Sermon #22                                                               Series: Mark


          Title:           “IS NOT THIS THE CARPENTER?”

          Text:           Mark 6:1-6

          Readings:  Office: Merle Hart      Auditorium: Bobbie Estes

          Subject:     Our Lord’s Ministry at Nazareth

Date:          Sunday Evening - May 25, 1997

          Tape #       T-75




Mark 6:1-6  "And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. (2) 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? (3) 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. (4) 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. (5) And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. (6) And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching."


          In these six verses of Inspiration we are given a sad, bleak illustration of the wickedness of the human heart. Our Lord Jesus Christ returned from Capernaum to Nazareth, his home town. He had performed notable miracles abroad, miracles which made his name famous, miracles which were commonly known to the people of his own little village, miracles which would have made him the town hero, except for one thing. This One who had done such miracles was also the embodiment of and taught the gospel of God’s free, sovereign, saving grace, contrary to their religious traditions. Therefore, instead of believing him, receiving him, and honoring him as the Christ of God, his own kinsmen and his own countrymen refused to believe him, despised him, and held him in contempt.


John 1:11  "He came unto his own, and his own received him not."


          These verses call for our special attention. I want us to look at them carefully, line by line. As we do, I will direct your attention to five very important things revealed in them.


I.      First, we see in verse one that TRUE DISCIPLES FOLLOW THEIR MASTER.


          This should not be surprising to anyone. Just a Marxists are followers of Marx and Leninists are followers of Lenin, so Christians are followers of Christ. Those disciples at Antioch were such ardent followers of the Lord Jesus Christ that those who observed their doctrine and behavior called them “Christians.” Be sure you understand what I am saying. A Christian is not a person who says he is a Christian, or the person who professes the right doctrine. A Christian is a person who, in the tenor of his life, follows Christ. Our following Christ is not the basis of our hope or the ground of our assurance before God. It is Christ’s obedience unto death, not our obedience, that gives us hope with God and assurance of his grace. Yet, if we do not follow Christ, whatever hope and assurance we have is a delusion.


Mark 6:1  "And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him."


          Two things are set before us in this first verse.


A.  The Character Of Christ


          Our Lord Jesus Christ is such a great and gracious Savior that, though the Jews tried to kill him the last time he was there (Lk. 4:29), he yet returned to Nazareth once more to preach the gospel to his own people. The Son of God willingly walked in the open among his enemies and publicly preached the gospel to men who sought his blood.


Note: Faithful men, those who follow and serve Christ, willingly hazard their lives for the gospel’s sake (Acts 15:25-26).


B. The Conduct Of Saints


          We read here, “His disciples follow him.” I do not suggest, and the Word of God does not teach, that his disciples follow him perfectly, or follow him always. But I am saying, and the Word of God does teach, that all true believers follow Christ as their Lord and Master in the tenor of their lives. All who are saved by the grace of God bow to Christ as their Lord, take up their cross, willingly taking his yoke upon them, and follow him. The Word of God identifies Christians as people who follow Christ (Rev. 14:4).


Revelation 14:4  “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.”


1.   They follow him in baptism.

2.   They follow his doctrine.

3.   They follow his example.


          Matthew Henry wrote, “Whither he went, though it was into danger, ‘his disciples follow him;” for they had left all to follow him.”


          Let each of us, by this criteria judge ourselves, whether or not we are truly the disciples of Christ.


II.   The second lesson to be learned from this passage is the fact that ALL WHO FOLLOW CHRIST ADDICT THEMSELVES TO THE WORSHIP OF GOD.


          When our Lord and his disciples came to Nazareth, or for that matter to any town or village, at the appointed time of worship they were found in the house of God.


Mark 6:2  "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?"


A.  It is the responsibility and privilege of all believers to addict themselves to the worship of God in the public assembly of his saints and to the ministry of the Word.


Hebrews 10:25  "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."


          In those days, the appointed place of worship was the synagogue of the Jews. The appointed day of worship was Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath Day. Though the Jews and the synagogues had long since forsaken the oracles and worship of God and had replaced the commandments of God with the traditions of men, they still professed to worship the Lord God and professed to reverence his Word.


          We ought never to be found in churches where the gospel is not preached and our God is not worshipped. Yet, we must not forsake the assembly of God’s saints in worship. Sheep are social creatures. Unless they are very sick or utterly lost, you will never find them alone. We must not allow any earthly care or social concern to keep us from the house of God.


