Matthew 13:54-58

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

JESUS’ LAST VISIT TO NAZARETH

INTRODUCTION:

 

So far in our study of Matthew we have seen that whereas Mark’s Gospel is chronological in nature, Matthew’s is not. Matthew assembles events into a series of groups. Each group consists of narrative about Christ followed by a discourse and followed in turn by the expression When Jesus had finished which marks the end of each major section of the Gospel. We have seen –

 

                I.    The Introduction of the King – 1:1 - 4:11

 

               II.    The Demands of the King – 4:12 - 7:29

 

              III.    The Deeds of the King – 8:1 - 11:1

 

             IV.    The Program of the King – 11:2 - 13:53

 

In this message we begin to study the destiny of the King, which includes the narrative about Jesus (13:54 - 17:27), the meaning and greatness of forgiveness (18:1-35), and the concluding statement, (1) And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan. (2) And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there (19:1-2).

 

The narrative about Jesus includes His last visit to Nazareth, His hearing of the murder of John the Baptist, His feeding of the five thousand, His walking on the water, His healing of many in Genessaret, His comments on God’s commandments and man’s traditions, His diagnosis of man’s heart, His casting out a demon from the Syrophenician woman’s daughter, His healing of many near the Sea of Galilee, His feeding of the four thousand, His rebuke of the Pharisees and Sadducees seeking a sign from heaven, His explanation of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, His question and Peter’s confession, His prediction of His death and resurrection, His statement regarding the cost of discipleship, His transfiguration, His explanation of Elijah’s coming first, His casting out a demon which the disciples could not cast out, His prediction of His death and resurrection, and His answer regarding the tribute money.

 

I remind you that Jesus grew up in Nazareth.

 

Matthew 2:19-2319 But when Herod was dead. . . .

 

This was Herod the Great who, following the visit of the wise men, in an attempt to kill the baby Jesus, murdered all the baby boys in Bethlehem two years and younger. He died in 4 B.C.

 

Prior to Herod’s death, Joseph had fled to Egypt with Mary and the baby Jesus in order to avoid this massacre of the baby boys in Bethlehem because he had been warned by an angel of the Lord to do so.

 

(But when Herod was dead,) behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life [i.e. who sought Jesus’ life]. 21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of [i.e. in the place of, instead of] his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither [i.e. to go there]: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

 

At the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry following the death of John the Baptist, Jesus withdrew from Judea and headed toward Galilee. Ordinarily Jews avoided going through Samaria, but Jesus and His disciples went through Samaria where Jesus met with the woman at the well. Following this, He continued through Samaria to Galilee where the Galileans accepted Him because many had seen all the things He had done at the feast in Jerusalem. He preached in various synagogues in Galilee. In Cana of Galilee where He had previously turned the water into wine, He healed a nobleman’s son. One day He went back to Nazareth where He had grown up. We read about His preaching in the synagogue in Nazareth in Luke 4 .

 

In a few minutes, I want to read from Luke 4 ; but before I do, I want to read a passage in Isaiah 61 which provides some background for the day He preached in the synagogue in Nazareth.

 

Isaiah 61:1-31 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD. . . .

 

We will stop right there in the middle of verse 2 before I begin reading the rest of this text. What we have read so far pertains to the first coming of the Messiah. The Spirit of the Lord GOD is God the Holy Spirit, the LORD is God the Father, and me refers to Christ, the Messiah. We continue with the passage in Isaiah. The remainder of this text pertains to the second coming of the Messiah. Remember, however, that the the Old Testament prophets did not understand that the Messiah would come two times. They did not see the gap between the first and second comings of Christ. They did not understand that there would be a time called the church age in between the first and second comings of the Messiah.

 

We read on in Isaiah 61:2

. . . And (to proclaim) the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

 

Every Jew would have been familiar with this passage and would have understood that it was a promise of the coming of the Messiah.

 

In Luke 4:16-30 we read about Jesus’ first visit to Nazareth –

Luke 4:16-3016 And he [i.e. Jesus] came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was [i.e. as Jesus’ custom was], he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias [i.e. Isaiah]. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

 

Does this sound familiar? It should. We just read it in Isaiah 61:1-2 . Jesus just read the same passage from Isaiah 61 .

