Going Deeper 07.02.2021

The Gospel reading for Pentecost 6... Mark 6:1-13

He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.  Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Earlier in Mark's Gospel, Jesus had a very positive experience in a synagogue in Capernaum.  But that His is in His own hometown, where people were familiar with His family history, Jesus is rejected.  Perhaps this was due to Jesus being too familiar... "We saw this kid grow up and noticed nothing special.  Now we're supposed to believe he's the Messiah?"  Or perhaps they did not like what Jesus had to say, which is a theme in Luke's account of this story.  We don't know for sure.  But we do know that Jesus had to move on.  Where unbelief does not receive Jesus, He usually moves on.

Now Jesus involves His disciples in His mission.  They are instructed to go to homes and not to the synagogues in the towns they visit.  The religious leaders would increasingly prove to be antagonistic toward the "Jesus movement."  Their inhospitality would soon turn to outright hostility.

Are we ready to receive Jesus, this miracle worker, prophet/teacher?  We are inclined to say we already have received Him, which may be true.  But are we willing to increasingly receive His teachings and His call upon our lives?  Or does our unbelief-- or other things-- get in the way?  

As the children's Christmas song proclaims, "Where meek souls will receive Him, still the dear Christ enters in."   We do well to continually welcome Jesus into our homes, our hearts, and our lives.

With You in Him,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor

Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington

"Gratefully Growing Servants"