Jon Schell: When Jesus was rejected at Nazareth

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 6, 2023

By Jon Schell

When Jesus returned to Nazareth, He spoke in the synagogue in front of people that he grew up with, according to  Luke 4:22-30. Here, He should have been a hometown hero, but He wasn’t. The people of Nazareth were:

• Familiar with Jesus  -You’ve heard the saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt”? This was certainly true here in Nazareth. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.  In a parallel passage Matthew adds, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”   Many people know about Jesus but don’t really understand who He is. They are familiar, but don’t take Him seriously. This is dangerous ground!  They risk being the ones who will someday say: ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’“But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’-  Luke 13:22-27

• Faithless. Jesus often did miracles in response to faith, but there was little of that in Nazareth. “And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. – Mt 15:58 and “without faith it is impossible to please God  – Heb 11:6. People don’t reject Jesus Christ due to lack of evidence. His miracles, words, and resurrection are proof enough. Many choose to reject Him because faith, like unbelief, is a choice.

• Furious – All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. vs 28-29.  What could have possibly triggered these people to attempt murder?  Their anger erupted, when He reminded them of two stories from their history.

• Jesus reminded them of the prophet Elijah who declared judgment on Israel (in the form of a drought) for its sin against God. Later, the prophet helped a foreign widow woman through the famine instead of helping an Israelite. In a similar way Elisha healed Naaman, the General of Aram, an enemy nation, instead of healing an Israeli leper. During their ministry, both of these prophets were threatened with death by their own kings. Though heroes to us, their own people probably blamed them for God’s judgment and for helping the “enemy”. These prophets were even threatened with death by their own kings. Both these prophets foreshadowed Jesus who “came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.”- John 1:11

• Fueled by their pride, the people of Nazareth were furious about this reminder from their history.  They hated the message so much that they tried to kill the messenger, Jesus Christ.

Speaking the truth often triggers people. Since Jesus is the Truth, He upsets people who reject Truth. And if you choose to live by the Truth, you will make some people angry. If so, remember Christ’s words:“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first”  – John 15:18. “whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.” – Luke 10:16

Rev Jon Schell is  pastor of St. Luke’s Church in Granite Quarry

About Post Lifestyles

Visit us on Facebook: and Twitter @postlifestlyes for more content

email author More by Post