53Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there. 54When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? 56And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” 57So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” 58Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
Verses 53 to 58 conclude the section dealing with the initial, formal rejection of Jesus by Israel.
Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there.
When Jesus finished speaking in parables, He left the Sea of Galilee area and went southward to His hometown of Nazareth for His second visit during His public ministry.
When He had come to His own country,
Jesus’ “own country” was Nazareth.
He taught [was teaching] them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where [source] did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?
Jews in the synagogue at Nazareth puzzled over the source of Jesus’ knowledge and power to do miracles. He left them with their heads swimming.
Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James [later head of the church in Jerusalem and human author of the book of James], Joses [Joseph], Simon, and Judas [later the author of the book of Jude]?
Like a bunch of snoops, the Jews looked into Jesus’ ancestry. They found that He was merely a carpenter’s son, a common laborer. How could such a common man as Joseph produce such an extraordinary son? They stratified Jesus into the mold of their understanding.
Note that Matthew called the physical half-brothers of Jesus by name. Mary was not perpetually a virgin.
And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?”
The Jews rejected Jesus on the basis of class distinction. Jesus’ sisters were still living in Nazareth. Mary was no longer a virgin after the virgin birth. The question of the people of Nazareth was a question of authority: “Where does he get his authority,” since he was one of us?
So they were offended at Him.
The Jews in the synagogue considered themselves superior to the low-class family of Jesus. They rejected His message based on their sense of superiority.
But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor [has honor] except in his own country and in his own house.”
The snobs of the synagogue looked down their nose at Jesus. Jesus was accepted as Messiah in many places except for His hometown Capernaum, so He gave this proverbial saying about the honor of a prophet not carrying over to his home town and family. Jesus worked with his father to build houses in the Nazareth area. This limited understanding of Jesus led to their unbelief. They took offense to His claim of being the Messiah.
Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
Unbelief was prominent in Nazareth, so He did not do many miracles there. If Jesus’ family did not believe in Him, how can we expect the nation to embrace Him as Messiah? Jesus always shuts down His ministry to those with negative volition.
Familiarity breeds contempt.
Spiritual snobbery is an evil. By judging truth according to our own standards, we dislocate God’s truth, the ultimate standard for knowing God. Unbelief limits illumination of God’s Word. We can reduce the eternal, inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God to the mere dead words of men. Truth is of little value to those without faith. Faithless familiarity with the Bible can cause us to reduce it to our preconceived framework of understanding.