2.8.13 2.19.2023 Mark 6.1-6 Beginning to Question. (2)

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Mark 6:1–6 ESV
1 He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? 3 Is 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 offense at him. 4 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” 5 And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching.
Entice: It should be easy to return home. Our hometown should be filled with
relatives who accept us,
fans who support us,
neighbors who encourage us,
acquaintances who support us.
Things don’t always work out that way. The homecoming of Jesus was met with questions, criticism, and cat-calls. Though disappointed it does not seem that Jesus became discouraged. He did not back down or back away from the deeds or words that His hometown found objectionable.
Engage: Jesus has dealt with
demons and disease.
He restored sight to the blind,
mobility to the lame,
and lost children to grieving parents.
He taught simply yet profoundly. The only obstacle, till this point in His ministry that He could not overcome, was

the neighbors.

This is a portent of things to come as we begin to see more opposition to His ministry and teaching.
Expand: If Jesus could be rejected—so can we. If Jesus maintained His focus when questioned—so should we. If acts of kindness were misunderstood then—they surely will be now. If Jesus was a threat—the faithful Church will be.
Excite: God does not place limits on ministry but the audience does and we must adapt for the sake of the mission.

Success in ministry is defined by faithfulness to Kingdom vision, not by others.

Expand: External limits on ministry imposed by others impact reception not the work. We need to understand those limits so to keep from becoming discouraged.
Body of Sermon: The first limit to Kingdom ministry is

1 Shifting Communities.

Life and ministry take place in community—real places at real times. Jesus grew up in Nazareth. His early ministry was in Capernaum. Surely His old neighbors had heard about His ministry amongst His new neighbors.
Each of these communities in Jesus’ life had their own particular

1.1 Focus

The New: Ministry-focused.
The Old: tribe-focused.
Each community knew Jesus differently. The shift in Nazareth comes down to a basic

1.2 Question

Who does Jesus think He is?

The Nazarenes never really stopped asking this question. It was taken up by the scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and Antipas. Eventually even Pilate will ask it.
And the shifting allegiances of the twenty-first century is filled with all kinds of answers to the community-defining question, “Who is this Jesus?”
The next factor that limits ministry is

2 Shifting Expectations.

Jesus experienced this in His hometown. People felt threatened by Him because they thought they knew all there was to know about “the carpenter”. What Jesus was building went far beyond buildings and houses, or repairing plows and yokes. This shift began in the Synagogue with public

2.1 Worship.

Jesus had already been teaching. Clearly His hometown knew of His message and the consequences for their faith in practice. So, it is really no surprise that their shifting expectations are first disclosed in worship, for it was here that the new Kingdom vision could be the most threatening to the established order.
We also need to note that there was a shifting expectation regarding

2.2 Leadership

Nazareth did not know Jesus as a leader. Consequently, in a culture defined by a rigid hierarchy they found it difficult to imagine a new way of ordering life together. There were similarities between the Synagogue and what became the Church. The cardinal difference was Jesus. The people in Nazareth did not expect this and found it impossible to change.
After 21 centuries it is amazing that this shift in who we expect leaders to be and what we expect leaders to do is still an issue. Jesus will never yield to the expectations of Empire and those who Lord power over others. Jesus will always disappoint the world’s expectation for leadership
Which leads directly to another shifting expectation, a shift in

2.3 Understanding

2.3.1 Where did these things come from?
Where did this wisdom come from?
Where did this power come from?

Who does He think He is?]

They thought they knew…

The Carpenter...

They thought they knew…

The Son of Mary.

They thought they knew this…

Brother to James, Joses, Jude, Simon, and all these Sisters!

In a world of shifting expectations Jesus shows us how to be flexible in relationships and rigid in faithfulness. Too many people get exactly opposite of Jesus. Jesus didn’t pick fights or purposefully polarize. Jesus pursued His mission. The shifting expectations of Nazareth created the climate of rejection.
Which leads to the last limit to consider...

3 Shifting Outcomes.

The outcomes found in this text can be startling for a believer. We want Jesus to be liked. We want Jesus to be accepted, celebrated, loved, and obeyed. Yet even in our own experience we know that this is not the case. It never has been and never will be. Two of the outcomes are negative and remind us of the outcomes we still face. The last is positive and reminds us of what we must do.
The first outcome...

3.1 The scandal of Jesus.

The Message of Jesus will offend those who do not wish to submit to Him in worship, follow His leadership, or turn to Him for understanding.

3.2 The rejection of Jesus.

No impactful ministry can occur when Jesus is rejected. God does not impose upon those who will not gladly accept Him.
Which brings us to the last outcome,

3.3 The acceptance by Jesus!

3.3.1 In our world and for our culture, rejection is a sign that we need to recalibrate, rebrand, and refocus.
3.3.2 For Jesus: reaffirm, recommit, resume the Mission.

Be Like Jesus

Shut Down
Faithfulness is our goal, not “happily ever after.” In the real world “happily ever after” often means being so stung by criticism and scared by rejection that we have a change of heart. This did not happen to Jesus and need not happen to us.
In a world of shifting communities, shifting expectations, and shifting outcomes Jesus is truly a rock upon which we can build our lives. Sometimes you’ve just gotta’ be amazed at the faithlessness you see around you and keep moving on.
If you give your life to Christ, I cannot promise you that everyone will love you and that no one will reject you. I can promise that Jesus will love you, accept you, and include you in His band of disciples.
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