2 On the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
The context of this passage is the visit of Jesus to His home town, Nazareth. This was Jesus' second visit after beginning His ministry and because His reputation preceded Him the Jews allowed Jesus to teach in the synagogue. Jesus taught the people with great wisdom and authority.
Jesus would have an emotional attachment to Nazareth as it was the place He grew up. His family and friends were all around Nazareth. The people in Nazareth obviously knew Jesus from His childhood and being the elder son, how He took care of His family till the age of 30. Jesus toiled and labored for His bread and also supported His family, as all mankind is supposed to do. This home coming of Jesus could have been a happy reunion with the people of Nazareth and His brethren. But the people in Nazareth took offense at Him.
People of Nazareth heard Him but could not accept Him because they saw Him as a Carpenter and as Mary’s son; also His brothers and sisters were among them. The reason why the people of Nazareth showed resentment to accept Jesus was because of their familiarity with Him. Even though they were amazed at His wisdom and the miracles He performed, they took offense at Him. Jesus could not do much in His own home town because of the unbelief of the people which was due to the prejudice instilled in them.
Like the old parable of the crabs in the basket, when one crab tries to climb out of the basket other crabs pulls down the carb trying to climb out. Many a time we tend to reject words of people whom we know well because of prejudice or envy.
Jesus marveled at the unbelief of the people of Nazareth. Jesus was showing them the way of salvation and the people were not ready to accept. When we come to hear God’s word with a negative preconceived opinion of the preacher, it is very hard to accept the words of life that is spoken. We have to accept God’s word with an open mind and pray to God to lead us in the right path. If we need wisdom in taking the right decision we should ask God who gives it freely to all who ask Him (James 1:5).
How do we see our Lord as a “Carpenter” or “Messiah”? It is our unbelief in God’s word that hinders our salvation. Unbelief also leads us to disobedience of God’s word.
Gracious and Loving Father, give us the wisdom to discern Your word and to accept it with an open mind. Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. (John 1:12)