CAN YOU EXPLAIN MARK 6:4?
by Shawn Brasseaux
Mark 6:4 says, “But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” If we read it in context, the meaning will become clearer.
“ And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.  And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?  Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.  But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.  And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.  And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.” (You may also read the parallel, Matthew 13:54-58.)
Verse 1 says that Jesus is in “his own country” (Galilee, northern Israel). As an interesting comparison, note John 4:43-44: “Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country.” Now, back to Mark chapter 6.
On the Sabbath day, the Jewish day of worship, the Lord Jesus Christ entered the synagogue or Jewish place of worship. As He taught, the crowds were amazed to hear such wisdom. They simply could not understand from where He had received such information and power. Here, their unfamiliarity with the Old Testament Scriptures is unmistakable. Had they believed those prophecies, their own Bible, they would have been able to see that Jesus was God in human flesh, their promised King-Redeemer (cf. John 5:39-47).
Read verse 3 again. They see Him as nothing but a mere “carpenter.” “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.” As soon as the crowd mentioned that Jesus had brothers and sisters, His siblings (whomever present) were ashamed to be identified as His immediate relatives. Embarrassment had filled them and so they did not want to be associated with Him. He was considered crazy, a fraud, and they did not want to share His reputation. Indeed, the Lord’s own siblings in the flesh were unbelievers!
Verse 4 opens, “But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” These Galileans had grown so accustomed to Jesus during His childhood years and adolescence that they now could not care less about Him. You would think that they of all people—His family and acquaintances—would have accepted Him. Yet, their rejection of Him is easy to understand. When we spend a long time with someone or something, we eventually take him/her or it for granted. This is especially true if we did not value and esteem that someone or something in the first place. The same is true of Israel here. Had they had faith in their Old Testament (Bible), they would have had faith in Christ Jesus! Alas, Jesus’ acquaintances and even His own brothers and sisters were in rank unbelief. They simply could not see Him as the Saviour that He was—but they did not care to see Him for whom He was, either.
As the next two verses bear out, it was deliberate unbelief on their part: “ And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.  And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.”
The Lord Jesus was indeed true God, but He was also true Man. He showed emotion. As we would be surprised to see people remain in disbelief despite all the convincing evidence lying before them, so the Lord was amazed that His audience chose to sit in spiritual darkness when there was abounding light all around them!! He preached with great power and Divine authority, performed miracles to prove that He was Messiah, fulfilled Bible prophecy after Bible prophecy, and yet they still rejected Him. Friends, that is the spiritual madness that sin generates!!!
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