Mark 6:3
Isn't this the carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren't His sisters here with us as well?" And they took offense at Him.
Christ At HomeE. Johnson, M. A.Mark 6:1-6
Christ At HomeE. Johnson Mark 6:1-6
Christ's Return to NazarethDe W. S. Clark.Mark 6:1-6
Detracting from the Divine Greatness of ChristA. F. Muir, M. A.Mark 6:1-6
Jesus Re-Visits NazarethJ. C. Gray.Mark 6:1-6
Jesus Visiting His Own CountryA. F. Muir, M. A.Mark 6:1-6
Jesus Visiting His Own CountryA.F. Muir Mark 6:1-6
Rejection of ChristA. Rowland, LL. B.Mark 6:1-6
The Carpenter; Or, the Dignity of Honest LabourR. Green Mark 6:1-6
The Refection At NazarethJ.J. Given Mark 6:1-6
Unbelief At NazarethJ. R. Thomson, M A.Mark 6:1-6
Detracting from the Divine Greatness of ChristA.F. Muir Mark 6:2, 3
Jesus, the Rejected TeacherA. Rowland Mark 6:2, 3
The Twofold Wonder Awakened by the GospelA.F. Muir Mark 6:2, 6
Jealousy of Greatness in NeighboursJ. Morison, D. D.Mark 6:3-4
Jesus an OffenceJ. Morison, D. D.Mark 6:3-4
Jesus Came from Amongst the Labouring ClassesHausrath.Mark 6:3-4
Jesus Christ, the CarpenterW. F. Adeney, M. A.Mark 6:3-4
Jesus in the WorkshopJ. Johnston.Mark 6:3-4
Manual Work RedeemedJ. Johnston.Mark 6:3-4
Offended At the Carpenter's SonMark 6:3-4
Self-Respect Vital to ReligionR. Glover.Mark 6:3-4
The Dignity of Honest LabourR. Green.Mark 6:3-4
The Divine CarpenterC. M. Jones.Mark 6:3-4
The Model ArtisanA. G. Churchill.Mark 6:3-4
The Royal ShipwrightJ. Johnston.Mark 6:3-4
The Village Carpenter in Our Lord's Time Held the Position of the Modern Village BlacksmithT. M. Lindsay, D. D.Mark 6:3-4
Useful Reflections on Christ's Working as a CarpenterJ. Orton.Mark 6:3-4
Value of Industrial EmploymentsJ. Morison, D. D.Mark 6:3-4
Work the Law of LifeJ. Johnston.Mark 6:3-4
They Were Offended in HimA. Rowland Mark 6:3-5

Whether the narratives of the three synoptic evangelists refer to one visit to Nazareth or to two visits, is a question which has been eagerly discussed. Give suggestions for the settlement of the dispute. Possibly such discrepancies were allowed to exist that we might care less for the material, and more for the spiritual element in the Gospels; that we might concern ourselves less with external incidents in the life of Jesus, and more with the Christ who liveth for evermore. Those who rejected our Lord at Nazareth have their followers in the present day, who are influenced by similar motives. let us discover the reasons and the results of their conduct.

I. INDIFFERENCE TO CHRIST SOMETIMES ARISES FROM FAMILIARITY WITH HIS SURROUNDINGS. The inhabitants of an Alpine village live for years under the shadow of a snow-clad mountain, or within hearing of a splendid fall which comes foaming down its rocky bed; but they do not turn aside for a moment to glance at that which we have come many miles to see. This indifference, bred of familiarity, characterized the Nazarenes. They had known the great Teacher as a child, and had watched his growth to manhood. He did not come upon them out of obscurity, as a startling phenomenon demanding attention; but they knew the education he had received, the teachers at whose feet he had been sitting, the ordinary work he had done, etc. Jesus himself acknowledged the influence of this, when he said, "A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house." We warn our hearers against similar peril; for there are many who have known their Bibles from childhood, who remember the old pictures which at first aroused some interest in it, who have attended public worship for years, and yet their lives are prayerless, and it may be said of them, "God is not in all their thoughts." Beware of that familiarity with sacred things which will deaden spiritual sensibility. Most of all, let us who think and speak and work for Christ pray that our hearts may ever be filled with light and love, and may be kept strong in spiritual power.

