Summary: In Mark's version of the sending of the 12, he tells us the exciting story of how Jesus chose 12 men and set them apart to go tell others the Good News of faith in Christ. We need to follow their example!
JESUS LAUNCHES THE TWELVE
A. HUMOR: It’s all a matter of how you look at it
1. Four people looked at the same glass of water and saw something different. The Optimist said, “It’s half full.” The Pessimist said, “It’s half empty.” A Hindu looked and said, “The glass in only an illusion.”
2. Last, the Hypochondriac said, “It’s tepid water, there’s a dirty smudge, it’s unclean, and if I drink it I’ll probably catch a virus and die!” Our perspective of things determines what we see!
6 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. 8 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. MK. 6:1-13, NIV.
1. The stories of Jesus’ visit to his hometown and his commissioning of the twelve are two separate stories. The first story has to do with belief and unbelief. The second story has to do with the call of disciples and the proclamation of the Gospel.
2. In chap. 5, Jesus demonstrated his great power on both sides of the Sea of Galilee— the Gerasene demoniac (5:1-20), Jairus’ daughter (5:21-23, 35-43), and the woman with the issue of blood (5:24-34). Jesus’ hometown folk should have been proud—but they weren’t.
3. Immediately following today’s passage, Mark tells us of the death of John the Baptist, 6:14-29. So the call of the disciples is sandwiched between two stories of rejected prophets—Jesus rejected by his hometown people (vss. 1-6) and John killed by the king (vss. 14-29).
4. Yet despite rejection, the church marches on triumphantly in success, evangelizing and expanding, Mark 6:30. God won’t be hindered even by deaths or rejections of His servants!
5. The title of this message is, “Jesus Launches the Twelve.”
I. PEOPLE OF NAZARETH OFFENDED AT HIM, 6:1-3
A. HE MINISTERS AT NAZARETH
1. “Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples,” Vs. 1. “Hometown,” Greek ‘padrida,’ is from Papatros, the word for father. This was Jesus’ fatherland, His home turf. Nazareth was the place where he grew up—where his family lived—the place most familiar to Him with wonderful memories of childhood.
2. Nazareth was a small town of at most 2,000 people—a town small enough that everyone would know everyone else—and everyone else’s business. So they knew all about Jesus’ earthly life.
3. Jesus came as a Rabbi, with a retinue of disciples. The town had heard of His feats elsewhere. “When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue,” vs. 2. In a day when many people couldn’t read and didn’t have access to the Torah, hearing the scriptures read and expounded in the synagogue was their primary way of learning about God.
4. But they responded, “Where did this man get these things? What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter?” And they took offense at him (Vss. 2-3).
5. Basically, they were saying, “Who does he think he is?” They said, “Isn’t this the tekton?” (carpenter or stonemason). This stonemason was trying to be a Rabbi – a very venerated position in that culture. Now Jesus had never had the formal training required for rabbis, so in their minds, he lacked the credentials of a teacher.
6. Secondly, Jerusalem scribes had previously spread malicious rumors about him— “He has Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of the demons he casts out the demons” (3:22). This caused a reluctance to accept him.