Friday, December 08, 2017

2017.12.08 Hopewell @Home ▫ Mark 6:1-13

Questions for Littles: Whose town did Jesus come to in v1? Who followed Him? What did He do on the Sabbath (v2)? What did the hearers ask about His teaching? What did they ask about His mighty works? What does v3 say they asked? What does v3 give as the last word about their response to Jesus? What is Jesus’ explanation for why they did not honor Him (v4)? What could Jesus not do there, according to v5? What did Jesus marvel at in v6? Where did He go instead? Whom did Jesus call to Himself in v7? What did He give them? What did He command them to take with them in v8? Where were they to stay when they went to a place (v10)? What two kinds of people were they to shake the dust off their feet against (v11)? How would it turn out for those people? What did the disciples preach (v12)? What did they do (v13)? 
In the Gospel reading this week, we were reminded again that being around Jesus’ life-giving teaching and life-changing power is a dangerous thing for the hard hearted. We have seen this several times recently in both Hebrews 3 and Mark 2-4. When in God’s Providence, He brings us across the same thing in several places (Remember also the Sabbath in Gen 2, Heb 4, and Mark 2-3), we would do well to take it to heart!

What we see happen in this particular passage is that familiarity breeds contempt. There is a danger in growing up around Jesus. “Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Sion? And are not His sisters here with us?” Jesus’ addition in v4 of “relatives… own house” tells us who was leading this Nazareth gossip!

Can you imagine having known a man, the eldest Son of a godly family, who Himself had never sinned even once—no sin of omission, and no proper loving service to family or neighbor left unattended to? Their knowledge of Jesus condemns them more, not less!

Well, dear Christian, are we so accustomed now to the goodness of Jesus that we put rather little stock in His Word or power? Can we listen to sermons or read passages that lay us bare, think to ourselves “wow, that’s some teaching!,” and then proceed to think and live exactly as we had previously done? Have we grown so accustomed to His daily treating us in perfect love that when we hear about His deeds of power, we yawn or even disbelieve?

Notice also two reasons why people put themselves in a worse spot than Sodomites and Gomorrahns will be at the judgment (!!!!!). One is that they are unwilling to receive the Lord’s servants. This might be a case of being unwilling to be associated with the Lord’s oddball people; and there is certainly more than enough of that in our churches today. How many people want to be associated with the oddballs in the church?

It might also be a case of not wanting to give resources. Receiving someone in an hospitable culture meant not just providing sustenance but rolling out the red carpet. Many people refuse to come to Christ (and join His church) because they simply want to keep their resources (especially money and time) to themselves.

The second reason that v11 says people put themselves under condemnation is that they do not wish to hear what Jesus’ messengers have to say. “You should repent” (v12) has never been a popular message. It’s so negative and judgmental. How do I respond to being told to repent? Let me be careful about that one—it might just land me in a deeper part of Hell than the murderous perverts at Lot’s door that night!
Of which are you most in danger: being unimpressed with Jesus, refusing to be generous with Him, or responding negatively to being told to repent of your particular sins?
Suggested songs: ARP32A “What Blessedness” or HB281 “How Blest Is He Whose Trespass”

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