Mark 6:1-6, Luke 4:11, John 1:11, John 12:48, Hebrews 12:25
Summary: The name and mission of the Lord Jesus Christ either bring about revival or riot, happiness or hatred, personal rage or personal redemption. It has been this way ever since His first appearing, but all will bow to Him when He returns, whether they like it or not.
There are a lot of people today who want nothing to do with the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that attitude has been around since He departed this world (Acts 1:8-11). Every nation in the world (America included, unfortunately) hates Him, and He is not even welcome in a number of churches both here and in other countries. Ever since He came to this world on a rescue mission for our behalf two thousand years ago, He has invoked hate, hardness of heart, rage, blasphemy, and deliberate ignorance in the hearts of humanity.
As the days for His return draw near – while He did say to His disciples that the Gospel would be presented in all parts of the world – I often wonder if, upon hearing it, the message will fall on deaf ears and be cast aside as nothing more than a myth, legend, or nonsense by many and received with gladness by a few.
In Mark 6, we see the beginnings of the rejection and hatred of the LORD, which will lead to the cross where all of the fury and wrath of God will be placed on Him. People around Him will mock, scorn, and ridicule Him as He died a horrid, brutal and excruciating death for not just their sins, but for the saints of the past who looked to His coming in faith, and for all of those who will call on Him in the future.
The Pharisees and scribes of His day said He was a tool of Satan in spite of His good works, His disciples often did not understand what He was teaching, and as we shall see, His own hometown really wanted nothing to do with Him after His sermon in the synagogue.
He and His disciples have traveled south from the Galilee region to the village of Nazareth, the town where He grew up and learned the trade of carpentry from Joseph. His family still lived there and were probably continuing the business started by Joseph, who by this time had died. Jesus had started His ministry there. Luke 4:1-11 tells of His first sermon that caused such an uproar that the townspeople threatened to throw Him off of the nearby cliff. What we read of in Mark’s account is a possible retelling of the same account from a different perspective, but with the same sad conclusion of rejection on the part of the people of Nazareth, for we never read of Him ever returning there after this episode.
Jesus has earned a reputation for doing good works, healing people, and casting out demons in other cities and regions, and this news has come to Nazareth. Now that He has arrived, some citizens of the town have questions about what they had heard, and they appear to possess much skepticism and wonder more than giving Him a warm welcome.
The phrase “You can’t go home again” more than likely is founded upon this incident in Jesus’ life. Still, He appears in the local synagogue to give the Scripture reading and the sermon with the Divine authority that others have heard and marveled at. He does not give interpretations of rabbinical commentary on the Scriptures or upon traditions that some people feel were just a sacred as the Law of Moses and the other writings from men of God. Jesus goes straight to the Word of God for His source, as He is the Author of Scripture itself (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21).
How do the locals react to having God Incarnate teach them His Word with authority and power?
Instead of repentance, awe, and wonder, they start questioning how He got all this information and wisdom and how He performed miracles, referring not to Him as Lord and Savior but as the son of Mary and Joseph. In other words, they saw Him as a local boy who made good but nothing else, and they treated Him with an underlying hostility as if to say, “Who does this guy think He is?”
Jesus sees that not just the people He grew up with and knew but even His own family did not believe in Him (John 7:3-5) and would not until after His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:7). It will be His half-brothers James and Jude who will write letters to the young churches that will end up as part of the Canon of Scripture. While none of the Gospels tell us about His other brothers and sisters, it is most certain that they also became believers and followers of Him around the same time as James and Jude. Mark 6:1-6 also tells us that He stayed in Nazareth for a short time but did few works there due to the town’s unbelief and that He was no longer welcome.
You don’t stay where you are not wanted, and we see in the Gospels this principle being taught to the disciples as He sent them out on “trial run” mission work, telling them to leave any place where the Gospel message was rejected (Matthew 10:5-15; Luke 9:1-6, 10:1-12, 17-20). Jesus also judged those cities where He had done mighty works but the people did not repent or give glory to God (Matthew 11:20-24; Luke 10:13-16).
This rejection of the Gospel has not dissipated nor decreased with time, but as Scripture itself declares, is a sign of the last days and the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 1:21-32; 2 Timothy 3:1-8). The rejection and hatred of Jesus and His message will reach its peak during the time of the Great Tribulation spoken of in the book of Revelation after the true body of Christ is raptured from the earth, which could be at any time (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Revelation, Chapters 4-19).
At the allotted time of the end of this present age, it will not be cities that will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ, who will rule and reign with a rod of iron, but of every person from every walk of life who will be judged by Him that rejected Him and brought harm to His flock (Matthew 25: 31-46; Revelation 20:1-15). These rebels will be sentenced to the Lake of Fire for all eternity along with the devil, his demons, and the Antichrist who is to come and quickly fall.
Where do you stand when it comes to the Lord Jesus Christ? You will bow to Him one day, either in gratitude and love as Lord and Savior (2 Corinthians 5:10), or in terror and trembling as the great Judge who knows everything about you, both public and private, and will not allow you or anyone else to get away with anything, whether you like it or not (Philippians 2:5-11).
Is your attitude and feeling toward Him like the people in Nazareth, or have you come to Him in faith and repentance and know that you will be a permanent resident of the new heaven and the new earth? Time is running out (Luke 12:13-21; 2 Corinthians 6:2; James 4: 13-15), and you have no guarantee of tomorrow. Come to Jesus and live, please.
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