What does Mark 6:3 mean?
ESV: Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
NIV: Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?' And they took offense at him.
NASB: Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are His sisters not here with us?' And they took offense at Him.
CSB: Isn't this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And aren't his sisters here with us? " So they were offended by him.
NLT: Then they scoffed, 'He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.' They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.
KJV: Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
NKJV: Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him.
Verse Commentary:
This statement is worded slightly differently than the equivalent in Matthew's narrative. Mark says, "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary…" while Matthew 13:55 says, "Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary?" The differences, though minor, have raised a few points of debate.

One issue which arises here actually relates to Jesus' appearance: was Jesus "attractive" or not? Some teachers say Jesus couldn't have been a carpenter because Isaiah 53:2b says, "…he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him." "Carpenter" is from the Greek root word tekton and can mean someone who is skilled in wood, metal, or stone. A carpenter might craft bowls or furniture or build stone sheds. In other words, a carpenter would have been strong and physically in shape, which we might consider attractive. So, these teachers claim, this verse must mean that Jesus was the son of a carpenter, not a carpenter, Himself.

Besides being somewhat shallow, this claim doesn't take into account cultural differences. Jesus would have been strong, but while the Jews valued hard work, they didn't necessarily think that someone who performed hard labor was attractive. Attractiveness depended more on money than muscles, and a rich man with servants to do his bidding would be softer and weaker. Although we today might find "beauty" in a strong craftsman, Jesus' culture would have found "no form or majesty that we should look at him." There is no reason Isaiah 53:2b couldn't describe someone physically strong who worked with his hands.

Second, some argue over the difference between calling Jesus "the son of a carpenter and Mary" versus "a carpenter, the son of Mary." The idea that calling Jesus "the son of Mary" has particular significance is an old one. The most popular theory is that identifying a grown man by his mother, rather than his father, was an ancient-era way of calling him illegitimate. Catholicism, on the other hand, uses the phrase to support their belief that Jesus is Mary's only son. This would imply the brothers and sisters mentioned are from Joseph's first, late wife. Most likely, however, it is just a progression. Jesus is identified by His job—culturally, passed from His father (Matthew 13:55)—and His mother, His brothers, and His sisters. The terms used merely show that He and His family are well known to the people of Nazareth.

We know two of Jesus' brothers. James—not the brother of John, son of Zebedee—becomes the leader of the church in Jerusalem and the author of the book of James. Judas—not Judas Iscariot—learns to believe in Jesus, as well, and writes the book of Jude.

At this time, however, Jesus' brothers are not inclined to defend Him. "Offense" comes from the Greek root word skandalizo. It means a stumbling block that causes someone to sin or to distrust another. Jesus expounds on this theme in Matthew. There, He calls Himself a capstone on God's plan of salvation that the religious leaders stumble on, making it impossible for them to receive Him (Matthew 21:42–26). Luke explains that the people of Nazareth aren't just doubtful; they try to push Jesus off a cliff (Luke 4:28–30).
Verse Context:
Mark 6:1–6 somewhat fulfills the wishes of Jesus' family that He come home (Mark 3:21). Unfortunately, this homecoming does not go well. The Nazarenes' welcome is closer to that of Jesus' family's than to the mobs that flock to be healed in the rest of Galilee. The Nazarenes recognize the truth of Jesus' preaching, but reject Him, especially after He claims to be the long-awaited Messiah. Jesus can do few miracles there, because their lack of faith conflicts with His intent to provide miracles only for the faithful. Jesus' hometown population is so irate with Him that they try to throw Him off a cliff (Luke 4:29). These events are also found in Matthew 13:53–58. Luke 4:16–30 records an extended version.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus returns to His hometown of Nazareth, but the people there are faithless and skeptical. As a result, Jesus performs no more than a few minor miracles. He then assigns His twelve apostles to travel in pairs, preaching repentance and healing various conditions. Mark then takes a brief detour to explain the death of John the Baptist, beheaded after Herod Antipas is tricked by his wife. The focus then returns to Jesus, explaining His miraculous feeding of thousands of people, walking on water, and healing people in Gennesaret.
Chapter Context:
Even as the Twelve are given opportunity to wield some of Jesus' power and authority, they still struggle to understand. They misinterpret who He is, what He has come to do, and how much He will ask of them. They fear Jesus' display of deity, but seem to dismiss the murderous rejection of His hometown and the death of John the Baptist. It's easy to have faith in a prophet who seems poised to rescue Israel from foreign rule. It is still beyond them to understand that He is actually God.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 5/26/2024 11:13:37 AM
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