Mark 6:1-6 Jesus returns to His hometown
Have you ever come home after an extended time away – perhaps at college, in the military, or after moving away coming home for Christmas? It’s great! Your parents are thrilled to have you home, your Mom smothers you with all your favorite dishes, reuniting with siblings, catching up with old friends. Well, not so for Jesus. We already know that his family is not happy with His chosen path (3:21).
He returns to Nazareth as a Rabbi. His disciples followed Him (as we would expect). But like any good Jewish boy, he attended synagogue, and was invited to expound on the Torah. His teaching was apparently impressive, but where did he get this wisdom? Jesus hadn’t been to rabbinical school?!? He was supposed to be carpenter! This is just the local boy, Y’shua, the son of Mary – and you know what they say about Mary (the rumors about His illegitimate birth have not died down, even 30 years later).
And they took offense at him (v. 3)
There seemed no reason to the local townspeople to think that Jesus possessed some kind of special anointing from God. They do not believe in Him.
If nothing else, Jesus apparently saw Himself as a prophet (v. 4). His answer to their rejection of Him is to compare this with how the prophets were dishonored among their own people (Lane, NICNT, p. 203). This likely looks forward to His ultimate rejection by all Israel.
Attention Disciples of Jesus: If the Master is rejected in His own hometown, don’t expect that you will necessarily receive any warmer welcome as you continue His work here on earth. Rejection, based on your association with Jesus, is part of a packaged deal!
The final take away in this brief pericope is a lesson on faith. As much as we might disagree with the word-faith/prosperity gospel camp, there’s no denying that the absence of faith limited the people of Nazareth from experiencing the miraculous in-breaking of the kingdom of God in their midst.
And now the twelve are finally ready to be sent out on mission (Mark 6:6-13). Next time we’ll see that following Jesus also means being sent! Until then… follow the Rabbi – King Jesus!