Matthew 13:57
And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.
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(57) They were offended in him.—The word is used in the same sense as in Matthew 11:6. They could not reconcile the new wisdom and the claim which the teaching implied with the obscurity and commonness of the earlier life, and so they did not believe.

A prophet is not without honour . . . The words in St. Mark include “among his kindred.” The proverb seems to have been one often on our Lord’s lips, and obviously tells of a prolonged experience of indifference and unbelief in all their many forms. In John 4:44, it appears, in a context which presents some difficulty, as giving the reason why our Lord, on leaving Judæa, went into Galilee.

13:53-58 Christ repeats his offer to those who have repulsed them. They upbraid him, Is not this the carpenter's son? Yes, it is true he was reputed to be so; and no disgrace to be the son of an honest tradesman; they should have respected him the more because he was one of themselves, but therefore they despised him. He did not many mighty works there, because of their unbelief. Unbelief is the great hinderance to Christ's favours. Let us keep faithful to him as the Saviour who has made our peace with God.And they were offended in him - That is, they took offence at his humble birth, and at the indigent circumstances of his family. They were too proud to be taught by one who, in family connections, they took to be their equal or inferior. People always look with envy on those of their own rank who advance pretensions to uncommon wisdom or superior power.

A prophet is not without honour ... - This seems to be a proverbial expression. Jesus advances it as a general truth. There might be some exceptions to it, but He was not an exception. Everywhere else he had been more honored than at home. There they knew his family. They had seen his humble life. They had been his companions. They were envious of his wisdom, and were too proud to be taught by him. A case remarkably similar to this occurs in the history of the discovery of America. Columbus, a native of Genoa, had by patient study conceived the idea that there was a vast continent which might be reached by sailing to the west. Of this his countrymen had no belief. Learned people had long studied the science of geography, and they had never imagined that such a continent could exist; and they were indignant that He, an obscure man, should suppose that he "possessed wisdom superior to all the rest of mankind united." It was accordingly a fact that he was obliged to seek for patrons of his undertaking out of his own country; that there he received his first honors; and to other kingdoms the discoveries of the obscure Genoese gave their chief wealth and highest splendor.

56. And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? An exceedingly difficult question here arises—What were these "brethren" and "sisters" to Jesus? Were they, First, His full brothers and sisters? or, Secondly, Were they His step-brothers and step-sisters, children of Joseph by a former marriage? or, Thirdly, Were they cousins, according to a common way of speaking among the Jews respecting persons of collateral descent? On this subject an immense deal has been written, nor are opinions yet by any means agreed. For the second opinion there is no ground but a vague tradition, arising probably from the wish for some such explanation. The first opinion undoubtedly suits the text best in all the places where the parties are certainly referred to (Mt 12:46; and its parallels, Mr 3:31; Lu 8:19; our present passage, and its parallels, Mr 6:3; Joh 2:12; 7:3, 5, 10; Ac 1:14). But, in addition to other objections, many of the best interpreters, thinking it in the last degree improbable that our Lord, when hanging on the cross, would have committed His mother to John if He had had full brothers of His own then alive, prefer the third opinion; although, on the other hand, it is not to be doubted that our Lord might have good reasons for entrusting the guardianship of His doubly widowed mother to the beloved disciple in preference even to full brothers of His own. Thus dubiously we prefer to leave this vexed question, encompassed as it is with difficulties. As to the names here mentioned, the first of them, "James," is afterwards called "the Lord's brother" (see on [1298]Ga 1:19), but is perhaps not to be confounded with "James the son of Alphæus," one of the Twelve, though many think their identity beyond dispute. This question also is one of considerable difficulty, and not without importance; since the James who occupies so prominent a place in the Church of Jerusalem, in the latter part of the Acts, was apparently the apostle, but is by many regarded as "the Lord's brother," while others think their identity best suits all the statements. The second of those here named, "Joses" (or Joseph), must not be confounded with "Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus" (Ac 1:23); and the third here named, "Simon," is not to be confounded with Simon the Kananite or Zealot (see on [1299]Mt 10:4). These three are nowhere else mentioned in the New Testament. The fourth and last-named, "Judas," can hardly be identical with the apostle of that name—though the brothers of both were of the name of "James"—nor (unless the two be identical, was this Judas) with the author of the catholic Epistle so called.Ver. 55-57. Mark saith the same, Mark 6:3; only he saith, Is not this the carpenter? o tektwn; which leadeth some to think that Christ, till he was thirty years of age, wrought with Joseph upon his trade. Luke 2:51, it is said, that he came to Nazareth, and was subject to his parents. Joseph was an artificer, that was certain; so tektwn signifies; but whether a carpenter, or a smith, the word will not inform us. For the brethren of Christ and his sisters, here mentioned, the most by them understand his near relations. The Jews were offended at the meanness of our Saviour’s parents and relations.

