32. A prophet without honour at home
JESUS went out from thence, and came into his own country. When the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, What wisdom is this which is given unto him? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Joseph? Is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? and his sisters, are they not all here? Whence then has this man all these things and they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them,
A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
And he did not many works, there, because of their unbelief.
¶Jesus went about the cities and villages, teaching in synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing sickness among the people.
But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion, because they fainted and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he to his disciples,
The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.
¶Jesus called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits, and to cure diseases.
These twelve Jesus sent forth to preach the gospel of the kingdom; and he commanded them:
Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Take nothing for your journey, neither staves nor bread; provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats apiece; nor yet shoes, but be shod with sandals; for the workman is worthy of his meat.
And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, in what place soever ye enter into a house, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go, and thence depart. And when ye come into a house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.
¶Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; and hid that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
¶He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.
And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
They went out through the towns, and preached that men should repent. Healing everywhere, they anointed with oil many that were sick, and cast out many unclean spirits.
Scripture: Mark 6:1-6
Meditation 1 of 2:
Are you critical towards others, especially those close to you? The most severe critics are often people very familiar to us, a member of our family, a relative, or neighbor we rub shoulders with on a regular basis. Jesus faced a severe testing when he returned to his home town, not simply as the carpenter’s son, but now as a rabbi with disciples. ?It would have been customary for Jesus to go to the synagogue each week during the Sabbath, and when his turn came, to read from the scriptures during the Sabbath service. His hometown folks listened with rapt attention on this occasion because they had heard about the miracles he had performed in other towns. What sign would he do in his hometown? Jesus startled them with a seeming rebuke that no prophet or servant of God can receive honor among his own people. The people of Nazareth took offense at him and refused to listen to what he had to say. They despised his preaching because he was a workingman, a carpenter, a mere layman and they despised him because of his family. How familiarity can breed mistaken contempt. Jesus could do no mighty works in their midst because they were closed and disbelieving towards him. If people have come together to hate and to refuse to understand, then they will see no other point of view than their own and they will refuse to love and accept others. Do you easily take offense at others?
The word “gospel” literally means “good news”. Isaiah had prophesied that the Messiah would come in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring freedom to those oppressed by sin and evil (see Isaiah 61:1-2). Jesus came to set people free from the worst tyranny possible — the tyranny of slavery to sin and the fear of death, and the destruction of both body and soul. God’s power alone can save us from emptiness and poverty of spirit, from confusion and error, and from the fear of death and hopelessness. The gospel of salvation is “good news” for us today. Do you know the joy and freedom of the gospel?
“Lord Jesus, you are the fulfillment of all our hopes and desires. Your Spirit brings us grace, truth, life, and freedom. Fill me with the joy of the gospel and inflame my heart with love and zeal for you and for your will.”
Scripture: Mark 6:7-13
Meditation 2 of 2:
What kind of authority and power does the Lord want us to exercise on his behalf? Jesus gave his apostles both the power and the authority to speak and to act in his name. He commanded them to do the works which he did — to cast out evil spirits, to heal, and to speak the word of God — the good news of the gospel which they received from Jesus. When Jesus spoke of power and authority he did something unheard of. He wedded power and authority with love and humility. The “world” and the “flesh” seek power for selfish gain. Jesus teaches us to use it for the good of our neighbor. Why does Jesus tell the apostles to “travel light” with little or no provision? “Poverty of spirit” frees us from greed and preoccupation with possessions and makes ample room for God’s provision. The Lord wants his disciples to be dependent on him and not on themselves. He wills to work through and in each of us for his glory. Are you ready to handle the power and authority which God wishes you to exercise on his behalf? The Lord entrusts us with his gifts and talents. Are you eager to place yourself at his service, to do whatever he bids you, and to witness his truth and saving power to whomever he sends you?
“Lord, make me a channel of your grace and healing love that others may find life and freedom in you. Free me from all other attachments that I may joyfully pursue the things of heaven. May I witness the joy of the gospel both in word and deed.”