In my previous article THE TRIPLE THREAT TO THE FLOW OF THE SUPERNATURAL! I referenced three passages of scripture that tell the story of Jesus ministering in His hometown of Nazareth. The three portions of scripture are Matthew 13:53-58, Luke 4:23-30 and Mark 6:1-6. Kindly read these accounts of Jesus in Nazareth as it will give you a fuller understanding of the story. I am amazed at how one can respond critically to something, and yet have not studied or even read the text. ( Each of us need to study to show ourselves approved; 2Timothy2:15)
A Prophet without Honour
Mark 6:1-6 ”
“Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.
“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
JESUS IN NAZARETH
In this account we see that Jesus is teaching in the synagogue of His hometown Nazareth! Initially the people are amazed at the words that were coming out of his mouth. They were also astonished by the wisdom and miracles that he was performing. But Then something changes.
In the midst of This flow of the Spirit through Jesus, they begin to question his background. The reason for this is that in the Jewish culture one’s lineage is of great importance. That’s why we often see long records of a persons genealogy in scripture. So in this case it is safe to assume that because they knew His family background, they would have also had questions about Him being conceived out of wed lock, Because we know that The Holy Spirit came upon Mary in the immaculate conception before she and Joseph were married.
In verse 3; it says that they took offense at Him. Now the Greek word used for offense here in this verse is the word ‘skandalidzo’; which literally means to scandalize. In other words they began to scandal about Jesus. No doubt the scandal was probably around him being concieved out of wedlock.
Jesus then responds with the statement that a only in his hometown is a prophet without honour. Thus implying that in other places that the prophet ministers, He will recieve honour.
Finally we come to verse 5&6 which pose a challenge to our understanding and interpretation of what happens next. Let me say this “God will never violate His word, but He has no problem violating our understanding of His word” And for that reason, even the greatest teachers are still learning as The Holy Sprit reveals truth.
The stumbling block in verse 5 is the phrase ” He could not do any miracles there….” the question I was asked when quoting this verse is whether or not I’m saying that God could not do a miracle even if He wanted to. My response is “I’m quoting a scripture”. – Now we understand that scripture must interpret scripture. That is basic bible interpretation. Therefore if we struggle with understanding a verse we need to look at other verses. That is why I encouraged the reader to study all three accounts of this story before reaching any conclusions.
So here goes my interpretation of the phrase “He could not”. Firstly we need to understand that Jesus was fully God and fully man. I don’t have time to explain this in detail here, I will do so in a subsequent article, but there is plenty of material online that one can google to research the concept. Jesus often refereed to himself as the Son of Man in reference to his earthly human side, the side of him that got tired as we see in recorded before he calms the storm, and the side of him that was tempted, as well as the side of Him that died on the cross.
Therefore the one case for interpreting ‘He could not’ could be in reference to His human side that was restricted by their unbelief.
But as fully God; Who is sovereign , how can we interpret this troubling phrase. As I prayed about this text this is what I received as an answer.
He could not do any mighty miracle there because , if He did, He would be violating the free will He gave them.
Much love to you all
Marlon R Oliver