43 After the two days He went forth from there into Galilee. 44 For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 45 So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things that He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they themselves also went to the feast.
So, I had to do a little looking around to understand why this snippet of what Jesus said is in here. In coming out of Judea (the land of Judah) and into Galilee (where Jerusalem is) they had to pass Nazareth, Jesus’ home town. John is explaining here that based on what Jesus said before, this is why they passed right by instead of stopping in at home first. Normally, we would at least stop in our home town if we were passing through, right? We’d pop in and say hello to some old friends, wouldn’t we? Of course, not if we weren’t welcome there. This is why it didn’t happen. It would have been a waste of time.
This is the second time so far in this book that I have noticed that Jesus doesn’t go out of His way to argue or try to convince someone. If someone isn’t open to hearing what He has to say, He doesn’t do it. Many of us, in our piety (myself included), would have specifically stopped there to try to not only prove we are right and they are wrong, but to try to get them to see the light again. Let’s look a little more into this story of Nazareth.
Mathew 13: 53-59, 53 When Jesus had finished these parables, He departed from there. 54 He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” 58 And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.
What do we glean from this? He went in the town and told them the Truth. He preached His Word. Radical as it was, it was rejected as was He. Did He stay there and argue His point? Did He tell them they were sinful beings that needed to repent or they were going to burn in hell? No. He said, “you don’t want to listen to me, so I won’t waste my time.”
How often does this happen to us? What do we chose to do? We stand and fight, don’t we? We fight for our pride. We try to make them believe, forgetting that belief is not up to us. Our job is to tell the Truth, to spread the Gospel. That’s it.
As a result of them not wanting to hear it and rejecting His Word, their unbelief then resulted in a lack of healing and miracles. In searching the other gospels about this story, I found more detail in Luke about what exactly Jesus was teaching that they didn’t believe:
16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
18 “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,
BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.
HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,
AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND,
TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,
19 TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”
20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
They did not believe that Christ was the Messiah. They did not believe that Jesus was sent to heal those afflicted with sin. This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Will you listen, hear, read, and study it or will you reject it because it is too radical and removes other gods from your life?