Introductions to the readings for Sunday, July 5, 2015
Once again we have two stories from Mark’s gospel today that pick up immediately from where we left off last week. And, once again the two stories seem to flow from one to the other with relative ease.
In the first reading, we hear tell of how Jesus is rejected by kith and kin for his words and his actions.
The story found in the second reading this morning reminds us of the almost unstoppable force of the development of God’s vision of Shalom coming near as the twelve disciples are also called into its very building along with Jesus.
Listen with care to these two well-known stories told sparsely and with great passion as Jesus describes the costs of discipleship.
Mark 6: 1-6a New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Rejection of Jesus at Nazareth
6 He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him.
2 On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands!
3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary[a] and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense[b] at him.
4 Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.”
5 And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.
6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Mark 6: 6b – 13
The Twelve Are Commissioned
Then he went about among the villages teaching.
7 He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.
8 He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts;
9 but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics.
10 He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place.
11 If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.”
12 So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent.
13 They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.