Good morning everyone, our topic today is "…Jesus teaching his disciples…" I believe this was one of the biggest challenges that Jesus faced.
At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus had the problem of how his message would be taken to the world in such a short timeframe of approximately 3½ years. Although a popular person, he could only cover small ground, and when you take into consideration that in Jesus’ day, there was no printed books, newspapers, internet or television coverage, the only option Jesus has, is to cement his message in people.
The stakes are high – for if Jesus fails in his disciple making, his teachings and his work would soon be forgotten, and his mission would be a failure.
Mankind would never have the chance of being made right with God if he failed.
You would think that Jesus would have looked for the Bill Gate’s, the Socrates, the William Shakespeare’s, or the David Copperfield’s – people with money, brains and talent.
However, Jesus chose to invest his message and ministry to twelve ordinary people – mostly fishermen.
They were twelve ordinary men who were to change the world.
And almost 2,000 years later, the name of Jesus has not been forgotten or lost – his message and his ministry still goes on.
Lets turn to Mark 6 and once again, look at how it all happened.
But as we look at the disciples, lets remember that they have long been gone, and now its up Jesus’ followers of today (that’s you and me) to continue spreading his message. So this isn’t a history lesson, and I’m certainly not up here to entertain you. Rather, this is an important message for you today.
Our passage this morning begins shortly after Jesus is rejected by the people in his home town Nazareth. Not only had Jesus been rejected in his home town, but as we saw last week in Mark 3, he has also been rejected by the nation’s leaders, because they attributed his miracles to him being demon possessed. "… He is possessed by Beelzebub…" they said, "…By the prince of demons he is driving out demons…"
There is a change of direction in Jesus ministry from this point. From here on we observe:
* Jesus performing miracles for the individual rather than the general public, although the public will often benefit as a result.
* Faith will now the basis Jesus heals people. The statement "…your faith has made you well…" will be heard often from this point onwards.
* And we also observe Jesus beginning to speak in parables.
Despite being rejected by the nation’s leaders, the people had not fully rejected him. The phrase "…like sheep without a shepherd…" is mentioned occasionally (Mat 9:36, Mark 6:34), because it showed the people were indecisive. They didn’t know whether they should follow the old leaders or this new one.
So Jesus still has a ministry, and undeterred by his rejection in the synagogue, he goes about teaching from village to village.
And if we turn to Matthew 10 (which has a more detailed account), we will make some more observations about this mission: