Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.”
Jesus is the Creator God and He is worthy of all our honor, praise and glory. But His hometown people did not recognize Him at all although they had an opportunity of hearing the message of power as well as authority. To be amazed by the power of the word of God is good. Most people cannot but wonder at the depth and beauty of the words Jesus spoke in the Gospels. But it is not enough to be amazed. The heart must be open and they should have seen their own sinfulness and repented of their sins to accept the kingdom of God. When they heard the word of life, they should have abandoned their pride and prejudice. They should have been molded in the image of God. But at the time when their hearts should have moved beyond amazement, to personal application, then suddenly they closed their hearts.
As a result, they could not realize Jesus’ love for them. Through this passage, may the Lord help us to overcome our inner pride so that we may humbly accept Jesus’ words. May the Lord bless our Bible study so that we may honor Jesus and His words.
Read verses 1-2b. Where did Jesus go? (1) What did Jesus do on the Sabbath? (2a) How did people respond to His teaching? (2b)
1-1, Read verses 1-2b.
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.
1-2, Where did Jesus go? (1)
Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples.
After healing Jairus’ daughter, Jesus and his disciples went to his hometown of Nazareth. Jesus had just completed the first round of his major Galilean ministry.
He preached the kingdom of God. He healed the sick and drove out demons. He took care of crowds of people who came to him.
He also trained his disciples to be men of faith. The news of his ministry was spreading beyond Galilee.
Now he had a chance to visit his own hometown, Nazareth, where he grew up as the oldest son of Mary and Joseph.
1-3, What did Jesus do on the Sabbath? (2a)
2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue,
When the Sabbath came, Jesus went to the synagogue and began to teach the word of God. We don’t know what he taught. But according to chapter 1, his message was about the kingdom of God and repentance and believing the good news!
Jesus had compassion for the people in his hometown including his family, relatives, and neighbors. He taught them the word of God with a broken shepherd’s heart.
1-4, How did people respond to His teaching? (2b)
and many who heard him were amazed.
Many who heard him were amazed. His teaching was full of God’s truth. His word had power and authority.
His teaching was different from that of the teachers of the law who talked about the fine points of the religious laws.
The religious leaders usually taught them the dos and don’ts from the Torah that weighed down on them instead of uplifting their spirits.
But the word of God Jesus gave them was powerful. His teaching touched their hearts.
Read verses 2c-3. What did the people ask each other about Jesus? (2c) Why did they take offense at Him? (3) What can we learn from their negative responses?
2-1, Read verses 2c-3.
“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph,[a] Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
2-2, What did the people ask each other about Jesus? (2c)
“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing?
2-3, Why did they take offense at Him? (3)
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.
However, where there was work of God, there was also work of Satan. The devil came and snatched away the word of life from them.
Instead of obeying the word of truth, they began to see Jesus with their human eyes.
They asked each other. “Where did this man get these things?” “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? 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?”
They remembered that Jesus had no degree in theology. He didn’t even graduate from high school.
They knew that he used to work in his father’s carpentry shop. They also knew that his brothers and sisters were no special people.
So they said, “Hey, this guy is so ordinary. He is not much different from us. Why should we listen to him?”
They not only said derogatory things about Jesus but also got offended by his authority and power.
They took offense at him. When they focused on the human background of the Messiah, they could not hear the good news.
Jesus the Son of God came to the world as a humble, ordinary shepherd to help them, but they could not see the beautiful love of our Lord.
Their spiritual eyes were blinded by their human thinking. The people had been eagerly waiting for the Messiah.
The long-awaited Messiah finally came and visited his hometown and spoke to them the good news of the kingdom of God.
But the hometown people were blinded by their human ideas. They despised and rejected the Messiah.
2-4, What can we learn from their negative responses?
We must pray that we may not be spiritually blinded by our own human ideas or conventional wisdom of this world or inner pride.
God loves and gives many blessings to his people. He has blessed us with the word of God to shine our paths.
He has given us our life as his gift and a purpose in life to fulfill. Even a hardship in life may turn out to be a blessing if we endure it by faith.
Unfortunately, some people do not recognize this blessing because they are spiritually blind and proud.
We must pray to God to help us to remain humble and to have his spirit of wisdom so that we may not be like the people of Nazareth.
Ephesians 1:17-18 reads, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints....”
Read verses 4-6a. What did Jesus say? (4) What warning is there for us to heed from Jesus? (5) Why was Jesus amazed? (6)
3-1, Read verses 4-6a.
4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.
3-2, What did Jesus say? (4)
4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.”
God sent the long-awaited Messiah to save them. The people of Nazareth should have had faith to see Jesus as the Messiah.
They should have acknowledged the work of God that he was doing and the word of God he preached. But they closed their eyes and ears.
They insisted on their own ideas. They had no faith. Jesus was amazed by his hometown's people’s lack of faith.
Jesus wanted to share the good news of the kingdom of God with them. Jesus wanted to invite all of them to the kingdom of God.
He wanted to bless each and every one of them. But because of their spiritual blindness, Jesus could not do much for them. Jesus was very sorry.
But instead of having self-pity, He comforted himself with the words of prophecy: “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor”.
3-3, What warning is there for us to heed from Jesus? (5)
5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.
Amazingly he still loved his hometown people who took offense at him. He laid hands on a few sick people and healed them.
His hometown people had rejected him, but he did not reject them. He did what he could to help the people who came to him by faith.
3-4, Why was Jesus amazed? (6)
6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.
Jesus was disappointed by their lack of faith, but he did not give up. He went around teaching the word of God from village to village (6b).
As disciples of Jesus, we must share the gospel of salvation with young people, not because we possess some special qualities such as eloquence in speaking, a degree in theology or a magnetic personality.
We must do so because God saved us at the cost of his Son’s precious blood and has given us the word of truth that can save dying people.
We may be rejected along the way by people who are close to us, even by our family, friends, and neighbors.
We may be rejected because of our humble background. But we must struggle to share the good news because it can change their lives.
This is what St. Paul meant when he said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (Ro 1:16).
Jesus had a compassionate heart toward His hometown people. But they rejected Jesus with human thoughts. In the book of Mark, personal and absolute faith is emphasized. May the Lord help us to grow in Jesus’ words by accepting His words humbly. May the Lord help us to honor Him with all our hearts and souls. Most importantly, Jesus was no victim of sorrow nor disappointment. Rather He was victorious. Often times we Christians lose our zeal and passion for the Gospel and our calling because of people’s negative responses. Jesus overcame rejection and devoted himself to help others. His disciples might have suffered inwardly, quietly, not knowing how to handle such a serious rejection of the Son of God. But it’s interesting to see how Jesus helped them in the next lesson.