Jesus’ Life and Ministry
Leaving Jairus’ Home and Revisiting Nazareth
THE day has been busy for Jesus—a sea voyage from the Decapolis, healing the woman with the flow of blood, and resurrecting Jairus’ daughter. But the day is not over. Evidently as Jesus leaves the home of Jairus, two blind men follow behind, shouting: “Have mercy on us, Son of David.”
By addressing Jesus as “Son of David,” these men are hereby expressing belief that Jesus is heir to the throne of David, hence that he is the promised Messiah. Jesus, however, seemingly ignores their cries for help, perhaps to test their persistence. But the men do not give up. They follow Jesus to where he is staying, and when he enters the house, they follow him inside.
There Jesus asks: “Do you have faith that I can do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they answer confidently.
So, touching their eyes, Jesus says: “According to your faith let it happen to you.” Suddenly they can see! Jesus then sternly charges them: “See that nobody gets to know it.” But filled with gladness, they ignore Jesus’ command and talk about him all over the countryside.
Just as these men leave, people bring in a demon-possessed man whom the demon has robbed of his speech. Jesus expels the demon, and instantly the man begins to talk. The crowds marvel at these miracles, saying: “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.”
Pharisees, too, are present. They cannot deny the miracles, but in their wicked unbelief they repeat their charge as to the source of Jesus’ powerful works, saying: “It is by the ruler of the demons that he expels the demons.”
Shortly after these events, Jesus returns to his hometown of Nazareth, this time accompanied by his disciples. About a year earlier, he had visited the synagogue and taught there. Although the people at first marveled at his pleasing words, they later took offense at his teaching and tried to kill him. Now, mercifully, Jesus makes another attempt to help his former neighbors.
While in other places people flock to Jesus, here they apparently do not. So, on the Sabbath, he goes to the synagogue to teach. Most of those hearing him are astounded. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these powerful works?” they ask. “Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Where, then, did this man get all these things?”
‘Jesus is just a local man like us,’ they reason. ‘We saw him grow up, and we know his family. How can he be the Messiah?’ So despite all the evidence—his great wisdom and miracles—they reject him. Even his own relatives, because of their intimate familiarity, stumble at him, causing Jesus to conclude: “A prophet is not unhonored except in his home territory and among his relatives and in his own house.”
Indeed, Jesus wonders at their lack of faith. So he does not perform any miracles there apart from laying his hands on a few sick people and healing them. Matthew 9:27-34; 13:54-58; Mark 6:1-6; Isaiah 9:7.
◆ By addressing Jesus as “Son of David,” what do the blind men show they believe?
◆ What explanation for Jesus’ miracles have the Pharisees settled upon?
◆ Why is it merciful for Jesus to return to help those in Nazareth?
◆ What reception does Jesus receive in Nazareth, and why?
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