Something Greater is Here Part IV
Mark 6:1-13 (ESV)
After two weeks of long cuts of text, we get to a shorter passage this week. Still just as dense though, very rich. We are looking at Mark 6, verses 1 to 13.
We can split our text in to two parts this morning. The first part is Jesus being rejected in Nazareth, and the second is Jesus sending out his disciples to evangelize.
Jesus leads the group back home. I am sure Jesus was excited to take his disciples to his home town
But it is weird to see how people change over time. Sometimes it is for the better. Sometimes worse
The first story we’ll read this morning is about how the people of Nazareth didn’t recognize Jesus. Not physically, but his spirit.
Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
we are going to compare this story of Jesus to someone in the Old Testament. This morning I want us to look at Joseph, the favorite son of Israel.
Joseph was the son of Jacob and Rachel. He was beloved by his father, but his brothers, his own kinsmen, hated him. They attempted to murder him and leave him for dead. They ended up selling him into slavery. In Egypt Joseph was wrongfully accused, but remained faithful and God went on to place him in a position of power, at the right hand of Pharoah.
It’s an amazing passage that shows how God uses even terrible situations like his brother’s hatred to display his mighty power.
6 He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? 3 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.
• As was his custom, Jesus heads to the synagogue and starts teaching on the Sabbath.
• Immediately we hear from people who knew Jesus before he started his ministry, and the text tells us they are astonished at what they see.
• they think they know the real Jesus.
• Have you ever met someone who doesn’t really take us seriously as new creations? Maybe someone from our past who knew us before the holy spirit began its good work in us.
• They might think that our old selves are our real selves, more authentic.
• That’s the trick sin plays
4 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” 5 And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching.
• Seems like Jesus intellectually expected this. He could be thinking of any number of God’s messengers that came before him who were ignored, maybe even Josephs dreams ignored and ridiculed. He understands this was going to happen.
• This is the puzzle of Jesus being man and God. It must have hurt a little bit to have people that he grew up with scoffing at him, dismissing him. It could have been old friends.
Joseph is one of the best Old Testament examples we could look at. He was faithful to the Lord, and did what was asked of him. Our last few Jesus comparisons have showcased how the human nature made our heroes flawed, but with Joseph the task is harder. He is one of a few people in the bible that sin is not recorded. We know he sinned because he was human.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
God used this hatred. Because of the persecution of Joseph by his own brothers, God used Joseph to store up food in Egypt and provide an escape from famine for the whole region. He used the hatred of Joseph to save his special family, the people who would become the nation of Israel.
As righteous as Joseph was, Jesus is greater. The hatred that Jesus’ own brothers had for his righteousness was greater. We get a taste of it here in Nazareth, but this is only a preview of how much his brothers hated him. That great hatred would eventually bring about a greater deliverance than that of Joseph. This time salvation would be for the entire world, not just from physical famine, but from spiritual death.
Now we’ll look at the next section of text, where Jesus sends out his disciples to preach and evangelize.
7 And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts— 9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.
• He sends out his disciples. They have been with him for some time now, and he empowers them, gives them authority.
• The point of his instructions for this mission is for them to put trust in God. They aren’t able to lean on their own earthly possessions or provisions.
• A as far as I can tell Jesus is telling them not to go out and buy things to get ready for this trip. Just go.
10 And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. 11 And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.”
• Jesus says there will be people that will not listen, and it’s an uncomfortable fact sometimes
• We want people to like us, and it’s a challenging aspect of ministry that not everyone is going to listen to Gods message. A dangerous result occurs when we aren’t OK with that truth.
• We start trying to entice people with things that are not the gospel. We think, maybe if we have great kid’s programs, great cookouts, etc…
o Matthew 9:37 “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few”
• On a practical level, it’s hard to tell who those people are. The ones that won’t ever listen, versus the ones that need to be hit by a bus, maybe metaphorically. Some people need time, the seed needs to grow.
12 So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.
• Repentance is the major theme in the last several passages. And the disciples pick up the mantle. They go out to preach the need to change directions.
• There is no reason to repent if we like the direction we are going. But Jesus came to tell the world that we need to.
• He came to face us with our brokenness and sin.
• Amazingly, the disciples are full of power, able to heal supernaturally, restore. This is an incredible testament to the power of Christ.
So why are these passages right next to each other? How are they connected? The first story is of Jesus being spurned by his home town, and he uses that rejection to explain how we will face the same thing, for His sake. He shows his disciples that not everyone will take them in.
How can we apply this?
are you sharing the good news?
what does ministry look like in my life right now?
are you afraid of the rejection of men?
• Don’t be surprised if we are rejected. The people who are dying will NOT like it
2 Corinthians 2:15-16
“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life.”
Josephs response to his brothers, after God has revealed his plan.
“And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.”
God’s plan is seriously incredible. Josephs brothers rejected him, their own flesh and blood. But being God’s plan, their hatred ended up being their salvation. His brothers eventually did bow down to Joseph. And because Jesus is greater, salvation will come to the entire world, and one day all of creation will bow down to him.
“You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered”
But praise God for that betrayal, and for that murder. Through it we all have been saved. Because Jesus was rejected at Nazareth, and eventually in Jerusalem, we can have life.
The cross is offensive to this world. and it doesn’t make any sense that the cross would cause such a change in anyone’s life.