 

I read on in Luke 4:16-30

20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

 

Do you get the point of Jesus’ statement that this day this scripture is fulfilled in your ears? He is claiming that He is the fulfillment of this passage in Isaiah. He is claiming that He is the Messiah.

 

22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son? [and it assumes a yes answer – Yes, this is Joseph’s son] 23 And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. 24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias [i.e. Elijah], when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 26 But unto none of them was Elias [i.e. Elijah] sent, save [i.e. except] unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus [i.e. Elisha] the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. 28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong [i.e. throw Him down from the cliff]. 30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way.

 

We fast forward now and come to Jesus’ last visit to Nazareth. He came again to His hometown, to Nazareth, and taught one last time in the synagogue, astonishing the people who were wondering where His teaching and miraculous power had come from; but rather than concluding that Jesus was the Messiah as they should have done, they concluded that He was only Joseph and Mary’s son whose brothers they knew. They also knew Jesus’ sisters and, therefore, questioned where these things had come from. Rather than believing that Jesus was actually the Messiah, they rejected Him. Jesus then advised them that a prophet is honored except where he grew up. As a result of the people in the synagogue at Nazareth not believing in Him, they missed out on many miracles He might have done there.

We see that –

    I.     THE PEOPLE IN THE SYNAGOGUE IN NAZARETH WERE ASTONISHED AT JESUS’ WISDOM AND THE MIGHTY WORKS WHICH HE DID – 13:54A

 

Matthew 13:54 a – And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue. . . .

 

And when he was come into his own country means and after Jesus came into Nazareth, His hometown.

 

He taught them (i.e. He was teaching (or instructing) the Jewish residents of Nazareth) in their synagogue.

 

It was apparently the same synagogue where He had been previously rejected in Luke 4:16-30 .

We also see that –

  II.     THEY ASKED THE RIGHT QUESTION – 13:54b

 

Matthew 13:54 B – . . . Insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?

 

Insomuch that is with the result that.

 

They were astonished, and said suggests they were amazed and were saying.

 

What they were saying is, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?

 

Whence? is from where? or from what source?

 

Hath suggests are.

 

This man is to (or for) this One, a reference to Jesus.

 

This wisdom, and these mighty works. They were asking, What is the source of this man’s wisdom and mighty works?

 

This wisdom refers to the things Jesus was saying; whereas, these mighty works refers to the miracles He was performing.

 

The miracles were performed as signs to indicate that what Jesus was saying was true. John 20:30-31 is pertinent.

 

John 20:30-3130 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

 

Although Matthew 13:58 indicates that Jesus did not do many mighty works in Nazareth, He did some mighty works there. He also did mighty works elsewhere which some of these people in Nazareth might have witnessed.

 

Although the people in the synagogue in Nazareth asked the right question –

 III.     THEY DREW THE WRONG CONCLUSION – 13:55-56

 

Matthew 13:55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

 

Rather than concluding that Jesus was the Messiah as they should have done, the people in the synagogue in Nazareth concluded that He was only Joseph and Mary’s son whose brothers they knew. They also knew Jesus’ sisters and, therefore, questioned where these things had come from. Rather than believing that Jesus was actually the Messiah, they rejected Him.

 

In the Greek text the structure of the question is not this (i.e. is not this one, is not Jesus) the carpenter’s son? indicates that it is expecting the positive answer, Yes, it is. Their thinking was that, because He is Joseph’s son, He cannot be the Messiah.

 

The carpenter’s son suggests Joseph’s son.

 

These people from Nazareth knew Joseph and were assuming that Jesus was actually Joseph’s son; but, of course, Joseph was not actually His father.

 

They follow this question with a second question which likewise expects the positive answer, Yes.

 

Although is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? has been translated as two questions, it is only one question in the Greek text.

 

Is not his mother called Mary? implies, Yes, His mother is called Mary. They knew her.

 

And his brethren is and His brothers.

 

And (are His brothers not) James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? Yes, these are the names of His brothers.

 

James would eventually become the pastor of the church in Jerusalem and would write The Epistle of James.

 

Nothing is known of Joses and Simon.

 

Judas is Jude who wrote The Epistle of Jude.

 

Jesus’ brothers are listed with the believers assembled in Acts 1 . It is assumed that all four of them were present with Mary on that day following Jesus’ ascension into heaven.

