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September 6, 2020 12:01 am
When the people in Jesus' hometown did not welcome Him, Christ was astonished at their hardness of heart. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his sermon series in the gospel of Mark, summoning us to consider the state of our own hearts before the Lord.
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The people in Jesus hometown did not welcome him, in fact, they held him in contempt and Jesus was amazed that he was surprised that they were not believers. He was surprised at the depth of their callousness because with unbelief. Ladies and gentlemen comes hostility.
Those who did not believe in Christ. Soon grew to hate him. It's a sobering lesson drawn from Mark's gospel today on Renewing Your Mind to receivable Texas to Nazareth town where everyone knew Jesus tell that wants to grow into a man in the town. The utterly rejected familiarity breeds contempt.
And it's a warning we find beginning in Mark chapter 6 verse one. So far all this time that we've been spending observing the public ministry of Jesus. It has been for the most parts on or around the immediate region of the Sea of Galilee and Capernaum. Now the location for his ministry shifts as Jesus moves away from Capernaum and from Galilee and goes home he comes back to Nazareth's which is about 25 miles south west of the Sea of Galilee and of Capernaum becomes not to the city of his birth, but to the village where he grew up, which was an obscure village excavations have gone down to the base rock of Nazareth and discovered that there were many caves in those rocks and that the people of Nazareth built their village out of a rocky hillside and in the area that covered 60 acres. The whole town 60 acres less than 500 people lived there.
And of course Jesus growing up in such a small village obviously knew everyone in town you want to imagine the size of Nazareth you think of this property where our church is located is just about 6 acres so the whole town of Nazareth was only about 10 times larger than our church property. Jesus made the journey.
His disciples went with him and we read in verse two.
The when the Sabbath had come.
He began to teach in the synagogue and many of the people were astonished.
That's another word that reaches the very top of the frequency list of Greek words that are found in the New Testament because everywhere, Jesus goes according to the writers of the gospel is teaching his power, his miracles provoke a response of astonishment style Maasai there amazed at the wisdom of Jesus at the power of Jesus.
But there's a little twist of this astonishment that occurs here in Nazareth as well as astonishment that is experienced by Jesus himself was surprised these people was that Jesus of Nazareth was going into the synagogue and teaching like a rabbi, and with him were these students who followed him everywhere he went. They knew Jesus. They knew he didn't go to seminary.
They know he didn't go to the University they know he didn't study under the great rabbis of the day. So for all intents and purposes, they knew that Jesus was not even qualified to be a teacher and to be a rabbi and selecting the credentials they were first of all, shocked that he would even enter into the synagogue and begin teaching their then I listen and now they were astonished again if they couldn't get over his wisdom and profundity in what he was teaching. They didn't understand that this was the word of God incarnate himself, who was teaching didn't need a degree from Valeo to be an expert in theology. There also amazed about the reports of the deeds that had been performed by Jesus. And so they asked this question, is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James Josie's Judas and Simon are not his sisters here with us. So, were they were offended at him. There's a lot in this question. Let's talk first about the first part of the question is this not the carpenter that is a is this not the son of the carpenter, Joseph, but they knew Jesus as a carpenter and the Greek word here Textron means carpenter or stone mason or somebody that is involved in the craft of building is very possible that instead of a carpenter that works with wood. Jesus was more like a stonemason but in all probability he worked both with wood and was stone as as builders in this day were people who would make yoke for oxen and cabinets, and all of that sort of thing and I carpenter or Textron you get the word architect. From this, which simply means chief builder will. Jesus is known as that lad that grew up there in this village and worked as a builder now in the ancient world builders did not have a lot of prestige. They were not high on the wrong of status. They were considered menial laborers and so they look the Jesus that what's he doing a carpenter teaching in the synagogue. Now there's another little nuance here that I don't want to pass over too quickly. When Jesus was a young man, Herod Antipas who after Herod the great died inherited a portion of the kingdom of Herod the great, and he became the ruler of the fourth. He became the tetrarch of Galilee and he wanted to build a city where his palace would be Houston would be the capital, the regional capital of Galilee and so he built this city just 4 miles north of Nazareth and the historians tell us that he hired craftsman and laborers from all around the district to help him build his capital city is just possible that among those who were hired by Herod and Bruce included Joseph and Jesus. We don't know that for sure, but is coming pretty close. Just 4 miles away. If artisans from the region were hired and certainly Jesus and Joseph were included in that group of artisans than is possible that they participated in this as well. But notice something strange isn't this the carpenter, the son of Mary.
