This week we are back in the gospel of Mark. We saw how Jesus is rejected in his hometown, and how following this rejection, he sends out the disciples.
Read Mark 6:1-13.
1. Jesus is offensive
Why do you think the people in Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth were offended by him?
Pastor Mark said “Jesus offends everybody.” In what ways have you seen Jesus offend those around you? Those in our culture? In what ways do you think Jesus offends you?
2. Why is Jesus offensive?
*To explore this more, read the parallel passage in Luke 4:16-30. Here we get more details about Jesus purpose and message (Luke 4:18-21). In Luke 4:28-30 we see his hometown’s violent response to him.
* Remembering Jesus’ culture – you were born into your special status without any upward mobility. Honor came in recognizing your place. So for Jesus a day laboring “carpenter” to claim to be the fulfiller of Isaiah’s prophecy, and the savior of the world (the Messiah) would be extremely offensive.
In what ways was Jesus’ claim to be Savior, and his message of grace an assault on their pride and more specifically their cultural pride?
In what ways do we make our culture our salvation, or our source of pride, or identity, even to the point where we fail to see our need for Christ’s daily grace?
For example: Your race can be a source of pride to the point of failing to see your own need for grace, or your politics can be a source of pride, or your “open mindedness,” or your social standing, or your sexual identity, we could go on and on.
We can become blinded to the things that in our own minds are the things that give us our own intrinsic value, rather than finding that value in Christ alone.
3. We are to be offensive (sort of)
Discuss this statement by Pastor Mark: “To be a follower of Jesus is to offend and experience rejection.”
Pastor Mark pointed out that following his rejection in Nazareth, Jesus sent out the disciples. He was inviting them into complete dependence on himself. Do you live in dependence upon Christ? Do you consider yourself to be “sent out” by Christ? How hard is it for you to face potential rejection?
Read Mark 6:12-13. In what ways were the Disciples engaging in Deed ministry and Word ministry? How about you – do you engage in deed and word ministry?
Where do you see yourself on the continuum of offensiveness? Are you never offensive- meaning you avoid talking about Jesus for fear of being rejected? Are you very offensive- meaning you obnoxiously push your beliefs onto people?
Jesus was judged based on everything but his true character and identity (the Messiah). Talk to your kids about how we judge people based on appearances, their families, how much money they have, etc.
Help your kids to see from this passage that people missed out on salvation because they judged Jesus wrongly. Help your kids to see that we can miss out on a lot of good people and friendships when we judge them.
More importantly talk to your children about who Jesus really is. He is the Savior of the world. Do your kids see their need for a Savior? Do you make them aware of their need? Sometimes the parenting culture today can make children think that they are the center of the universe. Of course we should love and care for our kids, but the best way to bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is to show them that Jesus is the center of the universe, not them. This will actually free your children up to fail, receive grace, and move forward without fear.
Fighter Verse Questions
1 Peter 3:13-14. Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled.
*Peter is stating a general principle that if we do good (deed ministry) while also doing word ministry, then you should not face great persecution because people will know that you care about them. But he also concedes that sometimes we do face persecution even when we do what is good. However we should not be afraid, because God is with us.
Would you call yourself “zealous for what is good?” What stands in the way of you being zealous to do good deeds?
Have you ever suffered for righteousness’ sake? How did God’s faithfulness help you in that situation?