Jesus the Carpenter

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Reading the Word

Mark 6:1–6 (ESV)

1 He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” 5 And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And he marveled because of their unbelief.

And he went about among the villages teaching.

Parallel Text: Matthew 13:54-58

Understanding and Applying the Word

When Jesus went to his hometown he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath and began to teach. However, the people were not receptive. They were wondering who Jesus thought he was. The people knew Jesus’ family and that he was a carpenter. They did not think of him as someone who had the knowledge and authority to say the things he was saying. Instead of receiving his teaching, they took offense and rejected Jesus.

We read that Jesus could do not mighty work there, not because he was unable, but because the people were in no frame of mind to receive such demonstrations of power and they might have attributed them to the wrong source (cf. Mark 3:22). Jesus was rejected by his hometown people so he left and went elsewhere to teach to those who were more receptive.

This episode reminds us of the amazing way God chose to bring salvation to the world. The Father sent his Son into the world as a man. He was born to a young woman who was a relative nobody and poor. Why would God choose to work in this way? Would it not seem more appropriate for the Son of God to be born among the elite? But Jesus came into the world in the most humble of ways to make it clear that he was the Savior for all people, not just those at the top of the social ladder. Yet many rejected Jesus because he did not meet their preconceived ideas of how God should do things. We are once again called to make a decision on how we will respond to Jesus, the one born of Mary and who was known as a simple carpenter.

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