Mark 6:1-6 NLTse Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown. (2) The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. They asked, “Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?” (3) Then they scoffed, “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. (4) Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” (5) And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any mighty miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. (6) And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then Jesus went from village to village, teaching the people.
As Jesus left Jairus’ house, He traveled to His childhood home in Nazareth. He wondered what type of reception He would receive. He thought about His childhood days when He learned stories from scripture with His mother. His father handed down skills in the carpentry trade. All the lessons He learned made Jesus a better, stronger person. Each step was a learning process. First the stories, their meaning, how they effected lives of the people involved, others, the nations of Israel and Judah, and the world. He often talked with His mother about what could have happened in the stories if they would have done this or that. They spent hours examining the steps God took in each situation, His warnings, how He reached out, sent messages through His prophets, and how they were received. And the prophecies about Him. So many of them. They talked about some, others had to wait until the right time to be revealed.
Hearing Jesus was on His way, almost the entire town came out to meet Him. They asked Him about the stories they heard. Some of them asked Jesus if He remembered seeing them when He taught in various locations. One of the people who remembered Jesus was Hoshea, the priest. He remembered talking to Jesus when He was a young boy. Hoshea came to Nazareth shortly after Jesus and His family arrived. It seemed they grew up together. Hoshea remembered the long talks they shared. He was always amazed at Jesus’ outlook on life and the scriptures. There was no doubt in his mind Jesus would preach on the Sabbath.
Everything went fine during the service. It was special for Jesus to preach in the synagogue at home. He had been dreaming about this since He was a boy. Hoshea could see it in His face. After the service people gathered around commenting about Jesus preaching. They had so many kind words. Some were surprised, wondering where Jesus learned so much. Others questioned Him because they knew He was the son of Joseph a carpenter. They also knew His family. They knew He was not a Levite and was not trained as a religious leaders. They went as far as questioning the miracles they heard about. Some of them kept to themselves, others boasted loud enough for Jesus to hear.
Jesus stood in our spot to teach His disciples a lesson. The Son of God became the new member in the church in his own hometown. He preached something a little different that fascinated some people, but upset others, the people who like to duel with words and doctrine. No one should ever say anything to challenge their knowledge and understanding, and don’t go near their coveted doctrine. One little detail added or subtracted from their established beliefs will bring forth a flow of venom like a raging river. There is no place to hid, no form of retribution beneath them.
The comments pierced Jesus like a knife. His heart sank lower than it had ever been. He knew the comments were not only pointed at Him, but His family – His father and mother and the things they taught Him, the hours they spent together. The criticism took Jesus by surprise. In a single moment He went from fulfilling a dream to standing over an abyss, with people He grew up with trying to throw Him in. It shocked Jesus. For a time He could not think clearly. He was not sure how to defend Himself. Finally He remembered the comfort given to Samuel generations ago. “They aren’t rejecting you. They are rejecting me.” Finding a bit of comfort, Jesus did what came naturally, He prayed. Then He turned to them and said, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.”
His thoughts and composure returned, but He still felt a little strange, rejected. He knew the animosity effected Him greatly. Jesus was not able to heal like He really wanted. There were a few He could not pass up as He laid His healing hands on them. Seeing the looks on their faces reminded Jesus of His mission to save the world. He left home and traveled from town to town.
Isaiah 53:1-3 NLTse Who has believed our message? To whom has the LORD revealed his powerful arm? (2) My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. (3) He was despised and rejected– a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.