Markby Robert M. Solomon
It is always nice to return home, to friends, family, and familiar surroundings. Jesus returned to Nazareth with His disciples and taught at the synagogue on the Sabbath. Those listening were amazed and asked themselves, ″Where did this man get these things?″ (v. 2). They had known Him since His childhood days. He did not attend any formal religious school, nor did He study under some famous rabbi. So where had He gained such wisdom? ″What's this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing?″ (v. 2). They were clearly impressed with His words and actions.
They could not believe that this was the Jesus they knew, the man who had made many of their tables and chairs, ploughs and other implements. ″Isn't this the carpenter?″ they asked (v. 3). This was not a compliment. It was like saying, ″After all, he is only the village carpenter.″ The word translated as ″carpenter″ refers to a skilled workman who built things. ″Isn't this Mary's son?″ they asked, suggesting either that Joseph had passed away by this time or that this was another subtle insult (usually one was identified as the son of one's father) related to lingering doubts about His parentage. Also, they referred to the siblings of Jesus, who were ordinary folks like everyone else. With these thoughts, they dismissed Jesus, His teachings, and His miracles. They did not believe Him and ″took offence at him″ (v. 3). They were outraged that this ordinary man among them, or so they thought, was claiming to be a special messenger from God.
Jesus must have been sadly hurt by the rejection of friends and neighbours. ″A prophet is not without honour except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home″ (v. 4). Philip Brooks aptly comments that familiarity breeds contempt ″only with contemptible things or among contemptible people″.4 As a result, apart from a few cases of healing, Jesus ″could not do any miracles there″ (v. 5). God would not entertain unbelief.
It was now Jesus' turn to be amazed (cf. v. 2). He was amazed at their lack of faith (v. 6). On another occasion, Jesus was amazed by the faith of a Gentile centurion (Luke 7:9). It was the presence or absence of faith that amazed our Lord.
4Daniel L. Akin, Christ-Centred Exposition Commentary: Exalting Jesus in Mark (Nashville, Tennessee: Holman, 2014), 122.
Is it possible to become too familiar with Jesus, so much so that we can take Him for granted? What can be done to keep our view of Him fresh?
Jesus is amazed by the presence of faith and the absence of it. In your life, has Jesus been amazed? Why or why not?