II. CONTEMPT FOR CHRIST SOMETIMES SPRINGS FROM ASSOCIATION WITH HIS FRIENDS "Is not this... the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us?" Possibly there was nothing known about them which was in antagonism to the truth and purity Jesus proclaimed, but as there was nothing wonderful about them, it was the more difficult to believe there was anything Divine about him. Far more reasonably, however, does the world misjudge our Lord because of what is seen in us. Earthly, ordinary, and spiritually feeble as we are, we nevertheless represent him. He speaks of truth, and is "the Truth," yet sometimes the world asks concerning his disciples, "Where is their sincerity and transparency?" We profess to uphold righteousness, yet in business, and politics, and home-life we sometimes swerve from our integrity. let there be but living witnesses in the world such as by God's grace we might become, and through whom there should be the outgoings of spiritual power, and then society would be shaken to its very foundations. When the rulers saw the boldness of Peter and John - the moral change wrought in these Galilean peasants - "they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus;" and "seeing the man who had been cured" standing beside them, as the result of their work, "they could say nothing against it."

III. THE REJECTION OF CHRIST BRINGS ABOUT A WITHDRAWAL OF HIS INFLUENCE. "He could there do no mighty work." He could not. His power was omnipotent, but it conditioned itself, as infinite power always does in this world; and by this limitation it was not lessened, but was glorified as moral and spiritual power. In Nazareth there was an absence of the ethical condition, on the existence of which miracles depended - an absence, namely, of that faith which has its root in sincerity. If we have that, all else is simplified; if we have it not, we bind the hands of the Redeemer, who cannot do his mighty work, of giving us pardon and peace, because of our unbelief. Christ marvels at it. He does not wish to leave us, but he must; and old impressions become feebler, the once sensitive heart becomes duller, and we become "hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." "To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." Nevertheless, he leaves not himself without a witness. If he must quit Nazareth, he will go "round about the villages teaching," encircling the town with the revelations of power which it will not receive into its midst. And though he "can do no mighty work" such as Capernaum had seen, he will lovingly "lay his hands upon a few sick folk," who in an unbelieving city have faith to be healed. "Thou despisest not the sighing of a contrite heart, nor the desire of such as be sorrowful." - A.R.

Is not this the carpenter?

1. The objection was natural. He had grown up among them. They had become familiar with His ways.

2. Yet it was wrong and unreasonable. Their intimacy with Him ought to have opened their eyes to His unique character.

3. The objection they raise against His claims tells really in His favour. They find no fault in His character; they can only complain of His trade. High, unconscious tribute to His excellence.


1. It is a sign of Christ's humility.

2. It is a proof that He went through the experience of practical life. Christ knows good work, for He looks at it with a workman's eye.

3. He found the school for His spiritual training in His practical work.

4. This sheds a glory over the life of manual industry.

5. This should attract working men to Christ.

(W. F. Adeney, M. A.)

If labour was first imposed as a curse, it is turned truly into a blessing by this example of Him who thus wrought. The occupancy of a sphere of lowly industry by Christ, henceforth consecrates it as —


1. Profitable

2. Healthful.

3. Saves from bad effects of indolence.

4. A source of pure and useful enjoyment.


1. Nothing degrading in it.

2. Deserves and commands fair remuneration.

3. Preserves a man's independence.

III. A WORTHY SERVICE TO OTHERS. The products of industrial toil, especially of handicraft, are serviceable in the highest degree. Without them the comfort of large communities must be greatly impaired. He, therefore, who works with his hands the thing that is good, is a useful and honourable servant of his race.

1. In the lowliest spheres, the loftiest powers are not necessarily degraded.

2. In those spheres the holiest sentiments may be cherished, and the holiest character remain untarnished.

3. Whilst in them the humblest labourer may know that his toil is honoured, for it was shared by his Lord.

(R. Green.)

The word carpenter was given as an alternative translation by Wycliffe, and has descended into all the succeeding English versions; Wycliffe's primary translation was smith, the word that was used in the Anglo-Saxon version. It had in Anglo-Saxon a generic meaning, equivalent to artificer. A worker in iron was called in Anglo-Saxon iren-smith. A smith is one who smites: a carpenter is one who makes cars. The word carpenter, therefore, must be a much later coinage than the word smith. The original Greek term (τέκτων) means primarily a producer; the word wright very nearly corresponds to it, as being closely connected with wrought or worked. It just means worker, and occurs in Anglo-Saxon in the two forms wryhta and wyrhta. This is the only passage in which it is stated that our Lord worked at a handicraft. It is a different expression that is found in Matthew 13:53, "Is not this the carpenter's son?" There is no contradiction, however, between the two representations; both might be coincidently employed, and no doubt were, when the Nazarenes were freely and frettingly canvassing the merits of their wonderful townsman. Our Lord would not be trained to idleness; it was contrary to Jewish habits, and to the teaching of the best Jewish rabbis. It would have been inconsistent moreover with the principles of true civilization, and with the ideal of normal human development. It is no evidence of high civilization, either to lay an arrest on full physical development on the one hand, or on the other to encourage only those modes of muscular and nervous activity which are dissociated from useful working and manufacturing skill. Society will never be right until all classes be industrious and industrial: the higher orders must return to take part in the employments of the lower; the lower must rise up to take part in the enjoyments of the higher.

