Jesus Rejected in Galilee
22 And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”
23 And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘“Physician, heal yourself.” What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’” 24 And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. 25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
28 When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. 29 And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 30 But passing through their midst, he went away.
Observations & Reflections
Jesus, as expected, was not welcomed by his own people, once He reveals that Isaiah’s prophecy has been revealed. He does attempt to reason with them by comparing his ministry in Galilee to the ministry of Elijah and Elisha. However, the audience was less than impresses by Jesus accusing them of having little faith.
Matthew records this even in a slightly different manner, noting that Jesus was not merely the son of Joseph. It appears that Matthew relied more heavily on the first gospel, Mark, where as Luke deviated.
“Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Jude and Simon? And aren’t his sisters here with us? And they took offense at him” (Matthew 13:55)
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?” (Mark 6:3)
What is interesting is that Luke says “Is not this Joseph’s son?”, while Matthew emphasizes the mother with “the son of Mary”. We noted back on the devotional for LUKE 3:21-38 that Matthew and Luke’s lineages for Jesus were different, in that Luke traced Jesus’ through the father’s side of the family and Matthew traced His lineage through the mother’s side of the family. Therefore, it would make sense that Matthew and Luke emphasize that same bias when retelling the story if Jesus being rejected by his own people.
Which did they actually say? Was He questioned as the son of Mary or the son or Joseph? It’s probably most likely that Matthew and Mark were the more accurate descriptions of the event. However, we must remember that Luke had a very different audience which was much less Jewish. Luke’s audience would not have used maternal genealogies. They would have used paternal ones. It would have made more sense to the audience to tie Jesus to the parent which the genealogical tree is based on.
It is always heard hearing the hardcore truth about a situation. Many times when we are confronted with a sin, our natural instinct is to get offended and defensive. Majority of the time we do not act graciously when it comes to being faced with a reality that has caused us to do wrong. Here, the crowd is reminded about the times in which their past ancestors were challenged with their inability to follow after God and therefore when witnessing God’s hand at work, ultimately rejected it.
There were very few that accepted the name of Jesus Christ in the context that is being talked about and here we see exactly what the world does when presented with the truth gospel: they reject it. The Gospel is not meant to sugar coat our sin. It’s role is to expose it and yes, offend it so that we are able to see just how tragic our lives are without Jesus Christ.
However, despite their hardened hearts to the truth, the time for Jesus to pay the penalty for their sin and unbelief had not yet come. Jesus was only beginning His ministry and this is just a small picture of what was going to happen to come when it came time to die on the cross.
When we are faced with the truth of our sins, it is an act of Grace and an opportunity that we have to repent of our sin and be saved from eternal punishment.