When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands?Mark 6:2(NASB)
Jesus was Servant of all, and He went about doing good. However, when He came to visit His hometown of Nazareth, He was rejected by both the townsfolk and his own family members. He came to His own people to set up the promised kingdom of God, but His own people rejected Him and the townsfolk of Nazareth gave Him little or no respect.
The Lord had just returned from the country of the Gadarenes, on the eastern side of the Galilee, where he had cast a legion of demons out of a wild man, whom they had tormented for some time, and Jesus restored him to a sound mind. As He walked along the western shore of the Galilee, crowds followed Him. They saw Him being approached by Jarius, a ruler of the local synagogue, and Jesus agree to go and heal his daughter, and on the way, they witnessed Him heal a woman who had suffered from an unpleasant issue of blood for 12 years.
News of Christ's amazing miracles went before Him and He continued His travels until He came to Nazareth, the village where He grew up as a young boy. He had followed in the steps of Joseph, the Carpenter, His adoptive father. No doubt many of the chairs and tables, oxen-yokes and wooden bowls continued to be used in the homes of many of these local residents.
Mark informs us that "when the Sabbath came, Jesus began to teach in the synagogue". The custom of the day was that any visiting preacher or rabbi would be invited to read the daily Scripture portion and deliver a message to the local inhabitants, and Jesus was afforded this opportunity.
No doubt, before He opened His mouth, many of the congregation were prejudiced against the Lord Jesus. They would remember that He was nothing more than the village carpenter, whose mother got pregnant before her marriage was consummated. In their eyes Jesus was uneducated. He had not attended one of the prestigious, rabbinical schools and Mark records that they did not expect Him to speak with such authority, "and the many listeners were astonished by His teaching, saying, "Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands?"
On hearing His message they did not question Jesus about His claims. Instead, they sought the answer from their neighbours! They asked one another, where He got His wisdom and knowledge. They expected a bumbling speech and were astonished by His gracious words. However, they ignored His Word and relied on the flawed opinions of their unenlightened neighbours.
This biased company could not accept that Christ's wisdom was from God and did not applaud Him for His stunning spiritual understanding, nor did they wonder how He carried out the mighty miracles He performed. They simply asked one another the question: "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?" And they took offence at Him".
These foolish men were blinded to the truth of the gospel and being unable to believe He was from God, they were forced to believe in a lie - that He was from Satan! They could not recognise Jesus as their promised Messiah and would not accept that He was the 'Horn of their Salvation', Who had been born of the house of God's servant David, in fulfilment of prophecy.
The Lord Jesus had been sent by God to be their Kinsman-Redeemer. He had come to save them from the hand of their enemy and from the hand of all that hated the chosen nation of Israel. He had come to give to His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. He was 'the Dayspring from on High', Who had come to visit His people and these foolish Nazarenes refused to acknowledge Him as their God and Saviour.
How terrible that because of their bigotry and preconceived notions, these men of Nazareth were unable to embrace the truth, repent of their sins and trust in Christ - the Son of the living God, and instead of rejoicing in the truth they were offended in Him, and believed the lie of Satan.
What lessons we should learn from these men of Nazareth, who allowed human wisdom and their own prejudice to blind them to the truth of the glorious Gospel of God. How sad that this religious gathering was so unfamiliar with the Scriptures, that they missed the fulfilment of so many prophecies, that authenticated Christ's many Messianic claims.
May our hearts be open to the truth and not influenced by prejudice, worldly wisdom or our own foolish imagination.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word, the truth it contains and the many lessons that it teaches. Prevent me from allowing my own prejudices, worldly wisdom, limited understanding or furtive imagination from blinding me to the truth. Give me a teachable spirit, I pray, and help me to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest the wonderful truth of salvation. I pray that from this day forward I would walk in spirit and truth all for Your great glory - this I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.