(J. Morison, D. D.)

Almost all agricultural instruments — ploughs, harrows, yokes, etc. — were made of wood. His workshop was the centre of the village life.

(T. M. Lindsay, D. D.)

That Jesus did in fact spring from the labouring class of the population, is confirmed by the language of His discourses and parables, which everywhere refer to the antecedents and relations of the ordinary workman's life, and betray a knowledge of it which no one could have gained merely by observation, He was at home in those poor, windowless, Syrian hovels in which the housewife had to light a candle in the daytime to seek for her lost piece of silver. He was acquainted with the secrets of the bake house, of the gardener, and the builder, and with things which the upper classes never see — as "the good measure pressed down and shaken together running over" of the corn chandler; the rotten, leaking wine skin of the wine dealer; the patchwork of the peasant woman; the brutal manners of the upper servants to the lower, — these and a hundred other features of a similar kind are interwoven by Him into His parables. Reminiscences even of His more special handicraft have been found, it is believed, in His sayings. The parable of the splinter and the beam is said to recall the carpenter's shop, the uneven foundations of the houses, the building yard, the cubit which is added, the workshop, and the distinction in the appearance of the green and dry wood, the drying shed.


They could not believe in any Divine inspiration reaching such as themselves, and therefore resented it in Christ as an unjustifiable pretension of superiority. They had no proper faith in themselves, so had no proper faith in God. Self-respect is vital to religion. They believed in a God in a kind of way, but not in a God who touched their neighbourhood or entered into close dealings with Nazarenes. They were not on the outlook for the beautiful and the divine in the lives of men. No Nazarene Wordsworth had shown them the glory of common life, the beauty and divinity that exist wherever human life will welcome it.

(R. Glover.)

These words reveal to us —


1. That he sympathised with the humblest sons of men.

2. That social rank is no criterion of personal worth.

3. That moral and spiritual excellence should be honoured in whomsoever found.


1. That honourable industry and holy living may co-exist.

2. That mental development and physical toil may be associated.CONCLUSION: Observe —

(a)That labour is essential, not only to existence, but to happiness.

(b)That the greater our industry the fewer our temptations.

(c)That Christ waits to sanctify the duties of life to our spiritual interest.

(A. G. Churchill.)

The Divine Carpenter applies the language of His earthly trade to the spiritual things He has created.

1. He has built a Church.

2. He has founded the resurrection — "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."

3. He has established His divinity — "The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner."

4. He has prepared our eternal home — "In My Father's house," etc.

5. He has urged earnest heed to our building.

(C. M. Jones.)

I. WE SEE HIM HERE BEARING THE CURSE OF THE FALL. — "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread," etc.



(J. Johnston.)

From that tiny fly thus at work all day over your head, to the huge hippopotamus of the Nile, that seems to spend its lifetime half asleep, all have to work. But emphatically is this true of man. The wild Indian huntsman, as he plunges over the prairie armed with tomahawk or rifle, in pursuit of the thundering buffalo; the Bosjesman, in the impenetrable thickets of Africa, as he digs with hardened, horny fingers for the roots on which he lives; the amphibious South Sea Islander, as he wages perilous warfare with the monsters of the ocean; the fur-clad Esquimaux, as he tracks the bear or seal of the icy north; as well as the semi-civilized myriads of Asia, or the more advanced peoples of Europe — all find this world is a workshop, and they must toil to live. And the exceptions to this rule are fewer than at first sight we are apt to suppose. It is not only the artisan who has to work, but also the merchant amongst his wares, the author amongst his books, the statesman with the affairs of the nation, and the sovereign upon his throne. Whether impelled by the necessities of mere existence, or by the necessities of position and spirit, it may be said of all — "Men must work." Our Lord, therefore, came near unto us when He entered the workshop. But as the great majority must gain their daily bread by manual labour, He entered even into that condition as the village carpenter of Nazareth. Had He been born in a palace and to a throne, or even into the estate of a wealthy merchant, He would have been separated, not in His feeling, but in theirs, by a great gulf from the great majority of men.

(J. Johnston.)

