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The people of Jesus’ hometown, Nazareth, did not believe Jesus was the Messiah and because of their unbelief he did little miraculous works (vv. 1-6).
Jesus sent out six groups of two disciples to proclaim throughout Israel that Jesus was the Messiah (vv. 7-13). He gave them the ability to do miracles which served as God’s “stamp of approval” on their message (vv. 7, 12-13). Jesus’ traveling instructions (vv. 8-9) were only for this “preaching tour.”
Herod’s beheading of John the Baptist—who preached that Jesus was Israel’s promised Messiah—showed that he rejected Jesus as the Messiah (vv. 14-29).
When the twelve disciples returned from their preaching tour they reported to Jesus, who then led them away for needed rest (vv. 30-32). Crowds, however, followed them so Jesus spent the day teaching them (vv. 33-34) and then miraculously feeding them all (vv. 35-44).
Jesus then sent the twelve to the east side of the Sea of Galilee while he went alone to pray (vv. 45-46). Walking on the water, Jesus came out to them and calmed the sea (vv. 47-52).
Arriving on the east side of the Sea of Galilee in Gennesaret, many immediately recognized Jesus and brought many to be healed by him (vv. 53-56). This was the result of the former demon-possessed man whom Jesus delivered and who told the locales about Jesus (5:18-20). The people’s response significantly contrasts with those of Jesus’ home town in verses 1-6.
Truths to Nail Down and Apply
- Sadly, frequently those who “grow up” knowing about Jesus do not believe in Jesus (vv. 1-6). We cannot assume that children of Christian parents will follow the Lord. Christian parents and the church must teach them, pray for them, live godly lives before them, and urge them to trust Christ.
- The objective of the twelve disciples’ traveling ministry was calling the people to repent—turn from their sins and believe that Jesus is the Christ (v. 12). Their “ministry goal” was not to improve people’s physical lives, but to call them to salvation. Christian, when you have opportunities to teach the gospel, you must tell unbelievers to repent!
- Before Jesus ate he stopped to thank the Lord for the food and ask his blessing on it (v. 41). Sadly more professing Christians do not do what their Lord and Savior did.