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February 9, 2020 – The Fifth Sunday After Epiphany – Unprepared

Mark 6:1-29 Jesus rejected at Nazareth; sending of the Twelve; death of John the Baptist.

Jesus is the only one who knows what’s going on in this passage. It’s a long chunk of text, and not quite chronological, but Jesus is the only one who seems to have a grip on what’s going on.

                    In the synagogue on the Sabbath, in his hometown, no one is quite sure what to do with Jesus. Who is he, how did he turn into this? Why would we take him seriously, we know his family! Jesus is limited in his own hometown, only able to do some healings. Jesus isn’t recognized, expected, or welcomed. They aren’t ready for the Messiah in their town.

                    Next, the disciples are sent out. They’re told to take nothing, and to just go and be about Christ’s business. They are sent out to have power over spirits, and they do healings, cast out demons, and anoint many with oil. And it works. They do much of this. Are they prepared?

                    Which gets us back to Herod, who hears of it and wonders if the unexpected has happened again and that John is risen from the dead. He would certainly be unprepared for that, just as he was unprepared for Herodias to ask for John’s head.

                    What is Jesus doing in our midst that we feel unprepared for? What has he come into town to say that we aren’t ready to hear? What has he sent us out to do that we think we’re dramatically under prepared for? And what is being stirred up out of our past by the actions of God?