Where Is A Prophet Without Honor?
by Wayne Blank
"And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief"
It's a well-known fact that Jesus Christ was accepted by some and rejected by others. But the often-times most amazing incidence of those who rejected Him were those who were closest to Him - a situation that may actually have gotten worse, at least until His resurrection, because while His miracles could have made them better believers, He didn't, or couldn't, do any miracles before them, not because of any lack of power on His part, but because of a lack of belief on their part.
"His brethren therefore said unto Him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that Thy disciples also may see the works that Thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If Thou do these things, show Thyself to the world. For neither did His brethren believe in Him." (John 7:3-5 KJV)
There is ample evidence that Jesus' brothers did eventually become not only believers, but prominent Christians e.g. the epistle of James was not written by the apostle James, who was killed by Herod (see The Herods) before it was written (Acts 12:2). The most likely author is James, "the Lord's brother," who became a highly respected leader in the early church (Acts 12:17, 15:13, 21:18, 1 Corinthians 15:7, Galatians 1:19). Jesus' Brother Jude also became a prominent figure in the early church. But even so, there were some people who were close, very close, to Jesus and failed, or refused, to recognize Him for Who and what He was.
It's also a well-known fact that "Jesus of Nazareth" grew up in Nazareth, but what many don't realize is that Jesus had to leave Nazareth because the people there not only rejected Him, but would have killed Him because He spoke the Truth to them:
"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 [see Aliyya and Haftara] ... But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias [i.e. Elijah], when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 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. But He passing through the midst of them went His way, And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the Sabbath days." (Luke 4:16,25-31 KJV)
Amazingly, as happened with Nazareth, the people of Capernaum also eventually began to resent and oppose Him. They saw the many great miracles, that were done for the believers, with their own two eyes, they heard His very words of truth and wisdom with their own two ears, but they refused to repent and believe. In doing so, the people of Capernaum sealed their own fate, as spoken by Jesus Christ Himself in denouncing the cities who witnessed His miracles but who did not repent:
"And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee" (Matthew 11:23-24 KJV)
Fact Finder: How are those who preach and teach the True Gospel involved in how those who hear them will later be judged by God?