Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 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? 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.
Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.
These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 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.”
They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
This is a passage about rejection – there is a lot of that in the New Testament.
There is a whole stream of, mostly evangelical, Christianity that doesn’t really believe in what is said in these verses.
- they don’t like the idea of Jesus being rejected
- they don’t like the idea that they might be rejected
- they don’t like the idea that Jesus says go anyways
Mark 6:3 says that the people “took offence [literally “were scandalized”] at him [Jesus]”
- It’s important to note that this scene is probably the same scene that Luke records in Luke 4:14-30.
- the people are taking offence/being scandalized at what Jesus was saying & doing
And when Jesus is rejected, he continues teaching and ministering in the area, and then sends out his disciples in pairs.
He gives them these directions:
- travel light
- be a guest
- bring healing
- shake off rejection
What are some of the implications of this for us – the church – in 2022?
- What is some of the baggage we need to get rid of?
- It’s about going more than inviting
- What if our only agenda was to bring healing and wholeness to every person and system we encountered?
- Our job is to seek peace and healing wherever we go. If people aren’t ready, we simply move on with no argument or animosity. We shake the dust and keep walking.
Us and Them
They look at him and see what they want to see.
They easily create their boxes and put him inside,
contain the uncontainable in their own small world,
hem in the one who is larger than time and space.
They do what they always do –
pre-judge so they can keep change at bay.
Dismiss anything that might challenge their preconceived ideas.
He looks at them and sees their small worldview,
longs for them to open their eyes and soften their hearts.
He knows they are itching to dismiss him, but he cannot dismiss them.
He has come for this very reason – to open eyes and redeem
to offer a bright new way to those trapped in the shadows of the old.
So they panic and build their walls,
talk of geography and boundaries and outward appearances,
every brick a misguided opinion.
Perhaps one day they will see the carpenter again,
after he has made his epic journey through pain and death.
Perhaps one day the light of resurrection will dawn on them,
freeing them, softening their hearts and opening their minds.
Freeing all of us – drawing us out of the shadows
and softening our hearts and opening our minds…
The most decorated Winter Paralympian in Canadian history, Brian McKeever is a well-known athlete in Canadian sports circles. His story is told in Toyota’s new ad, set to air during the 2022 Super Bowl.
“Brothers” shares the power of sport through the journey of Brian and his older brother Robin, who both are significant figures in Canada’s Paralympic success. Brian is currently set to compete at his sixth Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing, aiming to add to his record 17 medals (including 13 gold). Robin will also be in Beijing as the long-time head coach of the nation’s accomplished Para nordic team.
It was Robin who taught Brian how to ski, and he went on to compete at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games as a cross-country skier.
When Brian began losing his vision at age 19 due to Stargardt disease, Robin became his guide. Together the pair competed at the 2002, 2006, and 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, winning seven gold, two silver, and one bronze medal. After 2010, Robin focused his attention on coaching while Brian would go on to claim more Paralympic hardware with new guides (in Beijing he will race with guides Graham Nishikawa and Russell Kennedy).
This 60-second ad illustrates what can be done when we do it together.