February 1, Thursday

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He (Jesus) … came to his own country, and … he began to teach in the synagogue. And many, hearing him were astonished, saying, Where did this man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to him …? Is this not the carpenter? 

Mark 6, 1-3.

Jesus Christ! Most people know His name. But who is truly acquainted with Him? He grew up in the town of Nazareth, which at the time was insignificant. Mark begins his report in Jesus’ 30th year,when He started His public ministry.

Among His contemporaries Jesus showed Himself to be the long expected Messiah (Christ), who had been sent for their salvation. God had seen to it that, before He appeared, there were those who referred to His Person: the Old Testament prophets, and later, Simeon and Anna in Jerusalem, John the Baptist, and others. He was not a totally unknown Person.

What about Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God? There were clear indications of that, too. Alongside the well known testimony of the Old Testament were the Lord’s signs and miracles, and finally the voice of God from heaven on certain occasions. Is the angry reaction of the inhabitants of Nazareth understandable? They imagined they knew Him, for Jesus Christ had lived and worked inconspicuously among them for many years.

The offence has remained until today. But before anyone joins in the doubtful cries of His opponents, he should consider His sensational death by crucifixion, His resurrection witnessed by so many and the countless people whose lives were changed for the better by Him. Carpenter or Son of God? Faith replies, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20, 28).