A Prophet without Honor

And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence. And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Matthew 13:53-58

And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

Mark 6:1-6

When Jesus returns to Nazareth, the town of his upbringing and early adulthood, we find that there are no longer throngs of people following Him everywhere. The townspeople come together on the Sabbath and He teaches them there, but there is a striking difference in interest here than in other places in and around Galilee.

Once again, Jesus teaches in a very powerful way. The people could not logically deny that He had tremendous wisdom and could do wonderful miracles. However, they do find a way to “explain it away.” They knew Jesus personally. They knew His family. They knew His upbringing and His secular work before His ministry began. Since they are so familiar with Him, they think there must be another explanation for what He is doing. Or, they just decide to not believe because they “know” .

Who knows their logic, or lack thereof! Regardless, the result was that Jesus did little or no more miracles in this region and would soon depart and not return. How sad!

This should be a very dark time for the people of Nazareth. They have rejected a man obviously sent by God to help them and teach them.  But they have made their choice!

It is also a very dark time for the Lord’s people and local assemblies when they reject the teachings of a God-called minister of the gospel. They may complain various things about him not being “up to date” in his clothes or worship style, but the truth is, they are rejecting the one who God sent to help them.  They may also ignore the sound teaching of the pastor because “they knew him growing up.” Honestly, what does that matter? In fact, if they can see the Lord has worked in the man and he is different than he was in his younger years, this should add to his credibility.

We need to be thankful for the men who have been obedient to God and taught what the Bible says rather than man’s opinion or what is popular. Consider what the writer of Hebrews says:

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Hebrews 13:17

Just as it was unprofitable for Nazareth to “explain away” the presence of the Messiah, it is dangerous for us to ignore or reject a faithful minister of God.

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