Chapter 21

Rejected at home
Mark 6:1-6 (NASB)


1 And He went out from there, and He came into His home town; and His disciples followed Him. 2 And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? 3 “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, and Joses, and Judas, and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him. 4 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his home town and among his own relatives and in his own household.” 5 And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands upon a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.


Mark 6:1-3
Local reaction to Jesus

If you have ever been rejected unfairly at home take comfort that Jesus has been there before you. He knows exactly how that feels. He never did anything to deserve such treatment. By comparison we are rarely, if ever, completely blameless.

Jesus’ disciples follow Him to His Nazareth home. He teaches in the synagogue on the Sabbath. His wise words and powerful miracles make people question the source of His wisdom and power. Sincere questioning can help the questioners to trust Christ, whose wisdom and power are divine.[1] But prejudiced people don’t want correct answers, but they want to justify their prejudices. One rhyme suggests ‘A man convinced against His will is of the same opinion still!’

So the people belittle Jesus, referring to Him as the carpenter (his stepfather’s trade) and as the son of Mary in innuendos about His illegitimacy. (Ungodly people misunderstand the fact of and the reason for His miraculous virgin birth). In mocking Jesus, they imply He is no different from his physical brothers and sisters. They see Jesus as a jumped-up upstart parading as a ‘somebody’. To them he is a ‘nobody’ from a ‘nowhere town’.

Mark 6:4-6
The response of Jesus

Jesus responds to this opposition and coldness by revealing a true understanding of human nature, and encouraging Christian preachers today when opposed by those nearest to them. Christ teaches that God’s messengers may be honoured by many but heavily opposed when at home. Relatives and close family may well be antagonistic.

But even so, Jesus wonders at their unbelief and their excessive opposition to Him at home. Perhaps His perfect holiness offends them? Unlike them, He always pleases the Father, making them see their own sin very clearly. Resentment can be for two very different reasons. Either a bad, hypocritical reputation causes opposition, or alternatively, as with Jesus, a good reputation evokes envy and jealousy, stifling justified praise and resulting in evil and malicious taunting. When our sinfulness is highlighted by Christ’s spotlessness, we either turn from our sins and receive God’s forgiveness or harden our hearts to oppose God’s message and messengers.[2]

God works in us by grace in response to personal faith.[3] Those trusting Him know He is working in their and other lives through that ‘amazing grace.’ But here unbelief of some, familiar with Jesus since infancy, prevents much blessing. Unbelief always blocks blessing. No one comes to Christ while unbelievingly rejecting God’s word. We must demonstrate faith in God and the Bible’s promises by trusting and obeying Him.[4]

Jesus now works only a few miracles in Nazareth. He heals a few sick people, however. Even amidst opposition and unbelief, some are blessed in trusting Him! Jesus doesn’t give up because of opposition at home. Not at all! He is going around the villages teaching. He has a top priority job to do, teaching God’s word!

Observing miracles cannot save. They simply signify who the Saviour is. Understanding and trusting God’s word causes men and women to be saved. Hearing God’s word is a priority for all, and teaching it for some.



[1]    .  1 Corinthians 1:24.
[2]    .  Just as John 1:11 records about Jesus.
[3]    .  Ephesians 2:8-9.
[4]    .  Hebrews 11:6.


Questions on Chapter 21
Mark 6:1-6  Rejected at home.

A. Why are the people in Jesus’ home town offended by Him?   Mark 6:2-3   Mark 6:4

B. How can we deal with opposition in a way that honours God and blesses our family, and even our enemies?   Mark 6:4   Matthew 5:44

C. How can unbelief affect God’s working in our lives? How should we handle unbelief?   Mark 6:5    Mark 16:14    Mark 9:24

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