1.   This is the place where Christ has promised to meet with his people (Matt.18:20).


2.   This is the place where God sends forth his Word. It is here that God speaks to men.


3.   This is the place where we find food for our souls.


4.   This is the place where God is worshipped.


B. When our Lord Jesus came to the house of God he taught the Word of God.


          There are many aspects of public worship which must never be neglected. The reading of Holy Scripture, the praise of God in song and public prayer, and the observance of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are matters of immense importance. However that which is and must always be paramount in the house of God is the preaching of the gospel, the teaching of the Word of God.


          We do not need to guess what Christ preached in the synagogue. He expounded the law and the prophets, just as he had done the last time he was there, preaching the gospel to all who would hear him (Luke 4:16-32).


Luke 4:16-32  "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. (17) And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, (18) The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, (19) To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (20) And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. (21) And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. (22) And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? (23) And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. (24) And he said, Verily, I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. (25) But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; (26) But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. (27) And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. (28) And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, (29) And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. (30) But he passing through the midst of them went his way, (31) And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. (32) And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power."


1.   Our Lord Jesus preached himself as the only Savior of sinners (vv. 18-19).


2.   He preached himself as the fulfillment of all the Scriptures (v. 21).


3.   He preached the glorious sovereignty of God in the exercise of his saving grace (vv. 25-27).


4.   There is no preaching of the Word of God apart from the preaching of the gospel (1 Pet. 1:23-25).


1 Peter 1:23-25  "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (24) For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: (25) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."


5.   There is no room in the house of God for religious entertainment, political propaganda, social crusades, psychological analysis, and religious dialogue.


          What we need and must have in the house of God is preaching, plain, forthright, dogmatic, decisive, gospel preaching!


C. When he had finished preaching the gospel, those who heard him were, as they had been before, both astonished by his wisdom and power and offended by his doctrine (vv. 2-3).


Mark 6:2-3  "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? (3) 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."


          Though they acknowledged what they could not deny, his wisdom and power, they were offended by his gospel. Nothing has changed. The offense of the cross has not come to an end. Those who faithfully preach the gospel of Christ will always find that natural, unregenerate, lost, religious people are offended by the gospel. The gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ will never be palatable to people who do not know God.


1.   Total depravity offends man’s pride.

2.   Unconditional election offends man’s self-righteousness.

3.   Limited atonement offends men who will not submit themselves entirely to the merits of Christ or salvation.

4.   Irresistible grace offends man’s sense of personal superiority and dignity.

5.   Perseverance of the saints offends man’s sense of religious fairness and righteousness.


III. Thirdly, I want to impress upon our hearts the fact that NONE OF US CAN EVER KNOW THE DEPTH OF OUR LORD’S GREAT HUMILIATION.


Mark 6:3  "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."


          The people of Nazareth said, contemptuously, “Is not this the carpenter?” This particular expression is found nowhere else in the Bible. Its implications are significant and far reaching.


A.  In order to redeem and save his elect the Son of God condescended to become a man, and, being found in fashion as a man, humbled himself in all things relating to manhood.


2 Corinthians 8:9  "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich."


Philippians 2:5-8  "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."


Hebrews 2:14-18  "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; (15) And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (16) For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. (17) Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (18) For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted."


          “He who made heaven, and earth, and sea, and all that therein is,--He, without whom nothing was made that was made,--the Son of God Himself, took on Him the form of a servant, and ‘in the sweat of His face ate bread,’ as a working man. This is indeed that ‘love of Christ which passeth knowledge.’ Though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor. Both in life and death, He humbled himself, that through Him sinners might live and reign for evermore.”           J.C. Ryle


B. Living and working as an ordinary carpenter, our dear Savior taught us by example the honor of diligent labor and the dishonor of laziness, idleness, and slothfulness.


          Every honorable man is a working man. We ought to abhor idleness and teach our children to abhor it. Nothing is more repugnant than a man who claims to be a follower of Christ who will not work.


Ephesians 4:27-28  "Neither give place to the devil. (28) Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."


2 Thessalonians 3:10  "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat."


1 Timothy 5:8  "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."


          Let me again quote Matthew Henry. “Nothing is more pernicious for young people than to get a habit of sauntering. The Jews had a good rule for this-- that their young men who were designed for scholars, were yet bred up to some trade, as Paul was a tent-maker, that they might have some business to fill up their time, and, if need be, to get their bread.”


C. Moreover, by assuming the work and trade of a carpenter, our Redeemer placed great honor upon working people, that class of society commonly disdained by those who consider themselves the nobler part of society.


          The only thing that might be more repugnant than lazy, loitering people are those who snub their noses at others whom they consider beneath them. Pride of place, pride of race, and pride of grace are utterly despicable!




