‘When Columbus, meditating the discovery of America, had to seek patrons not of his own country’
1. Jesus left Nazareth after the arrest of John the Baptist, moved to Capernaum and areas around sea of Galilee. Now he returns to his hometown and begins to teach in synagogue, the very place in which he had worshipped as a young man. Though nothing of Jesus’ emotions is mentioned here, it would have been something special and unique.
2. The response of the people: They were amazed but did not move them to faith but skepticism. They judge them by their previous knowledge of him.
3. Only here he is referred to as ‘son of carpenter’ – his profession is revealed here. His mother ‘Miriam’ or ‘Maria’, brothers and sisters are also mentioned here. A lot of debate is still going on in finding out whether the brothers and sisters mentioned here are related to Jesus in blood. We believe it to be his cousins although there are no sure proofs on both the sides.
4. His own household and family members were indignant at the pretensions of one who was to them so familiar and hence thought to be ordinary. Mary is not accused of this as she kept pondering on these things with faith.
5. Familiarity with Jesus became a liability; since he was forced into a preconceived framework. Always outsiders have the advantage. For it is just this kind of familiarity and set of pre-conceptions that have been responsible for Jewish unbelief in the gospel and it made the Gentiles more objective in their understanding.
‘Unbelief is a sin that locks up the heart of a sinner and binds up the hand of the savior’ (Flavel) ‘Unbelief is an impediment to the performance of miracles. People did not believe in Jesus Christ because he was a carpenter’s son but this carpenter was of the house and lineage of David – His mother Mary by descent a princess of the great house of David. People do change but our mentality does not. We never change our first impression of things, this leads to a lot of problems when it comes to living together. Families break, communities shatter because of the prejudice we carry. We are in no way different from the people of Nazareth. We will continue to lock the hands of Jesus from working miracles as long as we lack deeper faith and trust in God.
The Pulpit Commentary
The Word Biblical Commentary
Sacra Pagina Series