Is he not the carpenter?


After his baptism by John, Jesus, imbued with the Spirit of God, went about preaching the Kingdom of God while casting demons and performing deeds of power. Now, Jesus returns to his native place after he performed mighty deeds among the Gentiles (the healing of the Gerasene demoniac) and the children of Israel (a woman with hemorrhage and Jairus’ daughter). Yet, strangely, he finds no acceptance in his native Nazareth. All sorts of questions are thrown at him: the ordinariness of his family, his lowly profession as a carpenter (tektōn: craftsman or woodworker), the source of his wisdom and his miraculous deeds. We recall here the tension between Jesus and his family, when even his own relatives thought him to be “out of his mind” (Mk 3:21). So, there is basis for his neighbors to say that he is not special. Mark uses this series of questions to introduce Jesus’ identity. Jesus’ mission as God’s messenger, as prophet and the Messiah, gradually begins to unfold as he gets out from the ordinariness of life to preach the radical inauguration of the Kingdom of God.

Gospel • Mark 6:1-6

Jesus 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 Joseph 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.

Source: “365 Days with the Lord 2023,” St. Paul’s, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: