Summary: To learn that rejection does not equal failure.
The Message of Mark #15:
Down, But Not Out
Text: Mark 6:1-13
Thesis: To learn that rejection does not equal failure.
(1) Jesus had been experiencing great success with His teachings and healings.
(2) He decides now to go back to His hometown with the hopes that He will likewise be successful there.
I. The Story:
A. Jesus returns home to Nazareth.
1. His taking His disciples with Him “unmistakably identified him as a rabbi” (Hughes 1:132).
2. On the Sabbath, Jesus goes into the synagogue to teach.
B. The people’s reaction was one of mixed emotions.
1. At first, the people were astonished at His teaching.
2. However, their astonishment quickly turned into being offended at Him.
a. ‘Offended’ carries the idea “of being offended and repelled to the point of abandoning belief in the Word or one’s relation with Jesus” (Wessel 665).
b. “Jesus was victim of what all too often is a law of human relationships: familiarity breeds contempt” (Hughes 1:132).
c. “No man ever has more severe critics than those who have known him since his boyhood” (Schubert 95).
d. “To the people of Nazareth Jesus is the local boy, and they know no reason why he should have turned out to be any different from the rest of his family” (France 242).
e. “The audience simply found his teaching more than they could comprehend in view of their knowledge about him” (Guelich 308).
f. Therefore, the people hurl insults at Jesus.
(1) They say that He is nothing more than the carpenter [note: a carpenter “would build you anything from a chicken-coop to a house; the kind of man who could build a wall, mend a roof, repair a gate; the craftsman, the handy-man, who with few or no instruments and with the simplest tools could turn his hand to any job” (Barclay 138)].
(2) They call Him the Son of Mary, which “was contrary to Jewish usage to describe a man as the son of his mother, even when she was a widow, except in insulting terms” (Lane 203).
3. Jesus responds by quoting a proverb that meant that a person oftentimes fail to get the respect that he deserves in his hometown.
C. Because of the people’s rejection, Jesus was unable to accomplish what He had wanted to accomplish.
1. The few miracles was “because of the small number of people willing to come to him or to bring their sick to him for healing” (R. Shelly).
2. Jesus was thus filled with disappointment, which “was a part of His authentic humanity, and it pained Him in His heart, but it did not make Him despondent” (Schubert 96-97).
D. Jesus decides to move on and continue His work.
1. “The immediate mention of teaching in other villages of the neighborhood suggests that he did not stay long in Nazareth, but rather followed the principle which he is about to enunciate in v. 11” (France 244).
2. Jesus does not allow one setback to deter His mission.
E. Jesus sends out the apostles into the mission field.
1. ‘Send’ (v. 7) “carries with it the idea of representation” (Wessel 667).
- “Jesus authorized the disciples to be his delegates with respect to both word and power. Their message and deeds were to be an extension of his own” (Lane 206).
2. He sends them ‘two by two,’ which followed “the fact that having two witnessed met the legal requirement for authentic testimony (Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15; Numbers 35:30). Moreover, this provided mutual encouragement and prayer for ministry” (Hughes 1:135).
3. He also gives them instructions for the journey.
a. “The first set of instructions in vv. 8-9 concerns what to take” (Edwards 179).
1) “The prohibitions suggest the urgency of the mission and the necessity of trusting God for provisions” (Brooks 101).
2) “The minimum of provisions was meant to call out the maximum of faith” (Hughes 1:135).
b. “A second set of directives concerns how to act” (Edwards 179-81).
1) “The exhortation to stay in any house they enter until they leave was perhaps designed to oppose moving up to finer quarters if offered by another supporter” (Black 112).
2) “It was customary for pious Jews who had traveled abroad to carefully shake the dust of alien lands from their feet and clothing. This act dissociated them from the pollution of those pagan lands and the judgment which was to come upon them. The same action by the apostles symbolically declared a hostile village pagan. It was a merciful prophetic act designed to make the people think deeply about their spiritual condition” (Hughes 1:136).
F. The apostles went out and experienced great success.
II. The Application:
A. We will not win everyone over for Christ.
B. When a person does reject us, then we should continue on to the next person.
C. With Jesus, we can experience great success.
- Jesus stands before you today. What will you do with Him?