Sunday, March 1, 2015

Jesus is rejected by His own in Nazareth

3.1.2015 2nd Sunday in Lent        Mark 6:1-13 Jesus is rejected by His own in Nazareth

Jesus’ hometown, Nazareth, takes offense at Him and His work. Earlier Jesus was rejected by His family and religious leaders. Now He is rejected by the people (friends and relatives) of His home town Nazareth. They were astonished at His teaching and mighty works. They could not explain His greatness; they referred to Him as a carpenter and as the son of Mary along with brothers and sisters. Unable to explain Him, they took offense and were scandalized by Him. Jesus reacted by saying that a prophet is without honor among His own people. He was unable to do mighty works because of the people’s unbelief. So Jesus left with His disciples to teach in other towns.

There is a touch of irony and tragedy in the words, “his own country”. It might have been, “his country.” “Own” intensifies the closeness of the relationship – His very own country, Nazareth, where Jesus grew up, worked as a carpenter, and where His family and relatives live. The tragedy is that His home folks rejected Him. “He came to His own and His own received Him not.” His immediate family called Him crazy. His hometown rejected him. Leaders of His native religion pronounced Him “possessed” of the devil. His nation cried, “crucify Him![2]

After His experience at Nazareth Jesus teaches and heals in other villages. Then He sends out the disciples to do the same. They go with His authority and as His representatives. Since this is a short-term assignment, they are not to take provisions. If people do not receive them, they are to go to another village to indicate that God’s judgment is upon them. What they are to do is exactly what Jesus did: exorcize demons, preach, and heal.

Though the disciples were already called to be disciples, Jesus now calls them to a specific task. Christians cannot be called in “general.” They are called to specific tasks according to a particular need. Before we can be sent, we must first be called. The church must first gather before it can scatter as servants of the world. Before we can minister, we must be ministered unto.[3]

So, what are you given to do? What is your task, your vocation your work? Whatever you find yourself to do, do it with all your might. Do it with a sense of purpose, and pride, and importance. For what you do does not go unnoticed by your heavenly Father. He sees all. And He is impressed. So impressed that He has promised to bless your work with satisfaction and enjoyment. He will use you. To be an instrument of His peace. You will use you to accomplish His purpose, no matter how small or how great. His only requirement is for you to be faithful.

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astry from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.[4]

[1] Image by Ed Rioja © Higher Things
[2] Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John Brokhoff, pp. 212-213 © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima OH
[3] Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John Brokhoff, pp. 217-218 © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima OH
[4] Collect for Sunday of Lent 2,

1 comment:

andoreen said...

Thank you for this post and the other posts. I enjoy reading them.