Mark 6 1-13
Jesus left there and went back to his hometown. His followers went with him. On the Sabbath day he taught in the synagogue. Many people heard him and were amazed. They said, “Where did this man get these teachings? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? And where did he get the power to work miracles? He is only the carpenter. His mother is Mary. He is the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters are here with us.”
The people did not accept Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Other people give honour to a prophet. But in his own town with his own people and in his own home, a prophet does not receive honour.” Jesus was not able to work many miracles there. The only miracles he did were to heal some sick people by putting his hands on them. Jesus was amazed that they had no faith.
Then Jesus went to other villages in that area and taught. He called the 12 followers together and sent them out in groups of 2. He gave them authority over evil spirits. This is what Jesus told them: “Take nothing for your trip except a walking stick. Take no bread, no bag, and no money in your pockets. Wear sandals and take only the clothes you are wearing. When you enter a house, stay there until you leave that place. If any town refuses to accept you or its people refuse to listen to you, then leave that town. Shake its dust off your feet. This will be a warning to them.” The followers went out and preached to the people to change their hearts and lives. The followers forced many demons out and poured olive oil on many sick people and healed them.
Today's reading teaches us two important things. First, that we need to be open and ready to hear Jesus, if we are not ready, we won't be able to listen and hear all the amazing things that God has planned for our lives. Secondly Jesus then sent his disciples out to share the good news and this is what God wants us to do. He doesn't want us to be open to hearing him and then just keep everything to ourselves, he wants us to be open to hearing him and then go out and share what we have heard with others. We might think that we don't have the skills to share with others, but this passage shows us that we don't need anything, just to rely on God.
Jesus teaches in his home town but is not accepted by those who are there, they weren't ready or open to hearing him. After this he continues healing and teaching elsewhere where people were more open to hearing him. He then even sends his disciples to continue his work, travelling in pairs and talking nothing extra with them. They teach about being sorry for the things people have done wrong and even cure the sick.
When Jesus sends his disciples out, he tells them to take nothing but their walking stick and their sandals. I wonder how you would feel if you were sent out on a trip with nothing but a walking stick and your shoes. Jesus wasn't being mean when he did that, he wanted them to learn that they didn't need anything as they could rely on God to provide all the needed and that is the same for us today.
Dear God, thank you for Jesus and his disciples who kept offering love and healing to all who would receive it so that we can then share your love and healing with others. Amen
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