Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
Luke 4:23: "Jesus said to them, surely, you will quote this proverb to me: 'Physician heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard you say you did in Capernaum."
What did Jesus do in Capernaum before he moved there after he was rejected in his hometown of Nazareth? Apparently, he had taught them about what he previously did in Capernaum.
I thank you for your question. Let me take a crack at answering it. Maybe the best way to answer is to explain what is going on in that scene.
Jesus had done an itinerant ministry throughout the province of Galilee, which included ministry in the town of Capernaum. His ministry included great signs, miracles, healings, and displays of power along with powerful teaching (Mark 1:21-27).
When His schedule involved coming to Nazareth (also in Galilee), He was returning to His home town where He grew up in (Luke 4:16). To these people, He was just a hometown kid, who in their mind could not possible be the Messiah of which He claimed (Luke 4:17-21). To them, He was still just a neighborhood kid, the son of a tradesman. Even His own brothers and sisters did not believe Him.
Jesus knew their hearts. Though they initially marveled at Jesus’ claim, He knew they would soon doubt Him, and turn against His (to them) outrageous claims (Luke 4:28, 29).
“Physician heal thyself” refers to someone who claims to have solutions to a problem, yet cannot solve the problem for themselves. In other words, they are a fake. The people of Nazareth were about to call Jesus a fake – just a hometown blowhard trying to make a name for Himself.
The hometown people wanted Christ to prove His claims by repeating the same miracles that He had been doing in His ministry in Galilee, including Capernaum. There was a tinge of ridicule behind their question.
His reply was that, “no prophet is welcome in his home town.” This is a general truism in life. Rarely is a local person who makes good honored in their home town – they remain just a local kid. As it is jokingly said among pastors, “The expert is always the guy from out of town.” This means that the local pastor is too familiar to the people, and they don’t take him as serious as a stranger from the outside who has a famous name.
You are correct in observing that Jesus taught the people of Nazareth the same thing that He did in Capernaum.
All the best, and God bless,
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