Fifth Sunday after Trinity 8.7.12 Mark 6.1-13

1 07 2012

Home and Away, Shake or Stay

This is a passage of two halves. In the first paragraph the dominant idea is the oppressive power of home and family. The second is all about going out beyond the familiar and keeping on the move.

Mark 6.1-13

Jesus left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. 2On 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! 3Is 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 offence at him. 4Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’ 5And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Then he went about among the villages teaching. 7He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. 10He said to them, ‘Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11If 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.’ 12So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 13They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Reflections and Questions

‘home town’ v 1  and v 4

Jesus was in the place where everyone knew him but this was inhibiting. He was less himself when people knew exactly who he was (or thought they did).

Might this be true of people you know? Might it even be the normal dynamic in a local church?  (Everyone inhibiting everyone else…) How might a sermon liberate people from such mutual oppression?

‘astounded ‘ v 2  ‘amazed’ v 8. 

Here is more mutuality. They are astounded by Jesus. He is amazed by them. 

Do you ever see people open-mouthed in amazement at each other?  Can you give an example?  How do such situations develop – and how do they end up?

‘he went out among the villages … and began to send them out’ v  v6

This is where the story changes. This is where we meet dynamism and difference-making. The point is that nothing is going to happen unless people venture out, but that is a message no one wants to hear.

Notice that Jesus led by example – first he went out, then he sent others out.  What is this saying to you?

‘stay there’ v 10 ‘shake off the dust’ v 11 

The disciples have to make decisions on the hoof. They have to discern what the potential of a place is and be confident enough to act on their discernment. As always we see that true discipleship is dynamic.

Is that point too obvious, or might it be something that needs to be said very clearly?  Again, example is the best teacher: what story can you tell from your own life about deciding to stay or deciding to shake?

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7 07 2012
7/8/2012 Proclaim the Good News | ForeWords

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