Mark 6: 1-13 talks about a prophet without honor and Jesus sending out the twelve. There is a saying that you can never go home again. Jesus and the disciples went to His hometown. He preached in the Synagogue and many were amazed. The people realized that he was the carpenter and the son of Mary and Joseph. Furthermore his brothers and sisters were there among them. The people took offense at Him. Verse four reads, “ A prophet is not without honor except in his own town among his relatives and in his own house. “
The second thread of the gospel had Jesus sending out the twelve apostles for ministry. He instructed them on how to minister and what to take with them and even who to stay with. He also instructed them on how to deal with rejection, the same type of rejection that He experienced. Jesus told the disciples to go two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. He taught them to just take a staff—– no bread, no bag, and no money. They were to wear sandals and not to take an extra shirt. Sort of reminds me of the Old Methodist Circuit Riders. I am sure they travelled very light. So the disciples were to rely on the people to feed them and give them a place to stay. They had to get over their pride just as we must get over our pride. Most Americans are fiercely independent. Many of us don’t like to ask for help from anyone. The disciples also had to live a life of sharing and being humble. None of this my camel is better than yours or my money bag has a lot more money than yours.
Next Jesus instructed them about rejection. He taught them and us how to deal with rejection. Verse 11 says, “ and if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave the place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” Notice Jesus said to just leave. He didn’t say to get even. He didn’t say to be nasty, or spread gossip or rumors. After all Jesus was rejected as the cornerstone by the builders. He forgave even though He was nailed to a cross.
Then the disciples went out and preached repentance from sin. They drove out demons and anointed sick people with oil and healed them. Last week I spoke about using Holy Oil to help heal people. Even today anointing people can help heal them physically and spiritually. The people have to believe and those being anointed certainly have to have a strong faith. We also have to remember that the healing is from God. We are just the obedient disciples who travel two by two and who are following in the footsteps of the disciples. AMEN!
Father Ed, Shared Episcopal Ministry