17th Week in Ord. Time, Friday – 30th July 2021 — Gospel: Mt 13,54-58
The narrative here focuses entirely on Jesus with various interrogations. While the crowds hearing the sermon on the mount were “astonished” in a positive way (7,28), the excitement in Nazareth turns out to be negative. By an inclusion the first and last questions (vv.54 & 56) of the Nazarenes emphasize the basic question of the origin of Jesus’ wise teaching and powerful miracles, a perfect summary of the previous teachings (chaps. 5-7) and miracles (chaps. 8-9). In between the first and last questions are the other questions which explain why Jesus’ wisdom and power do not generate faith in his hometown, because the Nazarenes know him too well. Familiarity breeds contempt even for the Messiah. The contempt can be felt in the twice mention of “this fellow” (vv.54 & 56), a form of human degradation. Even though everything the Nazarenes affirm is in one sense true and in another, deeper sense it is false. Because, the true family of Jesus is composed not of blood relatives but of obedient disciples (Mt 12,46-50). They are so confident in their knowledge that they refuse to “look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn” (Mt 13,15).