Mark 6:1-13: In His Strength
Do you plan on attending your ten year high school class reunion? Why or why not? Let's see what happens as a carpenter turned healing rabbi returns to His hometown.
Let's read verses 1-6
When Jesus visits His hometown, what do the Nazarenes acknowledge about His ministry? (He taught with much wisdom and even performed miracles.)
What fair and good question did they ask themselves? ("Where did He get these things?")
How do they answer their own question? (Instead of seeing the Divine at work, they point to the humble roots of Christ's family and profession. They say, in effect: "Who does He think He is? He's just a country boy – a blue collar worker like us." Familiarity breeds contempt. The Expositor's Bible Commentary states: "The second question, 'Isn't this Mary's son?' seems also to be derogatory since it was not customary among Jews to describe a man as the son of his mother even when the father was not alive. Behind this question may be the rumor, circulated during Jesus' lifetime, that He was illegitimate." [Wessel 665])
What affect did the Nazarenes' unbelief have on Jesus? ("He was amazed at their lack of faith", and His ministry of healing was limited. Jesus didn't throw miracles at people against their will.)
Does unbelief ever hinder God's work in your own life?
Let's read verses 7-13.
Why do you think Jesus sends them out in pairs? (This is consistent with the biblical value of ministry in community. Not only can they lean on each other for support and encouragement; their very relationship is a witness to the world. Also, having "two witnesses" was important to Jews for establishing truthfulness.)
What provisions did Jesus instruct them to make for their journey? (Very little: they were to bring nothing but a staff and were to receive hospitality from strangers.)
Why did Jesus instruct them to take so little? (To encourage dependence and trust in God.)
Why were they to shake the dust of an unwelcoming town from their feet? ("As a testimony against them". It was to be a warning of judgment to those who reject the gospel, as was the Jewish custom of cleaning the heathen dirt from their feet when returning home from foreign lands.)
How did their ministry go? (Modeled after Christ's ministry, they preached repentance, exorcised demons and healed the sick. Christ's power goes with those He sends out.)
How can we apply the disciples' mission to our own on campus?
- Work together.
- Don't force our message on the unwilling.
- Warn those who reject the gospel.
- Trust in God's provision when we take risks for Him.
- Know that Jesus will enable those He sends out.