1. The passage reveals God’s boundless compassion as he continues to send prophets to a rebellious people. We see this pattern throughout the Scripture, a) rebellion and killing of the prophets b) punishment c) mercy through sending of new prophets d) sin and rejection of prophets.
2. Jesus highlights God’s mercy for non chosen, needy people through the prophets Elijah (1 Kings 18:1) and Elisha (1 Kings 17:9). We see how God is universal in His approach also in showing mercy to men and women equally.
3. Jews were angry mainly because Jesus favoured Gentiles. The Jews were so sure that they were God’s people and believed that Gentiles were created to be fuel for the fires of hell. They could not tolerate Gentiles being praised by Jesus.
4. In the past God had not given His mercy to people who just thought they were ‘God’s people, but God had given His mercy to those whose hearts were turned toward Him and who accepted Him.
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.
CourtesyThe Pulpit Commentary
The Word Biblical Commentary
Sacra Pagina Series