Readings for Saturday of Proper 11 for Year 1
“And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then he went about among the villages teaching.” (Mark 6:6)
Jesus was amazed at the unbelief of the people of Nazareth, the town in which he was raised. Because they thought they knew Jesus and his family, they doubted that God would be made manifest in such a person. They didn’t know God, and for that matter, they didn’t know Jesus either.
While Jesus was amazed at the unbelief of the people of his home town, that did not stop him from spreading the word of salvation and hope. As soon as he experienced their unbelief, “then he went about among the villages teaching.” Jesus kind of said, “so be it.” He kicked their dust off his sandals and moved on. This is when he drew the twelve in and enlisted their help in carrying out the message of salvation and hope. This is the message that was needed then, and the same message we still need today.
In Jesus’ day one needed a good pair of sandals for this work and a dedicated partner. It required a lot of walking. Today, people carrying the message of salvation and hope need a reliable laptop and internet service but still need a spiritual partner to, among other things, edit what is published, as well as, someone to talk to day to day so as to keep grounded in the faith. Jesus sent them out two by two for this reason, to accompany each other on the Way. That’s six pairs for you math minded folks.
Today we need not worry about taking stuff with us. We just hit “send,” or in my case, “publish,” and it’s out there. Sometimes later in the day I might be told by someone who reads my message and cares about me that I used the wrong word or even let a misspelled word slip in. But this is done with the utmost care and I appreciate it. It is a way of me accepting what and who is put before me in love and kindness.
There is always amazement for Jesus and for us for people who fail to believe. But that must not stop us from carrying the message out. We, at least I, must keep “publishing.” It is my prayer that my message of salvation and hope is received in as many homes as possible around the globe.
People that knew me from my earlier days as a Marine or even a reckless youth from Nashville, Tennessee might well ask “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him?” (Mark 6:2) I will answer that Jesus has sent me out with a message of hope and salvation for all the world. Some will receive this message and some will not. But this is really not about me; it is about Jesus acting through me, and through you. Thank You Jesus.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through (and to) God’s people. John+