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1 那一天,耶稣从房子里出来,坐在海边。
1 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.

(εν τη ημερα εκεινη). So this group of parables is placed by Matthew on the same day as the blasphemous accusation and the visit of the mother of Jesus. It is called "the Busy Day," not because it was the only one, but simply that so much is told of this day that it serves as a specimen of many others filled to the full with stress and strain.

(εκαθητο παρα την θαλασσαν). The accusative case need give no difficulty. Jesus came out of the stuffy house and took his seat (εκαθητο, imperfect) along the shore with the crowds stretched up and down, a picturesque scene.

2And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

(κα πας ο οχλος επ τον αιγιαλον ιστηκε). Past perfect tense of ιστημ with imperfect sense, had taken a stand and so stood. Note accusative also with επ upon the beach where the waves break one after the other (αιγιαλος is from αλς, sea, and αγνυμ, to break, or from αισσω, to rush). Jesus had to get into a boat and sit down in that because of the crush of the crowd.

3And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

(πολλα εν παραβολαις). It was not the first time that Jesus had used parables, but the first time that he had spoken so many and some of such length. He will use a great many in the future as in Luke 12 to 18 and Matt. 24 and 25. The parables already mentioned in Matthew include the salt and the light (), the birds and the lilies (), the splinter and the beam in the eye (), the two gates (), the wolves in sheep's clothing (), the good and bad trees (), the wise and foolish builders (), the garment and the wineskins (), the children in the market places (). It is not certain how many he spoke on this occasion. Matthew mentions eight in this chapter (the Sower, the Tares, the Mustard Seed, the Leaven, the Hid Treasure, the Pearl of Great Price, the Net, the Householder). Mark adds the Parable of the Lamp (), the Parable of the Seed Growing of Itself (), making ten of which we know. But both Mark () and Matthew () imply that there were many others. "Without a parable spake he nothing unto them" (), on this occasion, we may suppose. The word parable (παραβολη from παραβαλλω, to place alongside for measurement or comparison like a yardstick) is an objective illustration for spiritual or moral truth. The word is employed in a variety of ways (a) as for sententious sayings or proverbs (), for a figure or type (); (b) a comparison in the form of a narrative, the common use in the Synoptic Gospels like the Sower; (c) "A narrative illustration not involving a comparison" (Broadus), like the Rich Fool, the Good Samaritan, etc. "The oriental genius for picturesque speech found expression in a multitude of such utterances" (McNeile). There are parables in the Old Testament, in the Talmud, in sermons in all ages. But no one has spoken such parables as these of Jesus. They hold the mirror up to nature and, as all illustrations should do, throw light on the truth presented. The fable puts things as they are not in nature, Aesop's Fables, for instance. The parable may not be actual fact, but it could be so. It is harmony with the nature of the case. The allegory (αλληγορια) is a speaking parable that is self-explanatory all along like Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. All allegories are parables, but not all parables are allegories. The Prodigal Son is an allegory, as is the story of the Vine and Branches (). John does not use the word parable, but only παροιμια, a saying by the way (). As a rule the parables of Jesus illustrate one main point and the details are more or less incidental, though sometimes Jesus himself explains these. When he does not do so, we should be slow to interpret the minor details. Much heresy has come from fantastic interpretations of the parables. In the case of the Parable of the Sower () we have also the careful exposition of the story by Jesus () as well as the reason for the use of parables on this occasion by Jesus ().

(ιδου ηλθεν ο σπειρων). Matthew is very fond of this exclamation ιδου. It is "the sower," not "a sower." Jesus expects one to see the man as he stepped forth to begin scattering with his hand. The parables of Jesus are vivid word pictures. To understand them one must see them, with the eyes of Jesus if he can. Christ drew his parables from familiar objects.

4And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

(εν τω σπειρειν αυτον). Literally, "in the sowing as to him," a neat Greek idiom unlike our English temporal conjunction. Locative case with the articular present infinitive.

(παρα την οδον). People will make paths along the edge of a ploughed field or even across it where the seed lies upon the beaten track.

