Today’s passage challenges me in my role within the church body as well as my role as a parent.
Despite being back in His hometown, Jesus does not forsake going to the Synagogue on the Sabbath to teach. His family, friends, and neighbors also attend and after listening to His teaching begin to ask all kinds of questions.
- Where did this man get these things?
- What is this wisdom given to Him?
- How are these miracles performed by His hands?
- Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon?
- Aren’t His sisters here with us?
This train of thought inevitable leads only to one outcome…“So they were offended by Him” (6:3b). Instead of inviting Jesus over after the service for fellowship and rest, the people took offense that this mere carpenter’s son who they watched grow up, was now placing Himself above them in their church through His teachings, wisdom, and performance of miracles.
- Do we, as believers not act just like Jesus’ friends, family, and neighbors?
- Do we sometimes question where they get the things they are teaching? (Disclaimer: We do have a responsibility to make sure that the teaching we sit under and listen to lines up with scripture [Acts 17:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:21], but we should have a spirit of humility while searching out the truth. I do not believe the spirit of the people in the synagogue that day was humility.)
- Do we question the wisdom that is given to them?
- Do we think we know their parents, where they work, and their siblings?
- Then after festering over these things, do we not get offended by them?
- Are our fellow believers left with the same amazement Jesus had at our unbelief of how God is working in their lives?
May we not get to the point that Jesus has to leave our town because of our unbelief in the work He is doing through others as well as His desire to work through us.
Jesus leaves again to teach in the surrounding villages. He also calls the 12 disciples to Him and sends them out. Both the Mark and the Matthew accounts give specific details as to this event.
What were the instructions to the Disciples? (6:7-13)
- Go in pairs
- Given authority over unclean spirits
- Take nothing but a walking stick (rod and staff shall comfort me)
- No bread, traveling bag or money
- Wear sandals (shod with gospel of peace)
- No extra shirt
- When entering a house stay until you leave the area
- If a place doesn’t welcome you and people don’t listen leave there, shake off dust from feet as testimony against them
What did the disciples do?
- Went out preaching repentance
- Drove out demons
- Anointed sick people with olive oil
- Healing people
Jesus sent them out after giving them instructions:
- Where to not go (10:5)
- Where to go (10:6)
- What to do while they go (10:8)
- Announce the kingdom of heaven has come near
- Heal the sick
- Raise the dead
- Cleanse those with skin disease
- Drive out demons
- Don’t take gold, silver, or copper or money belts (10:9)
- Don’t take a traveling bag, extra shirt, sandals, or walking stick (10:10) because a worker is worthy of his food (10:10b)
- Instructions for entering a town
- Find out who is worthy and stay until you leave (10:11)
- Greet a household when you enter it (10:12)
- If it is worthy, let your peace be on it
- If unworthy, let your peace return to you (10:13)
- If anyone does not listen to you or welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that house or town
Both accounts reminded me of my own responsibility as a parent. Just as Jesus sent His disciples out while He was still with them and did not wait until right before His ascension to give them instruction and send them on their way, so I should not wait until my children leave home before I allow them opportunities to practice what they have seen modeled and been taught.
Jesus modeled for His disciples how to teach and proclaim the kingdom of God as well as how to cast out unclean spirits, heal, and perform miracles as God directed them. He then sent them out to practice what they had seen and heard. When they returned (we will see this in Mark 6:30) Jesus was able to converse with them about their experiences and correct or encourage them, as they needed direction in going forward. Similarly, we as parents model and teach and train our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). Opportunities should then be given for them to demonstrate what they have been taught and then encouragement and if needed course correction given before they permanently leave our nest.
I remember one of our Sunday school teachers who had teenagers in the home at the time, sharing the following statement with us along with all the other newly married couples in our class: “I want all my children’s firsts to happen under our roof.” The premise was that she and her husband wanted to be the ones there whenever their children encountered difficult situations so that they would be the once to give godly counsel following all accomplishments as well as failures. I have never forgotten this nugget of wisdom.
Lord, help us today to not become boastful and prideful in our relationship with other believers. Help us to be joyful for the work You are doing in other people’s lives. May we speak words that build one another up and not question to the point of being offended by one another. Help me as a parent to train our children in the direction You desire for them to go and then give them opportunities to walk in their own faith in You. May we all be ready to say Here Am I Send Me and walk in the things You have taught and instructed us to do.