Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Prophet Without Honor

The Bible doesn’t say that Jesus wondered, or was astonished, or was amazed except for two times:  when he was amazed at the faith of a centurion and when he returned to His hometown of Nazareth. The Bible tells us that people were constantly amazed at him. They were astonished at him. But only two times was he amazed at them. Read Mark 6: 1 – 6 to see why he says “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.”

The unbelief in his own hometown is astonishing to me, too. Their unbelief obscured the obvious. They heard his preaching, saw the miracles, recognized the wisdom, but still asked “Where did this man get these things?” Duh. Isn’t it obvious? But no, they’d rather believe it came from the devil.

Their unbelief brought to the fore the irrelevant: they threw up a smoke screen of immaterial facts, mentioning his family – mother, brothers, sisters. They even slurred him in a backhanded way by calling him “Mary’s son”. (It was customary to use the father’s name so they were alluding to a suspected illegitimacy.)

Their unbelief was a “stumbling block” to them. The Greek word is “skandalizo” from which we get “scandal”. I can just hear the gasps and gossiping.

Their unbelief caused them to spurn the supernatural. They knew of the miracles and yet rejected him. What was the purpose of miracles? To attest to the truth. If you’ve rejected the truth, there’s no need for the miracles and so verse 5 tells us “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.”

We see a huge consequence to their unbelief. They rejected the facts and shut themselves off from all divine power. Did he ever go back to his hometown of Nazareth? No.