Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. (Mt 9:35)
He departed from there and came to his native place,accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! Is he not the carpenter,the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. (Mk 6:1-6)
Although the Bible documents the fact that Jesus taught in the synagogue at both Capernaum and Nazareth, the people responded to Him in two completely opposite ways. While the residents of Capernaum had great faith and believed in the Lord, the Nazoraeans had a completely different opinion of Jesus. In fact, their faith in Him was so lacking that Jesus “was amazed at their lack of faith”. Not exactly a good thing!
When we look at what happened in Nazareth, our first reaction is to question the intelligence of the people. How could they deny that Jesus was the Savior? How could anyone be so stupid? In reality, you and I make the same mistake every day. Before you disagree, ask yourself the following question. What was the big mistake made by the people of Nazareth? Simple. They had their own idea of how the Savior should act, where He should live and how He should speak. “This guy can’t be our Savior, he’s only a lowly carpenter’s son. We’ve known him since he was small. Who does he think he is?”
How many times do we put limits on the Lord? How often do we expect our prayers to be answered in a specific way and get angry when He doesn’t listen? How many times do we brush His miracles as “just a coincidence”? How about the times when we look down on others, thinking that the Jesus can’t work through “sinners”? How strong is our faith when faced with a life threatening illness or an “insurmountable” problem? How about the countless occasions when we fail to acknowledge His real presence in the Eucharist by being preoccupied and distracted at Mass?
The people of Capernaum accepted Jesus with an open mind. As a result, He performed many miracles in their town. The people of Nazareth didn’t want anything to do with Him and their wish was granted.
Where do you “live”, Capernaum or Nazareth?