(κατεφαγεν). "Ate down." We say, "ate up." Second aorist active indicative of κατεσθιω (defective verb).

5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

(τα πετρωδη). In that limestone country ledges of rock often jut out with thin layers of soil upon the layers of rock.

(ευθεως εξανετειλεν). "Shot up at once" (Moffatt). Double compound (εξ, out of the ground, ανα, up). Ingressive aorist of εξανατελλω.

6And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

(ηλιου ανατειλαντος). Genitive absolute. "The sun having sprung up" also, same verb except the absence of εξ (ανατελλω, εξανατελλω).

7And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

(ανεβησαν α ακανθα). Not "sprang up" as in verse , for a different verb occurs meaning "came up" out of the ground, the seeds of the thorns being already in the soil, "upon the thorns" (επ τας ακανθας) rather than "among the thorns." But the thorns got a quick start as weeds somehow do and "choked them" (απεπνιξαν αυτα, effective aorist of αποπνιγω), "choked them off" literally. Luke () uses it of the hogs in the water. Who has not seen vegetables and flowers and corn made yellow by thorns and weeds till they sicken and die?

8But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

(εδιδου καρπον). Change to imperfect tense of διδωμ, to give, for it was continuous fruit-bearing.

(ο μεν εκατον). Variety, but fruit. This is the only kind that is worth while. The hundredfold is not an exaggeration (cf. ). Such instances are given by Wetstein for Greece, Italy, and Africa. Herodotus (i. 93) says that in Babylonia grain yielded two hundredfold and even to three hundredfold. This, of course, was due to irrigation as in the Nile Valley.

9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

(ο εχων ωτα ακουετω), So also in and . It is comforting to teachers and preachers to observe that even Jesus had to exhort people to listen and to understand his sayings, especially his parables. They will bear the closest thought and are often enigmatical.


10And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

(δια τ εν παραβολαις λαλεις αυτοις). Already the disciples are puzzled over the meaning of this parable and the reason for giving them to the people. So they "came up" closer to Jesus and asked him. Jesus was used to questions and surpassed all teachers in his replies.

11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

(γνωνα τα μυστηρια). Second aorist active infinitive of γινωσκω. The word μυστηριον is from μυστης, one initiated, and that from μυεω (μυω), to close or shut (Latin, mutus). The mystery-religions of the east had all sorts of secrets and signs as secret societies do today. But those initiated knew them. So the disciples have been initiated into the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. Paul will use it freely of the mystery once hidden, but now revealed, now made known in Christ (, etc.). In Paul says: "I have learned the secret or been initiated" (μεμυημα). So Jesus here explains that his parables are open to the disciples, but shut to the Pharisees with their hostile minds. In the Gospels μυστηριον is used only here and in the parallel passages ().

12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

(οτ βλεποντες). In the parallel passages in and we find ινα with the subjunctive. This does not necessarily mean that in Mark and Luke ινα=οτ with the causal sense, though a few rare instances of such usage may be found in late Greek. For a discussion of the problem see my chapter on "The Causal Use of Hina" in Studies in Early Christianity (1928) edited by Prof. S.J. Case. Here in Matthew we have first "an adaptation of which is quoted in full in v. " (McNeile). Thus Matthew presents "a striking paradox, 'though they see, they do not (really) see'" (McNeile). Cf. . The idiom here in Matthew gives no trouble save in comparison with Mark and Luke which will be discussed in due turn. The form συνιουσιν is an omega verb form (συνιω) rather than the μ verb (συνιημ) as is common in the Koine.

14And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

(αναπληρουτα). Aoristic present passive indicative. Here Jesus points out the fulfilment and not with Matthew's usual formula (ινα or οπως πλωρηθη το ρηθεν (see ). The verb αναπληροω occurs nowhere else in the Gospels, but occurs in the Pauline Epistles. It means to fill up like a cup, to fill another's place (), to fill up what is lacking (). Here it means that the prophecy of Isaiah is fully satisfied in the conduct of the Pharisees and Jesus himself points it out. Note two ways of reproducing the Hebrew idiom (infinitive absolute), one by ακοη the other by βλεποντες. Note also the strong negative ου μη with aorist subjunctive.

