Answers to Common Questions

Why couldn't Jesus do miracles in His hometown (Mark 6:4-5)?

In Mark 6:4-5 Jesus affirmed that a prophet is without honor in his home town, and in view of that reality, He could not perform any miracles in Nazareth except for healing a few sick people. The people of Nazareth were apparently plagued by unbelief and paid little attention to the claims of Jesus.

At first glance, one might get the impression that Jesus' miraculous power was utterly dependent upon peoples' faith in order for it to work. That is not the meaning of this verse, however. It is not that Jesus was unable or incapacitated in performing a miracle in Nazareth. (Remember -- Jesus is the sovereign Creator of the entire universe according to John 1:3, Hebrews 1:2, and Colossians 1:16). Rather, Jesus "could not" do miracles there in the sense that He WOULD NOT do so in view of the pervasive unbelief in that city.

Miracles serve a far greater purpose, from the divine perspective, than just providing a raw display of power. Indeed, Jesus' miraculous deeds are often called "signs" in the New Testament because they serve to signify His identity as the Messiah. Since the people of Nazareth had already made up their minds against Jesus, and had provided more than ample evidence of their lack of faith in Him, Jesus chose not to engage in miraculous acts there except for a few healings of sick people. He refused to bestow miraculous deeds on a city that had rejected the miraculous Messiah. Unbelief excluded the people of Nazareth from the dynamic disclosure of God's grace that others had experienced.

Because of Nazareth's rejection of the person and message of Jesus Christ, He went on to other cities that did respond to and receive Him. We have no evidence that Jesus ever again returned to Nazareth. 

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