Mark 6:6 NIV And he was amazed at their lack of faith.
This was the only other time in the New Testament that the Bible says Jesus was “amazed”. So which group of people “amazed” Jesus with their lack of faith – the Temple money-changers, people of Nazareth, Pharisees, or tax collectors?
Answer: the people of Nazareth
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but Nazareth was the town Jesus grew up in. Jesus is often referred to as Jesus of Nazareth in the scriptures, that is because Nazareth was his hometown. It was in Nazareth that Jesus learned the trade of carpentry from his earthly father, Joseph, and the people in town knew Jesus as a carpenter. Nazareth was also a poor town, not looked upon favorably by other towns in the region. In fact, in John 1:46 when Jesus was calling Nathanael to become one of his 12 disciples, Nathanael asks, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael’s view of the town was not positive so he is wondering if this man Jesus from Nazareth was really worth following. I mean, nothing good has ever come out of this place. Nathaniel does ultimately decide to follow Jesus even though Jesus comes from Nazareth.
When Jesus is about age 30, he leaves Nazareth and moves to Capernaum to start his earthly ministry. Jesus starts preaching, calling the disciples, healing people, and performing miracles. Jesus is becoming famous and well known around the region. At a point early in his ministry, Jesus decides to take a trip with the disciples to visit his hometown of Nazareth. The hometown hero returns! This former carpenter now the most famous man to ever come out of Nazareth. Jesus is putting Nazareth on the map. It must be parade time. It must be celebration time. Surely the mayor of Nazareth will present Jesus a key to city and maybe even name a street after him. The people must be excited!
So Jesus returns home and we read what happens in Mark 6: 1-6: 1 Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown. 2 The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. They asked, “Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?”3 Then they scoffed, “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. 4 Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” 5 And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 And he was amazed at their lack of faith.
Not exactly the celebration I was expecting. Jesus returns and begins to teach in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Many of those that heard him were initially amazed and said “Where did he get all this wisdom?” In other words, where did Jesus learn how to preach like this? They continue and cannot believe what they are hearing, “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary.” Isn’t the same guy that grew up here as a carpenter? We see at the end of verse 3 that the people of Nazareth are offended at Jesus and refuse to believe him. There is no way that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God. He is the son of Mary and Joseph. Who does this carpenter think he is preaching like this and performing miracles? Jesus is supposed to be one of us, we do not heal people and work miracles. We work hard for a living. Jesus is just a carpenter – not a preacher! These people reject Jesus. In verse 4, Jesus recognizes their unbelief and comments how prophets are honored everywhere but in their hometown. Because these people did not believe, Jesus chooses not to perform many miracles while in Nazareth. The passage ends with Jesus being “amazed” by the lack of faith of his hometown people that did not believe in him.
Kind of sound like our 21st century culture? Unbelief all around us. Who needs Jesus? Who needs faith? We can provide for ourselves. We create our own futures. We can do anything we want and be anything we want to be. We don’t have time for Jesus. That man was here over 2,000 years ago. Jesus is ancient history. The world and people were not created by God anyway. It was through a big explosion and evolution? Every religion and good person goes to Heaven anyway so what does it matter?
I encourage you to reject this faulty logic of the world. God created everything. God is ultimately in control of our futures. God knows what is best for us and seeks to have a personal relationship with us. God loves us. And Jesus is the only way to get to Heaven. Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Accepting His gift of salvation of dying on the cross for your sins. One day Jesus will return to earth. And if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, it will truly be a glorious day full of celebration and rejoicing. Celebrating the return of our ultimate hometown hero!
Faith Gauge Questions:
Is the level of your faith more than the people of Nazareth in this story?
Have you recognized and accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?
Do you have any questions or comments? I would love to hear them – please leave a reply below. Thanks.