15For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

(επαχυνθη). Aorist passive tense. From παχυς, thick, fat, stout. Made callous or dull -- even fatty degeneration of the heart.

(τοις ωσιν βαρεως ηκουσαν). Another aorist. Literally, "They heard (or hear) heavily with their ears." The hard of hearing are usually sensitive.

(τους οφθαλμους αυτων εκαμμυσαν). The epic and vernacular verb καμμυω is from καταμυω (to shut down). We say shut up of the mouth, but the eyes really shut down. The Hebrew verb in means to smear over. The eyes can be smeared with wax or cataract and thus closed. "Sealing up the eyes was an oriental punishment" (Vincent). See .

(μηποτε). This negative purpose as a judgment is left in the quotation from Isaiah. It is a solemn thought for all who read or hear the word of God.

(κα ιασομα αυτους). Here the LXX changes to the future indicative rather than the aorist subjunctive as before.

16But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

(υμων δε μακαριο ο οφθαλμο). A beatitude for the disciples in contrast with the Pharisees. Note position of "Happy" here also as in the Beatitudes in .

17For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.



18Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

(υμεις ουν ακουσατε την παραβολην). Jesus has given in one reason for his use of parables, the condemnation which the Pharisees have brought on themselves by their spiritual dulness: "Therefore I speak to them in parables" (δια τουτο εν παραβωλαις αντοις λαλω). He can go on preaching the mysteries of the kingdom without their comprehending what he is saying, but he is anxious that the disciples really get personal knowledge (γνωνα, verse ) of these same mysteries. So he explains in detail what he means to teach by the Parable of the Sower. He appeals to them (note position of υμεις) to listen as he explains.

19When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

(παντος ακουοντος). Genitive absolute and present participle, "while everyone is listening and not comprehending" (μη συνιεντος), "not putting together" or "not grasping." Perhaps at that very moment Jesus observed a puzzled look on some faces.

(ερχετα ο πονηρος κα αρπαζε). The birds pick up the seeds while the sower sows. The devil is busy with his job of snatching or seizing like a bandit or rogue the word of the kingdom before it has time even to sprout. How quickly after the sermon the impression is gone. "This is he" (ουτος εστιν). Matthew, like Mark, speaks of the people who hear the words as the seed itself. That creates some confusion in this condensed form of what Jesus actually said, but the real point is clear.

(το εσπαρμενον εν τη καρδια αυτου, perfect passive participle of σπειρω, to sow) and "the man sown by the wayside" (ο παρα την οδον σπαρεις, aorist passive participle, along the wayside) are identified. The seed in the heart is not of itself responsible, but the man who lets the devil snatch it away.

20But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

(ουκ εχε δε ριζαν εν εαυτω). Cf. and ερριζωμεμο. Stability like a tree. Here the man has a mushroom growth and "endureth for a while" (προσκαιρος), temporary, quick to sprout, quick to stumble (σκανδαλιζετα). What a picture of some converts in our modern revivals. They drop away overnight because they did not have the root of the matter in them. This man does not last or hold out.

(θλιψεως). From θλιβω, to press, to oppress, to squeeze (cf. ). The English word is from the Latin tribulum, the roller used by the Romans for pressing wheat. Cf. our "steam roller" Trench (Synonyms of the N.T., pp. 202-4): "When, according to the ancient law of England, those who wilfully refused to plead, had heavy weights placed on their breasts, and were pressed and crushed to death, this was literally θλιψις." The iron cage was στενοχωρια.

22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

(συνπνιγε τον λογον). We had απεπνιξαν (choked off) in . Here it is συνπνιγε (choke together), historical present and singular with both subjects lumped together. "Lust for money and care go together and between them spoil many an earnest religious nature" (Bruce), "thorns" indeed. The thorns flourish and the character sickens and dies, choked to death for lack of spiritual food, air, sunshine.

