Jesus Despised in His Hometown
People amazed by Jesus’ teachings
and miracles (1-2)
People reject Jesus because of
His background (3-4)
Jesus leaves for other villages
The Twelve Apostles Sent (6:7-13)
Jesus gives them authority and
instructs them on what to do (7-11)
The apostles do as Jesus says
Death of John the Baptist
Rumor of John raised
from the dead (14-16)
John the Baptist jailed (17-20)
Through her daughter, Herodias
asks for John’s head (21-26)
John beheaded and buried (27-29)
Amazed, wisdom, miracles,
carpenter, took offense, authority, preached, repent, anointed, grudge,
1a. Jesus—He was rejected in His hometown and treated with contempt.
1b. Disciples—Practical experience; preacher; traveled in pairs; not
settled in one place; relied on hospitality of others; learned what to and what
not to bring.
1c. John the Baptist—After the end of a
powerful ministry, he died without fanfare.
1a. Many brothers and sisters; common names; Jesus’ sisters still lived
there; three of His brothers even had the same common name as three of His
1b. 1. He grew up with the people of His hometown, and was considered
one of their own
He was a carpenter.
He did not receive formal religious training.
1c. People had been amazed by Jesus when He had a smaller following (Mk
1:21-22 took place in the beginning of His ministry). Now, Jesus was well known
for His wisdom and power, and He had a large crowd following him (including an
impressive tally of twelve apostles). Perhaps that was why the Nazarenes
initially permitted Jesus to teach in the synagogue. But, later, they recognized
Him. The harder they looked, the less impressive He seemed to them. And they
took offense at such an ordinary man daring to teach them about the kingdom of God.
2a. The Nazarenes had no answer. They rejected the only reasonable
answer, that Jesus received His power and wisdom from God. The only other
possibilities were that Jesus was mad (which was what His own family had
thought [Mk 3:21]) or that he was demon possessed (which was what the scribes
had claimed [Mk 3:22]).
2b. They had already concluded that Jesus was
not someone special. Their questions were meant to demean Him. These irrelevant
questions made them blind to the truth about Jesus (cf. 1Cor 4:13).
3a. Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith. In Lk
4:23, Jesus exposed what the Nazarenes were thinking. In spite of Jesus’
powerful words, they were skeptical of His miraculous powers. They perhaps
thought what they heard from Capernaum
was exaggerated. They expected Jesus to perform miracles for them, as if He was
a magician (cf. Mt 12:38-39).
3b. Luke 4:28-29 tells us that after Jesus rebuked the Nazarenes, they
became so upset that they wanted to throw Him off the cliff. They did not
repent when Jesus warned them of the consequences. Because of their unbelief,
Jesus went to other villages, just as Elijah had gone to Zarephath
(Lk 4:25-26). God’s work cannot be stopped. If we
reject His salvation, He will go elsewhere (Acts 8:1-4; Rom 11:11-12). Note
that Jesus still healed a few people—the minority who had faith in Him.
4. We should not jump to
conclusions like the Nazarenes did. Just because we don’t witness miracles
locally doesn’t mean that God is not working elsewhere. We still read and hear
testimonies from other places. If God truly is not working in the church or in
our personal lives, then it is time to examine our faith in Him. Jesus does not
leave us unless we reject Him.
6a. 1. Go two by two
Take nothing except a staff
Do not bring bread, bag, money, or extra tunic
Enter a house and stay there until you leave town
If any place does not welcome you or
listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave. This also seems to
be an implicit rebuke on the Pharisees’ arrogance and unbelief (cf. Did You
6c. Power over unclean spirits (7). Not only did the Lord command them
to go and preach, He also equipped them with divine power to win the spiritual
6d. Not bringing along many possessions allowed them total dedication to
the task at hand (cf. 2Tim 2:4). It also trained the apostles to trust that God
will provide for their needs if they are faithful to His work (e.g. Elijah was
being provided for by ravens and the widow of Zarephath
7. Financially support the church
(1Cor 16:1; 2Cor 8:2-5; 11:8-9; Php 4:15-17).
9. Herod believed that Jesus was
John the Baptist risen from the dead because he had
heard of Jesus’ miraculous powers (14, 16).
10. The description of John’s death sounds somewhat like an aside. John
had been compared to Elijah, and yet his life ended so differently. He died
alone, without fanfare (his disciples heard about his death afterwards [Mk
6:29]), whereas Elijah was taken up in a chariot of fire. While in prison, John
despaired, and questioned if his work had meaning (Mt 11:2-3). However, our
lives are not judged by our earthly glory, but by how God views us when we die.
As a prophet, John’s job was to speak the word of truth. He continued to do so
until the end of his life (cf. 2Cor 13:8). A great reward awaits us when we die
in the Lord and rest from our labor (cf. Rev 14:13).
11. Herod did not seem to be upset when John rebuked him for marrying
his brother’s wife. He seemed to be amused at what John had to say (see his
reaction to Jesus in Lk 23:8). Perhaps it was
intellectually stimulating. He heard the teaching, understood it, but did not
believe. To him, it was only interesting philosophy, not to be practiced in his
life. He chose to obey Herodias instead of God, first imprisoning and then
12. John did what he could. As long as Herod was willing to listen, John
kept teaching Herod to repent. Herod did not believe. By the time Jesus was
standing before him, the opportunity for repentance was past. Jesus remained
silent because Herod’s heart was hard. Likewise, if we do not repent in spite
of repeated warnings, God will let us go (see Mt 18:15-17).
13. The Bible teaches us not to
let our anger remain (Eph 4:26). Not only should we not hold a grudge, Jesus
teaches us to go one step further. If a brother has a grudge against us, we
must go and be reconciled with him (Mt 5:23-24).
15. This family is a good example of how not to bring up a child. Their
relationship was complicated and not God-centered (Herodias was Herod’s niece,
and she divorced Herod’s brother in order to marry Herod). Herod and Herodias
clearly influenced the daughter’s morals (the girl asked for her mother’s
advice when Herod offered her a reward). Perhaps Herodias had taught her to
hate John. Still, her behavior was outrageous for a child of her age. She had
no qualms about asking for John’s head, even hurrying back to the king to ask
him for it (25). John’s head on a platter did not seem to frighten her (28).
Children learn much from their parents’ behavior.