Wednesday, July 4, 2012

unaproved authority Mark 6:1-13

When Jesus walked on earth He brought the kingdom of God with; and multitudes celebrated and rejoiced in His presence.  Seizing authority over diseases and daemonic powers he released many from bondage.  He had authority; but he wasn't authorized by the religious leadership of his day (Mark 2:18-22) or by his own family (Mark 3:20-35)--rather his power came straight from God.  The church, in the same way, has authority not from people, prestige, or popularity.  Rather the true authority of the church begins and ends in the person of Jesus and our faithful service in his name.  Whenever the church confuses the authority of truth with the authority of power we fall away from the way of Christ.  But when we come humbly in service to poor and forgotten we walk in Christ's footsteps and renew our strength.

As Jesus came home with his disciples to minister and teach a second time reaction grew against him.  The people knew Jesus and his family; but they didn't recognize his power to speak.  By what right did he say these things? He was only Mary's son with the carpenter.  In whispers they likely remembered his scandalous conception.  Who was Jesus to speak (Mark 6:1-3).  There is something scandalous about being church--about broken people telling others the way to wholeness and freedom in Christ.  Anybody who knows us well knows all our sin and failures.  And the scandal and the hope of the Gospel continues into the world as we tell of Jesus who sets us free.

All believers, are called to speak the truth in love, just like Jesus did, and in the truth of the cross there is always real transformative power. As Jesus taught in his home synagogue he felt disbelief.  Other communities welcomed him honoring his ministry and wisdom.  But at home he was nobody special.  Mark says he could only heal a few in the midst of such unbelief (Mark 6:3-6).  Even in the face of disbelief he still had power.  Let anyone with eyes see and ears here what God is doing.  Even if we reject Jesus he still is at work releases the captive and healing the hurting. 

After a humbling visit home Jesus sent followers out 2 by 2 with power over unclean spirits (Mark 6:7).  He offered simple directions for travel.  Take only what you need: staff, sandals, one cloak and go.  Stay where received and leave places that won't receive you completely; knock even dust off your feet as testimony of their unbelief.   Jesus followers went to do great things--and they did.  The news was stunning--daemons caste out, the sick anointed and healed.  The Kingdom of God came close to many (Mark 6:8-13.

In the same way he calls us to go into the world traveling light as the church trusting in God's power and provision.  He sends us out to caste out daemons and heal hurting people.  He sends us to pray for the sick and anoint them.  He sends us to name evil and the daemonic forces that destroy people and stand against the enemy.   may the joy of his presence light our way today.  pax, john.

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