Time After Pentecost - Lectionary 14
Mark 6:1-13 (NRSV)
The Twelve sent to preach and heal
He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, "Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, "Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house." And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them." So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
I love today’s GOOD NEWS scripture because it gives us very clear “marking orders” as followers of Christ. We are sent out—two by two—to proclaim to the entire world a message of love, repentance, and healing.
Now, as we go, we would do well to be advised that not everyone is going to appreciate our message! Jesus, the very Son of God, was mocked in his home town when he attempted to teach in the synagogue!
Wow! If Jesus encountered this type of ridicule from his family, friends, and neighbors, how much more shall we expect the same?
Now, before we allow the teasing of others to cause us to silence our GOOD NEWS message, let us remember the importance of our message! Isn’t it absolutely amazing that God loves us so much that God gave Jesus to die on the cross to save us from our sin?!
This is wonderful GOOD NEWS, my friends! Whilst it is true that some may not be willing to hear it from us, others will! And those others deserve to know that God loves, gave, and saves and that God is inviting us into an eternal relationship based upon love, forgiveness and salvation.
Now, listen dear ones, today scripture basically says the following. First of all, don’t attempt to do the work of evangelism by yourself. Find a friend or partner who is willing to share GOOD NEWS with you! Evangelism can be lonely work. Without a friend, prayer partner, or church member to encourage you when you encounter resistance, you are likely to give up! Jesus reminded his disciples of the importance of working together!
Secondly, do not be discouraged by the “naysayers.” There is always going to be somebody who remembers when…you were a child, before you went to college, you weren’t a Christian, were addicted to drugs and alcohol, were homeless and penniless, were a prolific liar and sinner, didn’t take care of your spouse or kids…etc.
The GOOD NEWS about getting into a relationship with Jesus is that GOD changes us from the inside-out! It is true that once we have been washed in the Blood of the Lamb we don’t walk, talk, or act the same! If people remember when we didn’t know Jesus, then our new life style ought to bear witness to the power of the Holy Spirit! (Can I get an “Amen!”)
Finally, Jesus instructed his disciples to trust in God’s provision and to only bring GOOD NEWS where it is readily received.
This instruction really tickles me because I have actually seen Christians try to “ram” Jesus down the throats of their family, friends, and neighbors. Good grief! That is not the way to win a soul to Christ!
My mama used to say, “You don’t beat a man to the cross; you LOVE him there!”
When I attempt to share GOOD NEWS and find that a person is not ready to receive it, I bless them to go in peace. I pray for that person with all my heart and I trust that God will send another light into their lives to illuminate their darkness.
I love 1 Corinthians 3:7 which reminds us that one person plants, another waters, but it GOD who gives the increase!
I don’t know about you, but this takes a lot of pressure off of me as a disciple of Jesus! I am not obligated to “save souls!” Only God can save a soul; my only obligation is to lovingly, joyfully, and patiently share the GOOD NEWS message with everyone I meet!
My friends, this is fun and exciting work! It is the ultimate freedom to live into love, joy, and peace with God and neighbor!
Will you commit to sharing the GOOD NEWS today--and every day--no matter what the obstacle?
Holy God, WOW! How I love to tell the story! It amazes me that you invite me to be your partner as we tell the world that you love us, gave Jesus to die on the cross for us, and save us from our sin gifting us with eternal life! Amazing! I just have to tell somebody that “Jesus saves and He saves to the utmost!” Please forgive me of my sin and fill me with the Holy Spirit so that I can be a faithful witness to my friends, neighbors, and co-workers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Today's music ministry is rendered in American Sign Language (ASL) thanks to "DeafBear10" on YouTube.
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From Pastor Yolanda's blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com