In Matthew 13:53-58 we read that Jesus was rejected at Nazareth. Why? What did He do? He taught them in their synagogue. They saw that He had wisdom and did mighty works. They knew Him as the carpenter’s Son, Mary’s Son and the Brother of James, Joses, Simon, Jude and His sisters. He was one of them. He came from their community. His family still lived there. Jesus left there some time ago and was visiting and teaching in their synagogue.
The people wondered where Jesus got all those things (the ability to teach and do mighty works). They were offended at Him because of these things. It is as if they felt that He had no business teaching them anything. They saw Him as the carpenter’s Son not as a Teacher or Preacher or Prophet. They probably would not have accepted Him as the Messiah.
Jesus got a better reception among the Samaritans (John 4:1-45). The people in Samaria urged Him to stay with them and afterwards testified that He was the Savior of the world. The people in Galilee also welcomed Him.
Jesus did not do many works in Nazareth because of their unbelief. Mark wrote that Jesus marveled at the unbelief of the people of Nazareth. Their attitude prevented them from receiving the blessings that Jesus would have gladly given them. They didn’t get to know Him as the Savior because they saw Him only as the Boy who grew up among them. He was the Neighbor who lived there with His family and then He left. He was gone for a while and now He was back teaching things they had never heard before. He taught in wisdom and with authority, but they hardened their hearts instead of opening them to His wonderful teachings.
The attitude of the people of Nazareth toward Jesus reminds me of the Sanhedrin’s attitude toward Peter and John. To the rulers of the people and the elders of Israel, these disciples were uneducated and untrained men. They marveled at them and realized that these men had been with Jesus. They wanted to shut them up, however, because of they were disturbed that they taught the people and preached in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (Acts 4:1-3). The apostles were arrested again because they continued to teach in Jesus’ name (Acts 5:17-28). After they were beaten and then released, the apostles continued to teach and preach Jesus as the Christ daily in the temple and in every house (verses 40-42). The unbelieving religious leaders could not prevent the apostles from spreading the Gospel.
This also reminds me of the attitude of the people in the country of the Gadarenes. Instead of rejoicing when they saw the demon possessed man in his right mind and clothed, they pleaded with Jesus to leave their region. They were afraid. They learned about what happened to the pigs and they wanted Jesus to leave. Jesus complied and go into the boat.
The man whom He helped wanted to go with Him but Jesus encouraged him to stay and share what the Lord had done for him. So even though Jesus was driven away from the region, His great works were proclaimed in ten cities (Decapolis) and all who heard marveled (Mark 5:15-20).
When you reject Jesus you are preventing Him from doing great things in your life and yourself from enjoying a saving relationship with Him. Don’t limit Jesus because of the way you choose to see Him. He’s more than a Teacher or a Prophet or a good Man or the Son of Mary. He is the Lord, the Messiah, the Son of God, the Lamb of God and the Savior of the world.