 

Mary had four sons in addition to Jesus. This destroys the Roman Catholic idea of the perpetual virginity of Mary.

 

Matthew 13:56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?

 

The people in Nazareth asked another question which expects the positive answer, Yes, they are, And his sisters, are they not all with us? Yes, they are.

 

And connects the question in verse 56 to the questions in verse 55.

 

His sisters are Jesus’ sisters.

 

Are they not all with us? means are not all of Jesus’ sisters with us?

 

In view of the fact that sisters is plural, it means that there were at least two of them; but the use of all to describe Jesus’ sisters rather than both, suggests the likelihood that there were more than two of them. There may have been three or more sisters.

 

The fact that Jesus had a number of sisters likewise disproves the false idea of the perpetual virginity of Mary.

 

Whence then hath this man all these things?

 

Note that they asked the right question. However, they were prejudiced against the idea that someone they knew could actually be God’s Son, the Messiah. So, in spite of the miracles He performed, they rejected Him as their Messiah.

 

Whence? is from where? or from what source?

 

Then introduces an inference drawn from the questions the people in the synagogue at Nazareth were asking and from their assumed answers. It is understood in the sense of therefore, accordingly, or so.

 

Their conclusion was that since they knew Jesus and His entire family, He could not be the Messiah. Although they asked the right question, they drew the wrong conclusion.

 

Hath this man all these things? is are all these things to (or for) this One?

As the result of drawing the wrong conclusion about Jesus –

 IV.     THEY REJECTED HIM – 13:57A

 

Matthew 13:57 a – And they were offended in him. . . .

 

And they were offended in him suggests and they took offense at Him.

 

By their refusal to believe in Jesus, they fell into sin; but it was not Jesus’ fault. It was the result of their rejection of Jesus.

As the result of their taking offense at Jesus –

   V.     THEY DID NOT HONOR HIM AS THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE – 13:57B

 

Matthew 13:57 b – . . . But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

 

But introduces a statement in mild contrast to they were offended in him.

 

Jesus said unto them introduces Jesus’ response to their rejection of Him as their Messiah: A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

 

A prophet is one who receives divine revelation directly from God and passes it on to others.

 

A prophet is not without honour suggests that a prophet is honored.

 

Save is except.

 

In his own country, and in his own house indicates where a prophet is not honored.

 

In his own country was used previously in verse 54 and suggests in his hometown. In Jesus’ case, it was in Nazareth.

 

In his own house suggests in the home of Mary and Joseph, in His own family, because of His siblings’ unbelief. Both Mary and Joseph knew Who Jesus was and believed, but His brothers are pictured as unbelievers as late as John 7 , not too long before Jesus would be crucified.

Finally, we see that –

 VI.     THEIR REJECTION OF JESUS PROVED COSTLY – 13:58

 

Matthew 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

 

As a result of the people in the synagogue at Nazareth not believing in Him, they missed out on many miracles He might have done there.

 

And he (i.e. and Jesus) did not many mighty works there (i.e. in Nazareth).

 

Did not suggests did not do or did not perform.

 

Many mighty works is many signs or many miracles.

 

Many suggests a large number but is not specific. Although Jesus did not perform many miracles in Nazareth, He apparently did perform some miracles there.

 

Because of their unbelief provides the reason Jesus did not perform a large number of miracles in Nazareth. They did not believe that He was the Messiah.

 

As a result of the people in the synagogue at Nazareth not believing in Him, they missed out on many miracles He might have done there. However, this isn’t the end of the story. If they didn’t change their minds, they also missed out on the opportunity to spend eternity in heaven.

 

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him [i.e. to Philip], I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

 

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

CONCLUSION:

 

Don’t miss out on heaven. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for your sins. He was subsequently raised from the dead, demonstrating that God had accepted His sacrifice on your behalf. Believe this and God will forgive your sins and give you eternal life and take you to heaven when you die.

 

If you reject this, you will not experience the forgiveness of your sins and you will have to pay for your own sins in the lake of fire. This would be a bad decision.

 

You have only two options: receive Jesus as your Savior or reject Him. Please consider your options carefully, and make the right choice.

 

Receiving Him eventually gets you to heaven; whereas, rejecting Him eventually gets you to hell. The choice is yours to make.

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