304THE APOSTOLIC MISSION, AND EVENTS RELATED THERETO
304JESUS AGAIN IN NAZARETH
304It will be remembered that, in the early days of His public ministry, Jesus had been rejected
by the people of Nazareth, who thrust Him out from their synagog and tried to kill Him.
appears that subsequent to the events noted in our last chapter, He returned to the town of His
youth, and again raised His voice in the synagog, thus mercifully affording the people another
opportunity to learn and accept the truth. The Nazarenes, as they had done before, now again
openly expressed their astonishment at the words He spoke, and at the many miraculous works
He had wrought; nevertheless they rejected Him anew, for He came not as they expected the
Messiah to come; and they refused to know Him save as "the carpenter, the son of Mary, the
brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon"; all of whom were common folk as were
also His sisters. "And they were offended at him."
Jesus reminded them of the proverb then
current among the people, "A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among
his own kin, and in his own house." Their unbelief was so dense as to cause Him to marvel;
and because of their lack of faith He was unable to accomplish any great work except to heal a
few exceptional believers upon whom He laid His hands. Leaving Nazareth, He entered upon His
third tour of the Galilean towns and villages, preaching and teaching as He went.
305THE TWELVE CHARGED AND SENT
305About this time, also, Jesus inaugurated a notable expansion of the ministry of the kingdom,
by sending forth the Twelve on assigned missions. Since their ordination the apostles had been
with their Lord, learning from Him by public discourse and private exposition, and acquiring
invaluable experience and training through that privileged and blessed companionship. The
purpose of their ordination was specified—"that they should be with him, and that he might send
them forth to preach."
They had been pupils under the Master's watchful guidance for many
months; and now they were called to enter upon the duties of their calling as preachers of the
gospel and individual witnesses of the Christ. By way of final preparation they were specifically
and solemnly charged.
Some of the instructions given them on this occasion had particular
reference to their first mission, from which they would in due time return and report; other
directions and admonitions were to be of effect throughout their ministry, even after the Lord's
305They were directed to confine their ministrations for the time being "to the lost sheep of the
house of Israel," and not to open a propaganda among the Gentiles,
nor even in Samaritan
cities. This was a temporary restriction, imposed in wisdom and prudence; later, as we shall see,
they were directed to preach among all nations, with the world for their field.
The subject of
their discourses was to be that upon which they had heard the Master preach—"the kingdom of