Native place: 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 account, the comments of crowd are generally seen as derogatory. What might be the thought behind such a reaction? Continue reading

Native place: 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

Native place: hometown

Jesus-who-is-thisJesus left Capernaum and traveled southward into the hill country until he came to the village where he had spent his youth and the early years of his maturity. While Mark does not name Nazareth, he has earlier indicated that this was the village from which Jesus came, and it is undoubtedly in view under the phrase “his own country.” Jesus returned to Nazareth as would a rabbi, accompanied by his disciples. The reference to the disciples is important, for during this period Jesus had been concerned with their training in preparation for the mission which Mark reports in 6:7–13. Continue reading

Native place: context

Jesus-who-is-this1 He departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. 2 When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! 3 Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” 5 So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith. (Mark 6:1-6)
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Discipleship and Dialogue

Jesus-who-is-thisWhen the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue.” It is short verse, but one that I have admits tickles my imagination. I wonder what Jesus said? I suspect whatever Jesus had to say it was brimming with passion about the Kingdom of God, the Love of God, and the fulfillment of the promises of God in the covenants made with the ancestors. Maybe there were more specific comments and points – some no doubt controversial. Perhaps Jesus spoke about how God’s desire that all be saved was not limited to just Israel, but was available to all the world, even the hated Roman conquerors. That would have raised a few eyebrows and stated a few whispers. It might have been any one of a number of parables that would have challenged people in the core beliefs. The one we call the Parable of the Good Samaritan would have been shocking; to the Nazareth crowd there was nothing good about a Samaritan. “When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue.” I don’t think the people came that day expected to be riled up. Continue reading

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

Rejection: hometown

Jesus-who-is-thisJesus left Capernaum and traveled southward into the hill country until he came to the village where he had spent his youth and the early years of his maturity. While Mark does not name Nazareth, he has earlier indicated that this was the village from which Jesus came, and it is undoubtedly in view under the phrase “his own country.” Jesus returned to Nazareth as would a rabbi, accompanied by his disciples. The reference to the disciples is important, for during this period Jesus had been concerned with their training in preparation for the mission which Mark reports in 6:7–13. Continue reading

Rejection: context

Jesus-who-is-this1 He departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. 2 When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! 3 Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” 5 So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith. (Mark 6:1-6)
Continue reading