Plain Ole Jesus – Mark 6:1-6 (pt. 2)

I. A Response of Unbelief (vv. 2-3)

a. The people respond with their mouths to Jesus

In verse 2 Mark tells us that “on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue….”  This was not all that amazing since it was standard procedure to invite a visiting Rabbi to speak in the synagogue.   However, this is where things started to go bad the last time that Jesus was in Nazareth.  As Mark tells us, things were not very different this time around.  In response to Jesus’ teaching “many who heard him were astonished. First Mark tells us that they were astonished at Jesus’ teaching.  You might say that their mouths were hanging open as Jesus talked.  This could be a good thing or a bad thing.  Their mouths could have been open because they were amazed and really impressed with Jesus.  Or, their mouth could have been open because they were amazed and they couldn’t believe that this guy was serious.  Unfortunately, the latter is true in this case.

When the people finally collected themselves and began to speak it was clear that they were absolutely shocked that Jesus was claiming to have any kind of authority over them.

Mark tells us that they were saying ‘Where did this man get these things?  What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?  And are not his sisters here with us?’”  In these two verses the people respond to Jesus with their mouths.  We can’t be certain about this, but it may have even been the case that the people interrupted Jesus message and would not even allow him to finish.  Whatever the case may be, the words coming out of their mouths reveal that they were not pleased with Jesus’ teaching.

One of the ways that the people voiced their displeasure with Jesus was by questioning Jesus’ public ministry:


1.  “Where did this man get these things?”

-the “things” is the content of Jesus teaching

-he was not schooled like the other rabbis

-his teaching was new and authoritative

-He was “messing” with their religious system with things like forgiveness and grace (cf. 2:7-17)


2. “What is the wisdom given to him?”

-this question is very similar in its goal to the last question

-essentially the people are calling into question his authority

-they refused to recognize God as the source of his wisdom, they wanted to know another human teacher that could give him credibility


3. “How are such mighty works done by his hands?”

-they had to acknowledge to miracles because everyone had seen it firsthand

-they still refused to acknowledge God as the source of his power and authority

-they may have even been implying demonic power (cf. 3:22)


These people called Jesus’ public ministry into question, but to be honest with you there was not much room for criticism.  His healings could not be disputed, and no one knew the Scripture better than He did.  So, the people turned to what they knew about Jesus to criticize Him.  Specifically, they turned to his family history to discredit him:


1. “Is not this the carpenter?”

-a carpenter was like a handy man

-he was not a Rabbi who a received official schooling

-this was another attempt to discredit Jesus’ teaching


2. “…the son of Mary…”

-it is interesting that they didn’t say son of Joseph

-it is pretty certain that Joseph was dead at this point, however the normal protocol would have still been to mention his name

-it is probably meant to be a slam on Jesus referring back to his “pre-marital” conception

-in other words, “this guy is an illegitimate child, he can’t be a teacher!”


3. “…brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?  And are not his sisters here with us?”

-these were the half siblings of Jesus, the children of Mary by Joseph

-the point is that Jesus was no better than his siblings

-“he is nothing special; why should we listen to him?”


As we look at how the people responded with their mouths it is safe to assume that they were jealous of Jesus public notoriety.  Furthermore, it is clear that they rejected the authority that he claimed to possess.