During Jesus’ three and a half years of ministry, He only returned home to Nazareth twice. One of those visits is recorded in the first three gospels called the “synoptic gospels” (a synopsis of a story from the three accounts of the gospel). This visit is found in Matthew 13:54-58, Mark 6:1-6, and Luke 4:16-30.
Let me give you a “synopsis” of these three passages in my own descriptive words. (You should read all three yourself to put together a full picture.)
Jesus went home to Nazareth with his disciples accompanying him (Mark 6:1). His fame for working miracles had already preceded him (Matt 13:54). He went to the Nazareth synagogue on the Sabbath. They gave him, as an honored recognizable guest teacher, the scroll of Isaiah for a reading. Jesus read from Isaiah 61:1-2, a messianic passage telling of the works to be done by the one whom it is said, “the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings (the gospel) …” and heal the brokenhearted, deliverance, and healing.
Then he said (Luke 4:21), “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” and eyes. They understood who he was claiming to be, The Anointed One (messiah). Immediately they disbelieved his claim and began resistance.
“Who does he think he is? We knew his father, the carpenter Joseph before he deceased. We know his mother Mary who is still here. We also know his four brothers, sons of Joseph and Mary, namely James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas. We also know his sisters all of whom live here among us in Nazareth.”
They took great offense at his claim. They said, “if this is true, then why don’t you do the mighty works here in Nazareth that we have heard about from Capernaum?” Jesus then replied that no prophet is honored or accepted or even taken seriously in his hometown, or even by his own family and relatives.
The leaders of the synagogue rose up against him. They thrust him forcibly out of the city. They took him captive upon a high hill to cast him off a steep cliff headlong to his death. God miraculously delivered Jesus by making him pass through the middle of them to safety.
He and his disciples then proceeded again to Capernaum where he and his ministry were accepted. He could do very little in Nazareth because of their unbelief. They were “too familiar” of him.
Have you ever had family or relatives that did not take your walk and your work seriously as a Christian? What about childhood friends and classmates, or adult friends that only remember you as an unholy young adult? It is easier for someone who only came to know you later in life after your salvation to accept what God is doing through you. They do not “remember” your pre-Christian life and don’t hold that against you. That is a function of human nature. Do not let it negatively affect you. Forgive them and get on with the Lord’s business. That is what Jesus did.
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