And they were offended in him. But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.
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.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.
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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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.)
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