Mark 6:1-13 Sermon for Sunday July 4th, 2021, Revd Tudor Vaughan Roberts
People who said on Tuesday “ I do not believe England can beat Germany” were proved wrong, were they unbelievers? Or was that just an opinion?
In Mark 6 we deal with deep down difficult to change unbelief this is not just about sport it is a fundamental opposition to the person of Jesus; this unbelief is serious, it has consequences. And all this happens as many of Jesus’s conflicts do on the day of the sabbath. So, is it all about difficulties? No! for in the second half of Mark 6:1-13 we get the sending out of the 12 disciples. Despite difficulties the Church can grow.!
Mark 6 is so authentic because it includes an insult which being there is a sign that this part of the Gospel could in no way have been made up. They call Jesus “son of Mary” No one ever (in Jesus’s day) gets called by their Mothers name yet in Mark 6 this happens so what is the context?
Remember last week in the accounts we had from Mark 5, they were not about unbelief but about belief about faith in bucket loads as the woman with an issue of blood was healed and Jairus’s daughter was raised to life.
But now Jesus turns away from Capernaum and turns for home, back to where he was brough up, Nazareth.
If the healing miracles Jesus did in Mark 5 are hints of the kingdom of God to come that we so vividly see in Acts, maybe the unbelief that we learn about in Mark 6 is a hint of the opposition that Jesus will encounter as he is rejected, arrested, tortured, and crucified as described in Mark 14 and 15.
It almost goes without saying that here we do not see “Jesus the Successful” I like that, Jesus was not a superhero figure that had no setbacks, he had many setbacks, and we should be thankful to Mark who is blunt in recording them for us.
Just as people could not believe that a shepherd boy, David, the youngest of his clan could slay a giant and one day become king, so Jesus’ neighbours, the very people of his hometown could not believe that Jesus, a carpenter literally Teknon in Greek someone who fixes things could be the Messiah or that these acts he did were done in God’s power and might.
So, they ask questions.
Where did this man get all this?
What is this wisdom given to him?
What are these remarkable miracles he is performing?
Their questions though are asked with the wrong motives and the wrong attitude. They cannot accept that the answer to the above questions just might be God himself. Jesus did come to fix people! He came to show us the log in our eyes.
Wisdom and mighty deeds are attributes of God himself Exodus 32:11 Deuteronomy 4:34 and 7:19
English Standard Version
11 But Moses implored the Lord his God and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?
New International Version
34 Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?
But this man this carpenter surely these acts can’t be down through him? And so, they, the residents of Nazareth insult him by calling him Son of Mary an illusion probably to Mary his Mother not yet being married at the time of his conception. So, like last week we learnt how Jesus responded to crisis and crowds, let us see how the same Jesus responds to rejection.
He uses an interesting title for himself. “A prophet is not without honour except I his own native place and amongst his own house”. By referring to himself as prophet Jesus links his destiny to that of a long line of prophets from the Old Testament who suffered rejection and violence because of the unpopularity of their message. Now amongst his own townspeople his relatives even his won flesh and blood he is held without honour.
What was said in John 1: 11 and Luke 13:34 -35 here in Mark 6 is brought into focus.
New International Version
11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
New International Version
33 In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!
34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
And so bad is this all-pervading unbelief Jesus could not perform any mighty deed on that place, but he does put his hands on a few people and cure them of sickness.
Mark does not soften this statement that seems to limit the power of the Son of Man on earth, but you and I can read and listen; and he still heals simply by his touch.
Do you get discouraged?
Do you sometimes feel rejected.?
Go back and rad Mark 6:1- 7 again and see how rather than be discouraged, we have one who has walked in our steps. But there is the thing what does Jesus do? He continues on. I read an article about Gareth Southgate the England manager, he has had his fair share of rejection and critical press and setbacks to deal with, but he has persevered and seen rewards and his strategy is to aim high and put his trust in those he has asked to be on his team.
I hesitate 2 compare a football manger with Jesus but both have jobs that were + are subject to discouragement and setbacks.
Jesus’ strategy is to send out 12 men on mission and send them out 2 X 2 and to take the very minimum with them to shake off the dust if any place rejects them and go somewhere else.
The disciples have to rely on Jesus and on God’s promises, they are not in it for any financial gain shaking dust of your feet was a way of saying I will not have Gentile soil on me, I will not be held back.
So, they preached repentance metanoia as a turning away from sin and they were sent by Jesus to anoint those they praying to be free of sickness. In other word Jesus moves on from rejection to Mission. That is ever our challenge in this life we wil have problems, Jesus said that, but each day is an opportunity to look to where we can proclaim and live out the Gospel.
O GOD, the protector of all that trust in thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us thy mercy; that, thou being our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not the things eternal: Grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ's sake our Lord. Amen
I RECKON that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope: because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.