Mark 6:1-5

Mark 6:1 (KJB)
And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.

Once Jesus had completed the ministry at the home of Jairus in Capernaum, He departed from that place and went to His home town of Nazareth. There is a tremendous difference in the reception Jesus received in Galilee versus Nazareth. If you recall it was here that Jesus grew up and received His education at the local synagogue. As usual, the disciples had gone to Nazareth with Him. Nazareth did not have a good reputation. (John 1:46 KJV) And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

Mark 6:2 (KJB)
And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?

According to Jewish custom, any able Jewish man had the right to speak in the synagogue. Jesus had grown up in their midst so they knew Him and His family. It seemed their question was not about what He was teaching, which was a big mistake, but more focused on how did He acquire such wisdom in the understanding of the Scriptures and where did He get the ability to do mighty works. They knew that since Jesus grew up among them, He had no special theological training being a carpenter. Then where did Jesus gain His ability to do mighty works or to understand the Scriptures since He did not have any special schooling? This is one great mistake which is made in Christianity. We think that a person who has not gone to bible college or seminary would be unable to have a good understanding of Scripture and because of that twisted way of thinking, many a good Christian with great abilities are put out to pasture instead of being used. Some of the wisest people I know never set foot inside of a seminary or bible college. A person without a formal theological education can be used just as mightily as a person that has one. One such person was Charles Haddon Spurgeon. In his Christian life he preached to ten million people, preached 3600 sermons, wrote 49 volumes of commentaries, anecdotes, illustrations, etc. I would venture to say he has had more impact on Christians and Christianity than most all modern schooled preachers put together.

It was probably another case of envy because they saw that Jesus had good understanding and the ability to do mighty works and they did not. Once Jesus started teaching in the synagogue, they knew there was something different. He probably expounded to them the Gospel and He was given wisdom way beyond His years. They had already known about the miraculous works that He did and now they had coupled that with His understanding of the Scriptures and it started to raise all kinds of questions. These questions were not of the desire to know more but they came out of the camp of envy and jealousy at His knowledge.

Mark 6:3 (KJB)
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

Then they asked the question concerning His family. They made one big mistake by doing this. They were comparing the ability of Jesus to the other siblings. If you discuss an individual, discuss the person and not someone else. (2 Cor 10:12 KJV) For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. Comparing someone to another is wrong because God will deal and empower all believers in a different way to suit the ministry He has for them. I personally could not be compared to my brother because as of this moment he is still unsaved. This is what the townspeople of Nazareth did. They compared Jesus to unsaved siblings (maybe one or two became saved at a later time) and that would not be a proper comparison to make an assessment. This verse along with Matthew 13:55 is a death knell to the Roman Catholic belief that Mary had no other children. (Mat 13:55 KJV) Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? The word “brethren” in Matthew 13:55 and the word “brother” in Mark 6:3 are the same words in the Greek, “adelphos” which means “physical brother, fellow Christian, or neighbor.” You can see that the last two meanings would not fit. The fact is that the word appears only in the masculine gender and speaks of the fact of His physical brethren. The word is never used for a detached member of the nuclear family such as uncle or cousin as the Roman Catholics teach. Mary was not a perpetual virgin but had other children after Jesus. (Mat 1:25 KJV) And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. Notice in Matthew 1:25, Jesus is described as “her firstborn son.” This means since Jesus was firstborn, there were other births that followed. The Roman Catholic modern versions such as the NIV, ESV, NASV and others omit that vital, specific word “firstborn” and replace it with an “a.” (2011 NIV) But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. If you remove “firstborn,” then you can rewrite what you want according to any false doctrine you hold. A very big difference between “firstborn” and “a.”

They not only specifically pointed out that Jesus had brothers, but they also pointed out specifically that He had sisters. By this time, His sisters were probably all married and living in the area. They are mentioned only here and in Matthew 13:56 but their names are not known. (Mat 13:56 KJV) And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? Now the word in the Greek for sisters is “adelphê” which means “physical sister or Christian sister.” So the same situation with the sisters exist as with the brothers. The Greek word points out that they were his physical sisters. The word only deals with sisters and not cousins or aunts.

Mark 6:4 (KJB)
But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

Rather than learning from Jesus, they were rather offended at Him because He had such wisdom and knowledge. No doubt their offense was not because of Jesus but sprang out of a heart of jealousy because they could not do such things. At least you think they would have given Jesus the benefit of the doubt since they grew up with Him and His family was still living there but jealousy knows no friendship, only evil. That is why Jesus told them that a prophet will have honor, but not in the place He grew up and even among His own family members who at this time probably still rejected Him. Today we would look at this and we could compare it to growing up in a house with a family and then becoming saved and living the Christian life. Those in the family will no doubt use such sayings as, “I knew you when…” or “he or she has gone off the deep end” or “don’t preach that religion to me because you are a phony.” Then the family members or friends will wait for you to make a mistake and then accuse you of being a hypocrite.

Mark 6:5 (KJB)
And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.

If there is one thing that stifles the power of God, it is unbelief. (Heb 11:6 KJV) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Without faith it is impossible to please Him. The people of Nazareth looked at Jesus as a man but not as the Son of God with abilities to heal sickness or even raise the dead. They saw Him as just another citizen of Nazareth. According to Mark 6:5, their unbelief stifled the ministry of Jesus. He only healed a few people in Nazareth but did no mighty work. How many times in our own life we stifle the power of God because of our unbelief, even as Christians we sometimes only look at the physical and not beyond the situation to a God who can do all things. (Mat 19:26 KJV) But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.