"THE MARVEL OF UNBELIEF"
I. THIS IS A RECORD OF THE RECORD OF THE VISIT OF JESUS TO HIS HOME TOWN OF NAZARETH.
A. This is not to be confused with His first visit shortly after His baptism.
1. In His first visit recorded in Luke's gospel He went to the synagogue and stood up to read the scriptures. When He read to them Isaiah 61
, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor, He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and the recovering of the sight to the blind, to set a liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
2. He then sat down and declared, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your eyes." He then began to teach them, and they marveled at His gracious word's and asked, "Is this not Joseph's Son?"
3. As He continued to teach, He was so straightforward that they took Him to the cliff outside of Nazareth and were going to throw Him over the cliff, but He passed through their midst.
B. This is now the second time He returned to Nazareth, and in the mean time He had been doing what Isaiah had prophesied, He had been preaching the gospel to the poor, and healing the broken hearted. He had been preaching deliverance to the captives and had healed the blind and all manner of sicknesses. He had even raised the daughter of Jarius from the dead.
1. On this visit the disciples are with Him. This could mean more than just the twelve, but a multitude. He is returning to His home town once again, the town that had earlier rejected Him, and sought to kill Him.
2. Again on the Sabbath day He went to the Synagogue and again He read the scriptures and began to teach.
a. Mark tells us that they were astonished at His teaching and wondered how He ever learned all these things, and what mighty wisdom was given to Him. They also wondered at the works that He did.
3. Their question was, "Is not this the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses, and Jude and Simon?"
4. Note the difference between the account in Luke.
a. In Luke they asked, "Is this not the Son of Joseph?"
b. Here, "Is this not the Son of Mary."
5. This could mean one of two things.
a. Joseph had died by this time.
b. That as His fame spread throughout the country, the rumor about His mother's becoming pregnant before being married to Joseph was being passed about.
c. John tells us that when He was disputing with the Pharisee's that they said unto Him, "We were not born of fornication." They were possibly casting a slur at Jesus.
6. Jesus responded to their question, "Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary?" with the statement, "A prophet is not without honor but in His own country, and among His own family."
7. We then read that He could do no mighty works there, with the exception that He laid His hands on a few sick people to heal them.
8. It is at this point that Jesus marveled at their unbelief.
II. WHY WOULD HE MARVEL AT THEIR UNBELIEF?
A. He had done so many things to prove that He was the Messiah.
1. He had been fulfilling the prophesies concerning the Messiah.
a. Not only those that He had earlier read from Isaiah, but many others.
b. He had being doing miracles throughout Galilee, casting out demons, even raising the dead.
c. Jesus said, "The works that I do, they do testify of Me." later to His disciples He said, "Believe Me or else believe Me for My work's sake."
2. Even if the story of Mary being pregnant before being married to Joseph had spread through the little village of Nazareth, it was prophesied of the Messiah, "Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel." which means, God is with us.
3. They had marveled at His teaching, and at His works. They recognized that there was something extraordinary about Him, yet they would not believe.
B. Throughout the whole area of Galilee He was met with throngs of people desiring to be healed, or just to touch Him. He was received gladly by the multitudes. Here in His home town their seemed to be such apathy toward Him, it caused Him to marvel at their unbelief.
III. WHY THEIR UNBELIEF?
A. They were very mistaken when they thought they knew Him. They only possessed a head knowledge of Him.
1. They knew a few facts about Him. He was the Son of Mary, brother of James and the others.
2. They had probably brought their yokes to Him to be repaired, or maybe ordered yokes or plows from His shop. Perhaps they had bought a table or chairs from Him.
3. They had been close to Him, they had commerce with Him, they had touched Him as a child and a young man.
B. There was much about Him they did not know. Their unbelief was based upon insufficient knowledge of Him.
1. There are many people today in unbelief because they think they know Jesus.
2. They have formed their opinions upon the remarks or statements of others. They have never searched for themselves.
3. The claims of Jesus are so radical, and the consequences of not believing are so great, that you would be wise to examine all the evidence personally before forming an opinion. Jesus said, "He that believeth on Me shall be saved, and He that believeth not shall be damned."
a. Eternal life or eternal damnation is at stake.
b. With the stakes so high, you should make more than just a cursory examination of the facts.
c. Jesus had challenged them to search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life, but they a they which testify of Me.
d. Paul the apostle thought he knew Him, all he knew was the lies that were told to him about Jesus. On the road to Damascus, he came to know Jesus, and it turned his life around.
e. What do you know about Jesus? Where did you learn it? Have you ever read the gospel of John, and asked the Lord that if He were real that He would reveal Himself to you as you read it?
f. How can you be so foolish to reject something that you don't really know or understand at all.
g. It is really a sign of ignorance to be so opinionated about something that you really know nothing at all about.
C. The marvel of their unbelief is not as great as the marvel of your unbelief.
IV. The results of their unbelief.
A. He could do no might works there.
1. Does this mean that their unbelief restricted His power to do miracles? I hardly think so.
2. Does it then mean that He just decided to reject them because they had rejected Him. Sort of a retaliation thing. I don't believe so.
3. I believe that the unbelief kept people from coming to Him.
B. Think of all the benefits they could have received if they had only come to Him.
1. Their lame could be walking, their blind seeing. Those who were possessed with evil spirits could have been delivered.
2. They could have known the love, joy, and peace of the kingdom of God.
C. Remember as He wept over Jerusalem, He said,
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, [thou] that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under [her] wings, and ye would not!
1. The reluctance or unwillingness was not on His part, it was they who would not.
2. Your unbelief can keep you from coming to Him, and thus miss all of the blessings and benefits that He desires to bestow upon your life.