23But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

(δη καρποφορε). Who in reality (δη) does bear fruit (cf. ). The fruit reveals the character of the tree and the value of the straw for wheat. Some grain must come else it is only chaff, straw, worthless. The first three classes have no fruit and so show that they are unfruitful soil, unsaved souls and lives. There is variety in those who do bear fruit, but they have some fruit. The lesson of the parable as explained by Jesus is precisely this, the variety in the results of the seed sown according to the soil on which it falls. Every teacher and preacher knows how true this is. It is the teacher's task as the sower to sow the right seed, the word of the kingdom. The soil determines the outcome. There are critics today who scout this interpretation of the parable by Jesus as too allegorical with too much detail and probably not that really given by Jesus since modern scholars are not agreed on the main point of the parable. But the average Christian sees the point all right. This parable was not meant to explain all the problems of human life.



24 ¶ Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

(παρεθηκεν). So again in . He placed another parable beside (παρα) the one already given and explained. The same verb (παραθεινα) occurs in .

(ωμοιωθη). Timeless aorist passive and a common way of introducing these parables of the kingdom where a comparison is drawn (). The case of ανθρωπω is associative instrumental.

25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

(εν τω καθευδειν τους ανθρωπους). Same use of the articular present infinitive with εν and the accusative as in .

(επεσπειρεν τα ζιζανια). Literally "sowed upon," "resowed" (Moffatt). The enemy deliberately sowed "the darnel" (ζιζανια is not "tares," but "darnel," a bastard wheat) over (επ) the wheat, "in the midst of the wheat." This bearded darnel, lolium temulentum, is common in Palestine and resembles wheat except that the grains are black. In its earlier stages it is indistinguishable from the wheat stalks so that it has to remain till near the harvest. Modern farmers are gaining more skill in weeding it out.

26But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

(τοτε εφανη κα). The darnel became plain (εφανη, second aorist passive, effective aorist of φαινω to show) by harvest.

27So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

(εκριζωσητε αμα αυτοις τον σιτον). Literally, "root out." Easy to do with the roots of wheat and darnel intermingled in the field. So συλλεγοντες is not "gather up," but "gather together," here and verses and . Note other compound verbs here, "grow together" (συναυξανεσθα), "burn up" (κατακαυσα, burn down or completely), "bring together" (συναγετε).

30Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

(την αποθηκην μου). See already . Granary, storehouse, place for putting things away.



31 ¶ Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:

(ομοια εστιν). Adjective for comparison with associative instrumental as in .

(κοκκω σιναπεως). Single grain in contrast with the collective σπερμα ().

(λαβων εσπειρεν). Vernacular phrasing like Hebrew and all conversational style. In Koine.

32Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

(δενδρον). "Not in nature, but in size" (Bruce). "An excusable exaggeration in popular discourse."


33 ¶ Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

(ομοια εστιν ζυμη). In its pervasive power. Curiously enough some people deny that Jesus here likens the expanding power of the Kingdom of heaven to leaven, because, they say, leaven is the symbol of corruption. But the language of Jesus is not to be explained away by such exegetical jugglery. The devil is called like a lion by Peter () and Jesus in Revelation is called the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (). The leaven permeates all the "wheaten meal" (αλευρου) till the whole is leavened. There is nothing in the "three measures," merely a common amount to bake. Dr. T.R. Glover in his Jesus of History suggests that Jesus used to notice his mother using that amount of wheat flour in baking bread. To find the Trinity here is, of course, quite beside the mark. The word for leaven, ζυμη, is from ζεω, to boil, to seethe, and so pervasive fermentation.


34All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
35That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

(ερευξομα). To cast forth like a river, to gurgle, to disgorge, the passion of a prophet. From . The Psalmist claims to be able to utter "things hidden from the foundation of the world" and Matthew applies this language to the words of Jesus. Certain it is that the life and teaching of Jesus throw a flood of light on the purposes of God long kept hidden (κεκρυμμενα).

36Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

(διασαφησον ημιν). Also in . "Make thoroughly clear right now" (aorist tense of urgency). The disciples waited till Jesus left the crowds and got into the house to ask help on this parable. Jesus had opened up the Parable of the Sower and now they pick out this one, passing by the mustard seed and the leaven.

