Why Did Jesus Experience Rejection and Lack of Faith in His Hometown?    (Mark 6:1-6)

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Because these people have grown up with him and his relatives, they can’t believe there is anything special about him. There skepticism makes it impossible for him to perform dramatic miracles. All he can do is to heal a few individuals. His followers observe Jesus closely. They see his surprise and sadness, but he doesn’t rail against the Nazarenes. He doesn’t pitifully turn his back on them or make their unbelief an object lesson by complaining to others about it. He simply moves on to people ready to welcome him. Just after his own experience of rejection, Jesus sends his followers out to preach and heal. He knows some people will also reject his disciples. Some will make fun of these men who haven’t even equipped themselves for their journey. Some will turn aside, content with the way things have always been. Some will reach out for healing. To prepare them, Jesus carefully spells out what they are to do when they experience their own rejection. Shake it off. Don’t let the dust of resentment, bitterness, guilt, regret, or blame cling to your feet, but move on unencumbered to the next task. Even when we are sure we are saying what Jesus gives us to say and doing what he has called us to do, there is no guarantee that everyone will welcome our words and actions. Some will be touched, while others will not. God has blessed every human being with freedom to choose wisely or poorly, and the life experiences of some make it difficult for them to open up to his love. We can count on God’s love for them, knowing that he will continue to call them and work with them after we have moves on. Jesus is also concerned about us as his messengers. He wants us to find our joy in him. He doesn’t want us to hang on to resentment or complain about how we have been treated. He doesn’t want rejection to wound and cripple us. Instead he wants to encourage us and excite us every time we step out in faith- no matter what kind of response we receive.

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