Matt 13:51-58 Jesus’ Reputation at Home CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Before Jesus departed to his own country and after he had finished teaching these parables, he asked the disciples if they understood all that he had taught them. When they answered, he told them they were scribes instructed unto the kingdom of heaven. In the first part of this lesson, notice the disciples’ understanding and their stewardship. In the second part, we’ll study Jesus reputation and see how Jesus was received in his own country.
The Disciples’ Understanding – v.51 – the disciples said they understood all these things. For that to be true the parables would have been revealed to them, because there was no other way they could have gotten them – Lk 10:21; Lk 24:44-45. It is amazing how easily they caught on to some things [Matt 17:13] and how slowly they caught on at other times [Matt 16:6-12].
The Disciples’ Stewardship – v.52 – since the disciples had been given these things, they were responsible to preach things new and old. That is they were to preach Old Testament and New Testament doctrines. For instance, Jesus used the Old Testament to show the men on the road to Emmaus and his disciples that he was the resurrected Savior [Lk 24:27, 44]. Paul referred to the Old Testament many times while writing his portions of the New Testament. For instance, in presenting New Testament salvation in Rom 10:9-10, Paul demonstrated the gospel of faith by quoting the Old Testament [compare Rom 10:6-8 with Deut 30:12-14].
After these two verses, Jesus departed and went to his own country (v. 53-54) which was Capernaum [Matt 4:12-13]. From his visit there we learn about several things.
Jesus’ Wisdom and Mighty Works – v.54 – he got these from God and other men recognized that [Jn 3:2; Jn 9:29-33]. As a matter of fact he learned wisdom directly from the Lord [Is 50:4-5, see v.6 for the context].
Jesus’ Family – v.55-56 – Jesus had literal brothers and sisters. The brothers are named here. Some have suggested, since they believe in Mary’s perpetual virginity, that these are cousins, not brothers. The bible does use the word brother sometimes in reference to a relative who is not a sibling. However, by cross referencing Jn 2:13-17 with Ps 69:8-9, we find that these brothers and sisters are his “mother’s children.” So, Mary was not a perpetual virgin and these brothers and sisters are Jesus’ siblings.
Jesus’ Reputation – v.57 – what Jesus said about prophets is true. They may be honored in some places, but they are not honored at home. The people in Capernaum were offended by him. They could tell that he performed mighty works that only God could do but they knew he was a “man.” The Pharisees concluded therefore that this had to be the work of the devil [Mk 3:22].
Jeremiah and Elijah are good examples of prophets who were evil entreated by their home folks. Jeremiah was thrown into a miry pit, a dungeon, a prison and a prison courtyard. Elijah was called by his king, “O mine enemy,” [1 Ki 21:20].
Jesus’ Results – v. 58 – Because of their unbelief, Jesus could not do many mighty works. The Charismatics would have us believe that Jesus could not do mighty works [like healing] because their lack of faith was holding him back. But that’s not the case. For one thing, he healed some folks there [Mk 6:5-6]. And for another thing, the reason that only a few were healed is that they weren’t bringing the sick folks to him to be healed [compare Mk 1:41-45]. If they had believed him, they would have been bringing multitudes to him and he would have healed them all [Matt 12:15].