In this reading from the 6th chapter of Mark, we hear Mark talk about rejection twice. After reading this scripture it makes us wonder if it is worth it to follow this person named Jesus. We first read that his close friends and relatives rejected Jesus himself. He performed miracles and heal the sick in all the surrounding towns, and when He went home he got no respect. The people could not believe that the boy that grew up with them could have so much wisdom and be able to heal the sick. We also read, that due to the people’s lack of faith Jesus was unable to do much except heal a few folks.
Does this sound familiar to you? When we begin our discipleship with Christ, we oftentimes start with our family and friends. They are usually amazed at the changes we are making and cannot believe that we are the same person they have always known. To them these changes many times do not make sense, and therefore, they do not listen to us or give us respect. Thus many times the message we bring falls on deaf ears and we cannot do much. Instead of being discouraged we need to follow Jesus’ example and move on with the message to someone and somewhere else. People who do not know us so well will many times be more accepting of our message. Then Jesus gives us instructions on how to proceed (Mark 6: 7-13).
Mark goes on to describe how Jesus sent out his disciples after the discouragement on the homefront. First he sends them out two by two and he gave them authority. Then he instructs them to take nothing except a staff. He also tells them that if they are not accepted, they should shake the dust off their feet and move on. These are great instructions for us today. You see all God asks us to do is spread the “Good News” to everyone we meet. We do not need to be equipped with some great knowledge or lots of money or possessions for the journey. God has already equipped us with his Love and Forgiveness. We only have to tell our own story of what God has done for us. Even when we are rejected, Jesus tells us to shake the dust off and keep moving. We are only asked by God to plant the seed, and it is then up to God and the Holy Spirit to tend to that seed and cause it to grow!
From this scripture in Mark, we learn that we are ready to be Christ Disciples! Even when rejected by family, friends and the community in which we live, we are asked to continue on and spread the “Good News.” We need nothing special for this task. God’s Love and Forgiveness has already equipped us just as we are!