Now these questions are questions that strongly suggest ridicule and we know that legally speaking among the Jews, Jesus was the son of Joseph. So why did they say is neither carpenter, the son of Mary, not because they were enamored by the virgin mother.
This was in some thinly veiled testimony to the virgin birth or trying to exalt the status of the mother. No, it almost every single case, the Jews would always name men and according to the relationship with her father not to the mother even if Joseph is dead by now. The customer would still be to call Jesus the son of Joseph, is that they: the son of Mary, the best guess we have for that. Is this that they still believed the Jesus was the illegitimate son and that Mary had this baby out of wedlock. Isn't he that carpenter who was the son of that woman. We know that family is the brother of James Josie's Judas and Simon are not his sisters with us now.
Some people jump through hoops for those who believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary argue that these brothers and sisters must've been children of Joseph by a previous marriage. No such import anywhere in history that would indicate that or that they were cousins, arguing that the Greek word for brothers and sisters can be translated cousins not normally there's a specific word for cousin in the Greek language you have to have a theological bias to try to force that the text is clear. Jesus had brothers and sisters and was so amazing about the testimony of the New Testament is that his brothers and sisters were unbelievers.
James we know later became a believer after the resurrection, he became the leader of the church there in Jerusalem and the author of the book of James that we have in the New Testament, but at this period in time when Jesus comes. The Nazareth not only are the townspeople unbelievers, but is brothers and sisters or unbelief, probably by now.
Joseph is dead. The only believer in Jesus household was his mother.
So the townspeople come loose in the Gunnison who is this guy carpenter illegitimate son of Mary, we know his family, we know is brothers we know his sisters so they were offended at him. The Greek, there is the word's gone the lips of my.
It's a form of that verb from which the noun is gondola which comes right over to the English language as the word scandal.
These people were scandalized by Jesus. They were profoundly offended. They did not want any identification with them because he embarrassed them in. He ashamed them with stop for a second. This Christ serves as a scandal on for you.
Be embarrassed by US Secret Service Christian. We don't want anybody to know your real identity because spring identified with him is an embarrassment is shameful scandal the word scandal on was also used for the concept of that building stone that was rejected interesting is that when builders went out and selected stones to be used in the construction of building. They examined the quality of the stones, the strength of the stone, just as Michelangelo used to go to the quarries in Italy. The choose the very best marble for his statutes. Sometimes he would find flaws, cracks, even Carrara marble. He rejected so the ancient world when the builder would go out and try to choose the materials for his construction if he found flaws or cracks in the stone he would reject them deny the New Testament makes much of this in the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy of the Messiah that the stone which the builders rejected became the chief cornerstone of the building of God in that building image. Remember it's the prophets and the apostles were called the foundation for the church and there's no other foundation that can be laid except that one which is laid in Christ Jesus, but Jesus himself is not the foundation is the cornerstone, but as the cornerstone is the scandal is the disgraced one.
He's the one who was a shame that was rejected by his own people by his family by the town's by the nation of Israel, the one whom God appointed to be the cornerstone of his building was considered flawed, repulsive by his contemporaries the same word here that is used in the text to describe the revulsion that the people of Nazareth felt with respect. Jesus knew what was going on, and so he said to them, borrowing in ancient Semitic adage a profit is not without honor except in his own country except among his own relatives except in his own house. I can imagine what this was like for Jesus going on.
I know it's been like for me when I got home, back to my hometown and I see the people I grew up with.
They can't believe that I'm a minister and I can't wait to say we know you when how in the world did you ever become a minister of 54 who ordained you would inquire about. You wouldn't have a chance to be ordained to the Mr. I know what that's like. This past week I was in Louisville and while I was there.
I remember years ago how Mohammed Al Lee was first named caches Clay and he used to give these outrageous poems in which he would predict the outcome in the round of his next victory when he was caches Clay saying I am the greatest, and because of his braggadocio.
He was nicknamed by sports journalists. The Louisville lip and so that was not a very good reflection on the town of Louisville.
Many, many years ago before will have it all, he became the heavyweight champion of the world but I couldn't get over when I came in the Louisville and I Saw Mohammed Ali Ave., Mohammed Ali Center, Mohammed Ali building now. The whole town gives honor to Mohammed Ali. But there was a time when he was an embarrassment to them.
There's a reason why this ancient adage emerged in the war of the people that every prophets experience the same thing in Jesus as a prophet is never without on except in his own country except in his own family except in his own house. Now he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands and a few sick people and healed them.
Let us unpack that for just a second. It wasn't because suddenly when Jesus went to mass receive lost all his power and that healing of the woman with the hemorrhage than the power went out of him and it didn't come back. It's not like that. But Jesus suddenly became incapable of manifesting this miraculous power that was so characteristic of his ministry, but rather the circumstances by which God the Holy Spirit would unleash that power were not available as a judgment of God on this town of Nazareth that God withholds his power for the most part from this stiffnecked people who held Jesus in contempt and now we're told that Jesus is a mace that Jesus is astonished at what at the unbelief of these people know that's really strange to me that Jesus would be surprised by unbelief because he had to deal with it every day of his life, but it's not that he was surprised that they were not believers.
He was surprised at the depth of their callousness because with unbelief. Ladies and gentlemen comes hostility. Those who did not believe in Christ.
Soon grew to hate him and I asked you this question. Why didn't they believe what they believe in Jesus because I saw him working with the saints because I knew his mother, because I knew his brothers and sisters because I know it and study under a well-known rabbi now. You know, I didn't believe in Jesus the same reason. Your next-door neighbor doesn't believe in Jesus then believe in Jesus because God the Holy Spirit had not invaded their hearts and open their eyes and regenerated their souls, unless God the Holy Spirit opens the ice opens the hearts of sinful human flesh. No one will truly come to him before the Holy Ghost. Open your eyes and invaded your hearts. Jesus was a stumbling block to you. You rejected him as strongly as these people from Nasser's and we are surrounded out there in this world by people who want nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus. Ironic times of heard people say to me, a preacher, I don't need Jesus. I don't need Jesus. I can't think of any more fully statement a human being could ever make than to assess their circumstances, to that degree and say I need this I need that I need this.
I want this on the one thing I don't need is Jesus there probably people sitting in this room right now who have said that, and perhaps are still saying that they been dragged to church this morning by their spouse or for some other reason they're here, but their hearts are still far from him. I say to you, there is nothing on this earth, you need more desperately than Jesus because we don't have Jesus, you have no hope in this life or in the world to come. Let me say it again if you don't have Jesus, you have no hope you're in a hopeless condition and frankly my heart breaks for you if you don't have Jesus. If the name of Jesus is something that embarrasses you makes you ashamed you will be numbered among those people. That's the way people are, they want to distance themselves as far as they can from any identification with Christ or with any identification with anybody whose name is not in high regard.
There's a great danger here folks.
These people had the Lord of glory in their midst. During his childhood.
They had for Atoka's the mother of the one who was God incarnate in their midst.
For over three decades and all they saw was the offense.
So ask you this morning.
What is it about Jesus that offends you, what is it about God that offends you, the great danger dearly love it is that God is offended by you and the Christ will be offended by all who trip over the scandal on the scandal of Christ will have his offense was learned from these people entered forces to ask a couple questions. Is there something in Scripture. I disagree with. Have I stubbornly refused to submit to something that Christ taught. May it never be so such an important message today from Dr. RC Sproul from his sermon series in the Gospel of Mark.
Glad you joined us for the Lord's day addition of Renewing Your Mind. This verse by verse study reminds us of Christ's work of both while he was here on earth but also of the work that needs to be done in each of us. We hope our resource offer today will help you in your further study its RC's commentary on Mark's gospel. It's nearly 400 pages and to provide you with RC's insight into every passage you can go online and make your request for this commentary with your gift of any amount to look at your ministries. You can find us at Renewing Your Mind.Ward we are privileged to bring you Dr. Sproles teaching every Sunday here on the program in another way for you to listen is through rough net that's our Internet outreach featuring teaching and preaching from a reformed perspective. You'll hear men like Dr. John Gerstner, who was RC's mentor many years ago along with Alastair begged John MacArthur and are looking your ministries teaching fellows. We invite you to download the free rough net app or listen on your computer by going to rough net.FM, Jesus sent out his disciples 2 x 2. He gave them authority over unclean spirits. He also told them not to take any money will learn the details as we continue doctors groceries next Sunday here on Renewing Your Mind