Rejection: the carpenter’s son

Jesus-who-is-thisIs not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?”  The rhetorical question, “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?” deserves careful attention both to the text and its meaning. At least in modern American, small towns generally celebrate the success of their native sons and daughters. In the Marcan, the comments of crowd are generally seen as derogatory. What might be the thought behind such a reaction? Continue reading

Rejection: miracles

Jesus-who-is-thisMiracles and Unbelief. As Mark’s readers would expect, Jesus responds to what people are thinking about him. The proverbial saying “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown” (v. 4) has been expanded with two clauses: “among their kin” and “in their own house.” The original proverb spoke about the “homeland” (patris). The qualifying clauses narrow the region down to the prophet’s household and relatives. If this retort is understood as an insult, then Jesus has responded to his critics in kind. Since the miracles in the previous chapter emphasize the importance of faith in those who approach Jesus for healing, the conclusion that Jesus is unable to work many miracles in Nazareth is hardly surprising. Continue reading