Jesus returned to his hometown, Nazareth, where he had grown up as a child and young man. And on the Sabbath day he went to the synagogue and taught. He spoke with such wisdom that the villagers were shocked and amazed: Where did this man get such wisdom? They were puzzled. He was a lad whom they knew too well. He could not have any extraordinary powers. To be rejected by one’s own people is a painful experience. Today’s Gospel tells us how Jesus went through such a pain. When our efforts to do good meet with scorn and rejection, it is only natural for anyone to be disappointed and pained. So was Jesus when he came to Nazareth. He did not go there for a home visit but to bring the message of Salvation to his own village people.
He was rejected not for something wrong he said or did, but because the wisdom of his words was far more than what his listeners could ever expect from the ‘carpenter’s son’ from their own neighbourhood. Not knowing the source of Jesus’ wisdom the people set out to review the known facts about him—his parents, kith and kin, the profession he may have been trained in, etc… But all these would not explain the amazing wisdom Jesus exuded. They preferred to dwell on who Jesus was rather than the message he delivered. They preferred to have with them the carpenter’s son rather than a prophet who confronted them. In short, familiarity, envy and jealousy prevented them from conceding that this son of their soil was the Messiah himself in person. So they rejected him and his message.
As a human being Jesus was certainly affected by the way people reacted to him. His ministry in his own village was a total failure. Yet with no complaint or bitterness he withdrew. How bad it was for the people of Nazareth, and how sad!