- Shirley Choat
SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER PENECOST
This is the day the LORD hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Authority often is concealed by weakness. David did not build a great temple so that Solomon could build one of God's design. Jesus did not seek popularity with His hometown neighbors so that He could do the full will of God. A healthy Paul might have been more effective, but in his weakness he was amenable to God's purposes for his life. We too may glory in our difficulties in order that the power of God maybe revealed in our lives.
2 Samuel 7:1-17; 2 Cor. 12:1-10; Mark 6:1-6; Psalm 89:20-37
To say the least, Jesus’ hometown folk felt uneasy with him in their midst, especially when he taught in their synagogue on a Sabbath. We are not told why they were so offended. Perhaps it was just their jealousy that one whom they knew so well had become so famous. Certainly they thought He had gone beyond what one of His status as a humble carpenter should go. They would have had respect for Him as one skilled in such trades as carpentry that contributed to the general welfare of the community. But they would not have expected Him to be skilled in the interpretation of the scriptures or a radical social reformer. One of the contemporary group of Jesus scholars has speculated that although verbally gifted in a predominately oral culture, Jesus may have been illiterate.
Rejected at home, Jesus adopted another strategy. He gathered His disciples together and sent them out “with authority over the unclean spirits.” This may have meant that they merely had power to change people’s minds about what they might expect from Jesus. The gospel authors like Mark who wrote down the tradition for subsequent generations also believed that the disciples possessed the same authority over unclean spirits that Jesus Himself had demonstrated. Apparently that is what Mark intended. But was this “authority” (Greek ) a moral and spiritual authority of a pastoral nature or was it something more of a power to effect physical cures? Without question then as now, anyone suffering from an illness, however caused, would seriously affect everyone in the extended family or the immediate community of the sick person. In such circumstances, even death has a healing effect over time.
Blind unbelief is surer to err, and scan His work in vain,
God is His own interpreter, and He will make it plain.
Just trust in Christ--His Word believe
Eternal life you will receive.
LORD Jesus as You once came to Your hometown to visit it with Your gracious words of life, we pray that You will come into our hearts with Your same Word of forgiveness and life. Grant us such faith that we, without doubting or questioning Your wisdom and ways, may truly believe Your Word and live according to Your will. Give us faith so that we may welcome You and Your message today. May we serve You in Godly peace and quietness; through Jesus Christ, our LORD, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen