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Mark 6:1

"He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him". ESV.

In this story Jesus returns to his hometown where he is recognised and known. Mark 6:3 : "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary...".

Luke 4:16

"And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up...".

Commenting on Mark 6:1-6 Meyer's NT Commentary says,

"The narrative itself is not to be identified with that of Luke 4:16".

Meyer's NTC, whether right or wrong, appears to me to give no reason for this assertion. Why might this comment of Meyer's be right or wrong? Are Mark and Luke recounting different stories or different views of the same story?

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All 4 Gospels have the account of Jesus in Nazareth;

  1. Matthew 13:54-58
  2. Mark 6:1-6
  3. Luke 4:16-30
  4. John 4:44

John and Luke share a similarity that Jesus arrived Nazareth in his early ministry, at time after His baptism, departed from Jerusalem back to Galilee. But it is unable to identify the timing in the account of Matthew and Mark. Since Jesus baptism in Matthew is in Chapter 3, in Mark is in Chapter 1, there may have an impression that the account of Jesus in Nazareth in Matthew and Mark came some time after His Baptism. If it is based on the context order to justify that there were two visits, I'm afraid the judgement was not justifiable enough.

Reviewing the accounts in all 4 gospels, there are words from Jesus in common;

And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” (Matt 13:57 NIV)

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” (Mark 6:4 NIV)

“Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. (Luke 4:24 NIV)

Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country. (John 4:44 NIV)

Therefore, it would be very odd if Jesus went there twice, and speaking the same comment.

First of all, it is very difficult to reconcile the 4 gospels into an undisputable chronological order of the events. Each gospel had its specific audience and purpose to achieve, therefore they were organised in different perspective, and various in length of the details. It may be more appropriate to use the context to determine if they were the same account.

To me, they were the same account. But I could not judge if Meyer's comment was wrong, for I do not fully understanding his comment

"The narrative itself is not to be identified with that of Luke 4:16".

That he might say

"The purpose of the narrative itself is not to be identified with that of Luke 4:16".

if he wanted readers to put more focus on the variation of details, rather than arguing on theirs identification.

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Actually, Meyer does give a reason for his assertion - he associates Mark 6:1-6 with Matt 13:54-58, as the SECOND rejection at Nazareth; the first being Luke 4:16-30.

Meyer is not alone - this is a common idea that there were two rejections of Jesus and His ministry at Nazareth; Ellicott assumes the same; The Pulpit commentary has the same idea; Barnes is the same; etc.

Now, whether the two incidents in Matt 13 and Mark 6 on one hand vs Luke 4 on the other hand are two incidents or the same incident is another question. My personal view is that that we have two incidents - two rejections from by the people at Nazareth.

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