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor." (5) He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. (6)And he was amazed at their lack of faith.