Summary: What price could you set on the gospel work a pastor does? Think about that as Jesus shows us what he expects from the preachers he sends and what he expects from the hearers. Parts: A. It comes as a free gift. B. Receive it with open hearts and homes.
Text: Mark 6:7-13
Theme: Jesus Sends Out His Priceless Gospel of Repentance
A. It comes as a free gift
B. Receive it with open hearts and homes
Season: Pentecost 8b
Date: July 26, 2009
Web page: www.caughtbyjesus.net/sermons/Jesus-Sends-Out-His-Priceless-Gospel-of-Repentance-Mark6_7-13.html
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Word from God through which the Holy Spirit reveals our Savior, Jesus Christ is Mark 6
"[Jesus] calls together the twelve and began sending them two by two. He was giving them authority over unclean spirits and commanded them that they should not take anything on the trip except only a staff -- no bread, no bag, no money in their belt -- but to go wearing sandals. "And don’t wear two tunics." He was saying to them, "Wherever you enter into a house, there stay until you leave from there. Whichever place does not welcome you and doesn’t hear you, as you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony to them." When they went out, they preached that they should repent. They were driving out many demons, pouring oil on many who were sick, and healing them." (Mark 6:7-13)
Dear friends in Christ, fellow saints washed clean in the blood of our risen Savior:
No doubt, you’ve seen the Mastercard® Priceless TVTM commercials. For example one of them called "Icons" goes like this: Broccoli: $1.79; tuna: $3.99; crescent rolls $2.39; getting everyone together for dinner: priceless (https://www.priceless.com/us/personal/en/pricelesstv/index.html).
We could make a similar commercial. It might go like this: /Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal/ hymnal: $21; NIV Bible: $9.99; one set of service folders: $6.30; hearing the Gospel of Jesus: priceless.
The Gospel is priceless in both senses of the word. It comes to you free of cost, no price, no charge. And yet all money in the world could not purchase what the Gospel brings to you. No matter how many digits follow the dollar sign, it cannot pay for the forgiveness, for the reconciliation, for the eternal life that the Gospel brings to you who believe. The Gospel of Jesus is priceless.
Keep this in mind, dear friends, as we join Jesus as he sends out his disciples to preach this Gospel of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Then we will better understand the work of a pastor and also the response God is looking for in you, the hearers. So we focus on the theme: Jesus sends out his priceless Gospel of repentance. Part one: It comes as a free gift. Part two: Receive it with open hearts and homes.
A. It comes as a free gift
1. What’s the message of the Gospel, which is preached as a free gift?
Jesus calls together the twelve disciples to send them out. This mission was to the people of Israel. He was giving them early field experience. After his resurrection he would send them out to all nations. They were to take nothing extra with them on this mission, only the sandals on their feet and the staff in their hand. Jesus gave them authority to drive out evil spirits as well as to heal the sick. These miracles confirmed that the message they proclaimed was from God and not from their own imagination and reasoning.
What was that message? Mark summarizes it: "They went out and preached that people should repent" (Mark 6:12 NIV). They were heralds who did not speak their own ideas but preached the message entrusted to them. That’s what a faithful preacher does. A king does not want his heralds modifying his messages and decrees. So also a faithful preacher doesn’t have his own agenda; rather, he faithfully proclaims the message of the One who sent him. Jesus directly sent out the Twelve. Through you Jesus has called me to be your pastor. He has sent me to proclaim to you his message as a faithful herald, as a preacher of his Word.
And what is that message? The same as the disciples proclaimed. Still today Jesus calls us to repentance through his heralds. God’s Law confronts and convicts us. You are a sinner. You deserve to go to hell. But Christ has taken away your sin. God forgives you. Yes, he freely forgives even you. For the Father sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for all sins with his blood on the cross, including all of your sins. He’s raised him from the dead to prove to you that you are justified before God through Jesus. That’s the priceless good news of the Gospel. A repentant heart believes this good news: Sinner though I am, Jesus died for me. I, yes even I, am fully and freely forgiven in Jesus. How priceless the Gospel is!
Now of course, when the disciples go out before Jesus’ death and resurrection, they did not know all these details. But they preached the same Gospel of the Lord’s forgiveness in the coming Messiah, whom you know to be Jesus of Nazareth, crucified and risen.