Updated: Mar 28, 2022
Mark 6:4(NLT) Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.”
"Familiarity breeds contempt." Although this phrase is not divinely inspired, it does capture much of the truth of our experience. Strangely, we often tend to listen more to acquaintances than we listen to those who know us intimately, our closest relatives or our friends. One spouse might not take the advice of the other spouse, but they will pay close attention to what a work acquaintance says, or they will act on the words of people in a discussion group.
Christ experienced this reality when He visited His hometown of Nazareth. This irrelevant village in Galilee where no more than about five hundred people lived. Given the small size of the town, everyone would have known Jesus and His family.
This is somewhat evident in the people's reference to Jesus as "the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon". That Jesus had been a carpenter before beginning His preaching does not mean He worked exclusively with wood, as the term carpenter in the Greek can refer to someone who worked with stone as well. Probably, Jesus was a skilled woodworker and stone artisan.
Any Jewish male could teach in the synagogue, but the residents of Nazareth found Jesus' teaching, combined with the obviously supernatural signs they knew Jesus had done; they should have seen that Jesus, at least as a prophet or the Son of God. And yet they rejected Him, for they could not conceive of how a man with no formal training could achieve such insight into the Word of God.
First-century Jews did not regard manual labor as an unworthy occupation, but it was unheard of for those without formal theological education to handle the Scriptures so well. The people had no explanation for this, and so the people of Nazareth were offended by Jesus Christ. Note: After Jesus' ascension, Peter and John would face something similar.
Acts 4:13 (NKJV)
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.
Jesus' teaching and the wonders He performed should have led the people to embrace Him as the Messiah, but they rejected what they could not understand. Thus, they revealed their darkened minds.
John Calvin; a French theologian and pastor in the 1500’s commented, "In this miracle of a carpenter having such biblical insight they ought to have perceived the hand of God; but their ingratitude made them cover themselves with darkness."
People do not fail to believe in Jesus Christ because of lack of information, but because their hearts have harden.
God Bless, Israel