Matthew 13:53-55. When Jesus had finished these parables Namely, those last mentioned, delivered in the house, which he added to the others spoken before in public; he departed thence, (see Mark 6:1,) and came once more into his own country Namely, Nazareth: but with no better success than he had had there before: for though he preached in their synagogue with such wisdom and eloquence that they were astonished, and also performed some miracles, yet the Nazarenes were not disposed to believe on him, taking offence at the poverty and meanness of his family and relations. They said, therefore, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Whence? certainly from above, for you yourselves acknowledge that they are too extraordinary to be ascribed to a poor uneducated man. Is not this the carpenter’s son? In Mark it is, Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary? Although the word, ο τεκτων , rendered carpenter, may mean one that works either in wood, iron, or stone, yet it is probable that a carpenter, properly so called, is here intended. Accordingly Justin Martyr tells us that Jesus, before he entered on his public ministry, was employed in this occupation: and the ancient Christians were all of the same opinion. The Jewish canons required that all parents should teach their children some trade; and, probably, the poverty of the family engaged Christ, while he was at home with Joseph, to work at his. What an additional proof is this of the humiliation of the blessed Redeemer for our sakes! The four persons here mentioned and termed the brethren of Christ, it appears, were his cousins, the sons of his mother’s sister, the wife of Cleophas, or Alpheus. By James is meant James the Less, whom St. Paul calls the Lord’s brother, Galatians 1:19. Joses, or Joseph, (for the name is the same,) is the only son of the virgin’s sister, who never was an apostle. Simon is the same who is called the Canaanite, or Zelotes, to distinguish him from Simon Peter. And Judas, or Jude, is the author of the epistle that goes under that name: wherein he is styled the brother of James.
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