Mark 6:3

Is not this the carpenter? (Ouc outo estin o tektwn;). Matthew 13:55 calls him "the carpenter's son" (o tou tektono uio). He was both. Evidently since Joseph's death he had carried on the business and was "the carpenter" of Nazareth. The word tektwn comes from tekein, tiktw, to beget, create, like tecnh (craft, art). It is a very old word, from Homer down. It was originally applied to the worker in wood or builder with wood like our carpenter. Then it was used of any artisan or craftsman in metal, or in stone as well as in wood and even of sculpture. It is certain that Jesus worked in wood. Justin Martyr speaks of ploughs, yokes, et cetera, made by Jesus. He may also have worked in stone and may even have helped build some of the stone synagogues in Galilee like that in Capernaum. But in Nazareth the people knew him, his family (no mention of Joseph), and his trade and discounted all that they now saw with their own eyes and heard with their own ears. This word carpenter "throws the only flash which falls on the continuous tenor of the first thirty years from infancy to manhood, of the life of Christ" (Farrar). That is an exaggeration for we have Luke 2:41-50 and "as his custom was" ( Luke 4:16 ), to go no further. But we are grateful for Mark's realistic use of tektwn here. And they were offended in him (kai eskandalizonto en autwi). So exactly Matthew 13:56 , were made to stumble in him, trapped like game by the skandalon because they could not explain him, having been so recently one of them. "The Nazarenes found their stumbling block in the person or circumstances of Jesus. He became--petra skandalou ( 1 Peter 2:7 1 Peter 2:8 ; Romans 9:33 ) to those who disbelieved" (Swete). Both Mark and Matthew 13:57 , which see, preserve the retort of Jesus with the quotation of the current proverb about a prophet's lack of honour in his own country. John 4:44 quoted it from Jesus on his return to Galilee long before this. It is to be noted that Jesus here makes a definite claim to being a prophet (prophth, forspeaker for God), a seer. He was much more than this as he had already claimed to be Messiah ( John 4:26 ; Luke 4:21 ), the Son of man with power of God ( Mark 1:10 ; Matthew 9:6 ; Luke 5:24 ), the Son of God ( John 5:22 ). They stumble at Jesus today as the townspeople of Nazareth did. In his own house (en th oikiai autou). Also in Matthew 13:57 . This was the saddest part of it all, that his own brothers in his own home disbelieved his Messianic claims ( John 7:5 ). This puzzle was the greatest of all.

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