They were offended in him; that is, these things made them stumble at him, and not receive him as the Messias, or a prophet sent from God. How unreasonable is malice and prejudice! One would have thought that their knowledge of his friends and education should have rather led them to have concluded that he must be sent from God, and more than a man, seeing that he did not come by this wisdom by any ordinary means, nor work these great works by any human power.

And they were offended in him,.... It was a stumbling to them, how he came by his wisdom and power; since he had not these things from men of learning, and could not have them from his relatives: and therefore, rather than believe he had them of himself, or from God, they chose to indulge at least a suspicion, that he had them from the devil, and so were offended in him: or this offence was taken at the meanness of his birth, parentage, and education, though without reason; for if without the advantage of an education without human literature, and the instructions of men, he was able to expound the Scriptures, preach such doctrine, and deliver such words of wisdom, and confirm all this by miracles, and mighty works, they ought to have considered him as a divine person, and all this, as a demonstration of it, and of his having a divine mission at least, and of his being raised up by God for extraordinary purposes,

But Jesus said unto them; being unmoved at their offence in him, and contempt of him, which was no other than what he expected:

a prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house; which seems to be a proverbial speech in common use, though I have not met with it in Jewish writings; showing, that a prophet, or any teacher, or preacher, generally speaking, is more esteemed among strangers, who have no personal pique, nor prejudices against him, and who judge of him, not by what he has been, but by his present abilities, doctrine, and conduct, than among his countrymen; who are apt to think meanly of him, because familiarly acquainted with him, and knew, if not his vices, yet his infirmities, and envy him any superior degree of honour to them, he has attained unto. I say, generally speaking, for this is not always the case on either side; sometimes a prophet is affronted and abused in strange places, as Christ himself was: and sometimes is received with esteem and applause among his countrymen, relations, and acquaintance; but this is rare and uncommon; the proverb respects what is usually and ordinarily done, and the truth of it is easy to be observed.

And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.
Matthew 13:57. roverb, not Jewish merely, but common property of mankind; examples from Greek and Roman authors in Pricaeus and Wetstein, including one from Pindar about fame fading at the family hearth (Olymp. Ode, xii. 3).

Matthew 13:57. Ἐσκανδαλίζοντο, they were offended) as it happens with those who observe one thing, but neglect to observe another, which ought rather to have been observed.—προφήτης, κ.τ.λ., a prophet, etc.) In a prophet there are two parts: the one which he possesses in common with others, ordinary, natural, domestic; the other, which is peculiar to his calling, heavenly, spiritual, public. Those who know the former do not observe the latter. Familiarity breeds contempt. Such is the case in our own country, much more so in our home.—ἄτιμος, contemned) The contempt which a prophet meets with elsewhere, is not contempt if it be compared with that which he meets with in his own country; elsewhere he certainly receives some honour.

Verse 57. - And they were offended in him (Matthew 5:29, note). Their knowledge of the earthly conditions of his youth proved a stumbling block to their faith. But Jesus said unto them. He accepts the fact, but reminds them that they were under a special temptation thus to reject him. Even in his reproof he will call them to rise above their position. A prophet is not without honour. There will ever be some to honour him. He who speaks forth the mind of God shall not totally fail in any place save one. An encouragement and a warning. Save in his own country (ἐν τῇ πατρίδι). Better omit own, for αὐτοῦ is not genuine here (contrast Mark), and the insertion of ἰδίᾳ before πατρίδι, is not supported by enough authority. Mark adds, "and among his own kin." And in his own house. Possibly Jeremiah's experience (Jeremiah 11:21; Jeremiah 12:6) gave rise to this proverb. (On John 4:44, cf. ver. 54, note.) Matthew 13:57
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