See how our whole life is redeemed, so that it may all be lived unto God and for eternity, and none of it be lost. He entered the kingdom of toil and subdued it to Himself for our salvation, so that toil is no more a curse to the Christian workman. The builder, as he lays brick on brick, may be building a heavenly temple; the carpenter, as he planes the wood, may thereby be refining his own character and that of others around him; the merchant, as he buys and sells, may be buying the pearl of great price; the statesman may be directing the affairs of an eternal kingdom; the householder may be setting her house in order for the coming of her Lord. As the blood of the sacrifice was put not only upon the ear, but upon the toe, of Aaron and his sons, so our Lord when, by entering it, He sanctified human life, sanctified its meanest and most secular things, spending His holy and Divine life mostly in the workshop. Brethren, whatever our station, we may live a holy, god-like, useful life.

(J. Johnston.)

A strange workman took his place one day amongst the shipwrights in a building yard in Amsterdam. Fit only for the rudest work, he was content at first to occupy himself with the caulking mallet, hewing of wood, or the twisting of ropes, yet displayed the keenest desire to understand and master every part of the handicraft. But what was the astonishment of his fellow workmen to see persons of the highest rank come to pay their respects to him, approaching him with every mark of regard, amid the dust and confusion of the workshop, or clambering up the rigging to have an audience with him on the maintop. For he was no less a personage than Peter the Great, founder of the Russian Empire. He came afterwards to England, and lodged amongst the workshops in Deptford. Bishop Burnet, when he visited him, said he had gone to see a mighty prince, but found a common shipwright. But the king who had invited him to visit this country understood him better. He was the ruler of an empire vaster in extent than any other in Europe, but as far behind the poorest financially as it was before it territorially. It was, in fact, in a state of absolute barbarism. Its largest ship was a fishing boat, and it was as yet destitute of almost all, even the rudest arts of civilization. The Czar, determined to elevate his people, ordered the youth of the nobility to travel in lands distinguished by wealth and power, and become qualified to take part in the regeneration of their own country, he himself showing them the example. It was thus that wonderful spectacle was seen by the astonished workmen, ambassadors waiting in state on a man in the dress and at the work of a common shipwright.

(J. Johnston.)

I. TO ILLUSTRATE THIS OBSERVABLE CIRCUMSTANCE OF OUR LORD'S LIFE. It was a maxim among the Jews, that every man should bring up his son to some mechanic trade.


1. A person's original, his business and circumstances in life, often occasion prejudices against him: against his most wise, useful, and instructive observations.

2. Such prejudices are very absurd, unreasonable, and mischievous.

3. The condescension of the Son of God in submitting to such humiliation, demands our admiration and praise.

4. The conduct of our Lord reflects an honour upon trade, and upon those who are employed in useful arts.

5. This circumstance in Christ's life furnisheth all, especially young persons, with an example of diligence and activity.

6. Persons may serve God and follow their trades at the same time.

(J. Orton.)

The word rendered offended is scandalized in the original. It is a very graphic word, but incapable of adequate translation. It presents to view a complex picture. Christ was to His kinsmen and townsmen like a scandal, or catch stick, in a trap. They did not see what He was. They hence heedlessly ran up against Him and struck on Him, to their own utter ensnarement; they were spiritually caught; they became fixed in a position in which it was most undesirable to be fixed; they were spiritually hurt, and in great danger of being spiritually destroyed. Such are the chief elements of the picture. The actual outcome of the whole complex representation may be given thus: They spiritually stumbled on Jesus. To their loss they did not accept Him for what He really was: They rejected Him as the Lord High Commissioner of heaven. They came into collision with Him, and were ensnared, by suspecting that His indisputable superiority to ordinary men in word and work was owing to some other kind of influence than what was right and from above.

(J. Morison, D. D.)

People in high station or of high birth are very often displeased if one of humbler position excels them in anything. The nobles of Scotland did not work hand in hand with Wallace, because he had not such good blood as they gloried in.

Our Lord specifies three concentric circles of persons to whom every prophet is nearly related. There is

(1)the circle of his little fatherland, or district of country, or township;

(2)the circle of his relatives or "kin;"

(3)the circle of his nearest relatives, the family to which he belongs.In each of these circles there is in general but little readiness to recognize native or nascent superiority. The principles of self-satisfaction, self-confidence, self-complacency, come in to lay a presumptive interdict upon any adjoining self rising up in eminence above the myself. The temporary advantage of age, and thus of more protracted experience, asserts to itself for a season a sort of counter-superiority; and the mere fact of proximity makes it easy to open the door for the influence of envy, an ignoble vice that takes effect chiefly in reference to those on whom one can actually look (invidia, in-vides). In the long run, indeed, real superiority, if time be granted it, will vindicate for itself its own proper place in the midst of all its concentric circles. But, in general, this will be only after victories achieved abroad have made it impossible for the people at home to remain in doubt.

(J. Morison, D. D.)

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