Jesus returns to His hometown of Nazareth and begins to preach and perform miracles. But His hometown refuses to believe that this man who grew up among them is the Messiah. Consequently Jesus does only a few miracles among them.
The parallel gospel account of this event is found in Mark 6:1-6.
Following his firsthand account of Jesus’s parables and explanations, Matthew resumes his narrative.
When Jesus had finished speaking these parables to his disciples and the crowds, He departed from the region around the Sea of Galilee. He came to Nazareth, His hometown. This was a few miles west of Galilee. Once home, He began teaching the people of Nazareth in their synagogue. The people of His hometown were astonished.
They said and asked among themselves how this could be? Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?
The fact that they knew Jesus’s father, mother, and brothers and sisters demonstrates that they knew Him well. They knew his father’s trade. They watched Jesus grow up. And yet they marveled at His teaching and His miracles. And yet they did not suspect that He was their Messiah. How did this man, one of their own come to acquire such wisdom and miraculous powers they asked?
Sadly, their wonder turned to offense. What they could not understand, they refused to believe. And the people of Nazareth took offense at Jesus.
Jesus responded, a prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household. In his gospel account Mark adds that Jesus “wondered at their unbelief” (Mark 6:4). It was sad and ironic that those who had perhaps the most occasion or cause to believe in Jesus believed Him the least.
Matthew adds that because of their unbelief, Jesus did not do many miracles there among them. It seems that some of Jesus’ family came to believe in Him. Tradition tells us that his half-brother, James, was the head elder of the church in Jerusalem, and the author of the New Testament book of James. And another half-brother, Jude, authored the epistle of Jude.
When Jesus had finished these parables, He departed from there. He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.
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