Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 2 Study # 9
September 24, 2006
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?
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.
1901 ASV Translation:
22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the words of grace which proceeded out of his mouth: and they said, Is not this Joseph's son?
23 And he said unto them, Doubtless ye will say unto me this parable, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done at Capernaum, do also here in thine own country.
24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is acceptable in his own country.
- I. The Response of Those in Nazareth.
- A. Jesus' response to this response indicates that we ought not to consider their response to be "positive" in any sense.
- B. The reference to "giving witness to Him".
- 1. The word indicates a certain clarity of observation (recall 4:19's "the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened upon Him") that would enable the observers to "bear witness" in the sense of "giving evidence".
- a. John is the Gospel of Witness in that the word is used 31 times by John.
- b. Luke, by contrast, uses the word in his Gospel only twice.
- 2. There is no possibility that what He said was misrepresented.
- C. The reference to their "wondering".
- 1. Luke refers to this reaction 13 times in his Gospel. His meaning typically consists of a lack of understanding.
- 2. It would have been remarkable if those in the synagogue had understood, given the state of legal theology that had strangled Israel by this time in history.
- a. The focus of their lack of understanding was upon what Luke calls "the words of the grace which were proceeding out of His mouth."
- b. Grace was not a major "T"heological thesis in the minds and hearts of the people in Israel by and large. In fact, the very idea of "grace" as it develops from the naming of John to the details of the epistles of the New Testament, was considered to be a heresy not to be tolerated. Even those who assembled for the naming ceremony for "John" were inexcusably rude in their opposition to giving him that name.
- c. There are "reasons" for the human agression against "grace", the chiefest of them being; 1) the elimination of human merit and boasting, and 2) the removal of "control" from the human abusers of righteousness. Every person who wants the "control" over his life and its consequences is horrified by "grace" and everyone who seeks to be "better than others" is also horrified by it.
- D. The reference to Jesus' "supposed" identity.
- 1. Even at the sub-awareness level, human beings are significantly skilled at recognizing a threat to their "boasting" and "controlling" commitments.
- 2. The "fall-back" to Jesus as the "son of Joseph" was nothing more or less than the deliberate, "Let's put whatever He says on the shelf where those things go which we do not have to heed."