Blog Devotionals

Why Jesus’ Hometown Rejected Him

April 29, 2024 | Sam Rainer

Matthew 13 closes with Jesus teaching more parables, and the people now must decide what they believe about Jesus. His own people are beginning to reject Him, even as more Gentiles become curious and accepting of His message. At the end of Matthew 13, Jesus returns to His hometown, Nazareth.

He teaches in the synagogue, and everyone is “amazed.” Then, some people question Jesus: “Where does He get this ability? He’s the carpenter’s son! We know His mom and His brothers and sisters. He doesn’t have formal training. Where did He learn these things?!”

At this point in His ministry, Jesus is a widely known rabbi with a large following. When He returns to His one-stoplight town, the people “scoffed” at Him and “were deeply offended and refused to believe him.” It’s a big letdown, for sure. Crowds of people were responding in faith to Jesus. But His family and friends quickly rejected Him for the simple reason they knew Him. Remember, most of Jesus’ family did not believe Him until after the resurrection.

The language in Matthew’s account implies they “refused to believe.” We’ll discuss this part of the story more on Sunday. But the cliché is true. Familiarity breeds contempt. For example, some young people will reject their hometown because it’s all they know, often without enough life experience to make a proper comparison to anywhere else. Maybe someone has good reasons to reject a town, a family member, or a church. Perhaps rejection is derived from a place of pain for them. It’s understandable.

But consider this truth. Jesus was rejected so that you may know God’s acceptance. Don’t let anything extinguish your love for Jesus. In response to rejection, Jesus did not perform many miracles in his hometown of Nazareth. Does unbelief drain Jesus of His power? No. He acted not from a place of limited power but rather from a place of principle. We have a lot to unpack about this passage on Sunday. See you then!