37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

(ο δε αγρος εστιν ο κοσμος). The article with both "field" and "world" in Greek means that subject and predicate are coextensive and so interchangeable. It is extremely important to understand that both the good seed and the darnel (tares) are sown in the world, not in the Kingdom, not in the church. The separation comes at the consummation of the age (συντελεια αιωνος, ), the harvest time. They all grow together in the field (the world).

39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

(εκ της βασιλειας αυτου). Out from the midst of the kingdom, because in every city the good and the bad are scattered and mixed together. Cf. εκ μεσου των δικαιων in "from the midst of the righteous." What this means is that, just as the wheat and the darnel are mixed together in the field till the separation at harvest, so the evil are mixed with the good in the world (the field). Jesus does not mean to say that these "stumbling-blocks" (τα σκανδαλα) are actually in the Kingdom of heaven and really members of the Kingdom. They are simply mixed in the field with the wheat and God leaves them in the world till the separation comes. Their destiny is "the furnace of fire" (την καμινον του πυρος).

42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

(εκλαμψουσιν). Shine out as the sun comes from behind a cloud (Vincent) and drive away the darkness after the separation has come (cf. ).



44Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

(κα εκρυψεν). Not necessarily bad morality. "He may have hid it to prevent it being stolen, or to prevent himself from being anticipated in buying a field" (Plummer). But if it was a piece of sharp practice, that is not the point of the parable. That is, the enormous wealth of the Kingdom for which any sacrifice, all that one has, is not too great a price to pay.


45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
46Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

(απελθων πεπρακεν). Rather eagerly and vividly told thus, "He has gone off and sold." The present perfect indicative, the dramatic perfect of vivid picture. Then he bought it. Present perfect, imperfect, aorist tenses together for lively action. Εμπορω is a merchant, one who goes in and out, travels like a drummer.


47Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:

(σαγηνη). Drag-net. Latin, sagena, English, seine. The ends were stretched out and drawn together. Only example of the word in the N.T. Just as the field is the world, so the drag-net catches all the fish that are in the sea. The separation comes afterwards. Vincent pertinently quotes Homer's Odyssey (xxii. 384-389) where the slain suitors in the halls of Ulysses are likened to fishes on the shore caught by nets with myriad meshes.

48Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.

(αγγη). Here only in the N.T. In we have αγγεια.

49So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
50And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
51Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.
52Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

(μαθετευθεις τη βασιλεια των ουρανων). First aorist passive participle. The verb is transitive in . Here a scribe is made a learner to the kingdom. "The mere scribe, Rabbinical in spirit, produces only the old and stale. The disciple of the kingdom like the Master, is always fresh-minded, yet knows how to value all old spiritual treasures of Holy Writ, or Christian tradition" (Bruce). So he uses things fresh (καινα) and ancient (παλαια). "He hurls forth" (εκβαλλε) both sorts.



53 ¶ And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.
54And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?

(ουχ ουτος εστιν ο του τεκτωνος υιοσ?). The well-known, the leading, or even for a time the only carpenter in Nazareth till Jesus took the place of Joseph as the carpenter. What the people of Nazareth could not comprehend was how one with the origin and environment of Jesus here in Nazareth could possess the wisdom which he appeared to have in his teaching (εδιδασκεν). That has often puzzled people how a boy whom they knew could become the man he apparently is after leaving them. They knew Joseph, Mary, the brothers (four of them named) and sisters (names not given). Jesus passed here as the son of Joseph and these were younger brothers and sisters (half brothers and sisters technically).

55Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
56And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
57And 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.

(κα εσκανδαλιζοντο εν αυτω). Graphic imperfect passive. Literally, "They stumbled at him," "They were repelled by him" (Moffatt), "They turned against him" (Weymouth). It was unpardonable for Jesus not to be commonplace like themselves.

(ουκ εστιν ατιμος). This is a proverb found in Jewish, Greek, and Roman writers. Seen also in the Logia of Jesus (Oxyr. Papyri i. 3).

58And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

(δυναμεις). Powers. The "disbelief" (απιστιαν) of the townspeople blocked the will and the power of Jesus to work cures.