Mark 6:4  "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."


          The people of Nazareth were offended at our Lord. They did not think it possible that one who had lived among them for thirty years, one whose family they knew well, one who was reared and trained as nothing but a carpenter could be worthy of such reverence, esteem, and adulation as many heaped upon this man. They certainly did not believe him to be a prophet of God, and most particularly did not believe it even remotely possible that he could be the Christ of God, as he claimed. Though the Son of God dwelt among them for thirty years, they looked upon him with utter contempt. Why? Because it is ever the tendency of flesh and blood to disregard and even despise those things with which they are most familiar, even when those things are more valuable than silver and gold and vital to the welfare of their souls.


          The Word of God, the preaching of the gospel, the ordinances of Divine worship, when readily and abundantly available, are rarely truly cherished as things which are vital and more precious than all earthly things. It is more true with regard to these things than with anything else that familiarity breeds contempt.


          Be warned. Such contempt will not go unnoticed by God!


2 Chronicles 36:15-16  "And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: (16) But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy."


Matthew 23:37-38  "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (38) Behold, your house is left unto you desolate."




Mark 6:5-6  "And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. (6) And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching."


          I cannot spend much time here; but there are two statements in these two verses that are simply astounding to me. They must not be glossed over lightly.


A.  First, we are told that our Lord could do no mighty work in Nazareth.


          Matthew tells us that the reason why he could do no mighty work there was the glaring, obstinate unbelief of the people who lived there (Matt. 13:58).


Matthew 13:58  "And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief."


          Our Lord could have done at Nazareth anything he desired to do. He is the omnipotent God! Let no one ever imagine that the arm of omnipotence is halted or even hindered by the will and unbelief of man! He could have given these people faith as easily as he has given us faith. But because he would not do his mighty works in Nazareth he therefore could not perform them. The fact is these people did not so much as ask a favor of him. Therefore they received no favor from him. Because of their obstinate unbelief in the face of his manifest wisdom and power as the Son of God, they were not given the grace and favor of him working his wonders among them.


B. Then we are told that our Lord “marvelled because of their unbeief.”


          Only twice are we told that the Son of God marveled at anything. There were only two things that seem to have really made an impression upon the God-man as he walked through this world.


1.   First, we read that he marveled at the faith of those from whom no one would expect faith.


THE CENTURION - Matthew 8:7-13  "And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. (8) The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. (9) For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. (10) When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. (11) And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. (12) But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (13) And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour."


THE CANAANITE WOMAN - Matthew 15:21-28  "Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. (22) And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. (23) But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. (24) But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (25) Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. (26) But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and cast it to dogs. (27) And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. (28) Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour."


2.   Second, Mark tells us that our Lord Jesus “marvelled because of their unbelief.”


          He marveled at the unbelief of those in whom we might most naturally expect to find faith. Here are men and women who had been all their lives, from one generation to another, favored with God’s Word, the oracles of Divine worship, and even with the manifest presence and power of the Son of God. Yet, they believed not on him!


          The unbelief of those who enjoy and are favored with the means of grace and the manifest saving power of Christ is truly as amazing as it is inexcusable.


a.   Unbelief is the oldest of all sins - Eve did not believe God.

b.   Unbelief is the most common of all sins.

c.   Unbelief is the most inexcusable of all sins.

d.   Unbelief is the most ruinous of all sins.


·        Unbelief brought death into the world.

·        Unbelief kept Israel out of Canaan for forty years.

·        Unbelief robs men of the greatest of blessings.

·        Unbelief is the only sin that will forever damn you!


          Unbelief is blasphemy. Unbelief is the bold, brazen, suicidal assertion that God is a liar, the Son of God is a fake, and the Spirit of God is a delusion!


          It is not the lack of evidence that makes men and women unbelievers, nor the difficulties of Christian doctrine, nor the want of godliness, love, and mercy among believers, but their own unwillingness to trust the Lord of glory. You who believe not the gospel are unbelievers because you will not believe on the Son of God. You vainly point at this and that as the reason for your unbelief. Your will not to believe on the Son of God arises from your love of sin, love of the world, and spiritual blindness.


          Yet, I hasten to add, the root of unbelief is never destroyed, even in God’s saints, so long as we live in this world. Let us ever watch and pray, ever praying, “Lord, increase our faith…I believe. Help thou mine unbelief!”


Application:       I call upon you who hear my voice once more, as God’s ambassador to your soul, to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. God help you to believe, for Christ’s sake.


Matthew 11:28-30  "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."


Romans 10:9-13  "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (11) For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (12) For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. (13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."