“Some Will, Some Won’t, So What”
Mark 6: 1-13
Rev. Sandy Johnson
July 5, 2015
Prayer: Gracious God, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to you O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Amen.
Who want’s gum? You’re supposed to say, “I do, I do!” You remember that commercial? I think it was a trident commercial from back in the day. I wonder today if any of you would like a piece of gum. I’ve got cinnamon, double mint, bubble mint, juicy fruit and juicy fruit starburst.
Go ahead, take a piece. Did everyone get gum?
Tell me what you like about gum:
- It makes your mouth smell good, gets rid of bad breath
- It’s fun to blow bubbles
For those of you who didn’t want a piece of gum, why didn’t you want gum?
- Don’t feel like chewing gum.
- Have TMJ and it isn’t good for you to chew gum.
- Sticks to dental work.
How about those of you who took a piece of gum and will chew it later.
We all made a decision about the gum didn’t we? Some wanted a piece and made their choice, popped it in your mouth and are enjoying it now. Some wanted to save it for later, maybe after lunch, and a few of you just said a polite, “no, thank you” and passed altogether.
Whether you took a piece of gum or not isn’t the point. Some will, some won’t, so what, Right?!!
What if we looked at this piece of gum in a different way? What if this gum represented our relationship with God? What if this stick of gum represented why we love our church. What if this piece of delectable chewing pleasure really was why we keep coming back to Boulder City UMF?
If this gum represented my relationship with Christ, then when I offered it to someone else they might chose to take it, to learn about our church, or learn what it means to be a Christian and become involved in our church family. It is possible that I might offer this gift to some who would decline it. And still others who might listen and show respect, but may not be ready to accept this gift.
Some will, some won’t, so what.
Of course we are not here this morning to talk about gum are we? The scripture this morning begins with Jesus returning to his home town. He and his disciples had been traveling together, teaching, preaching and healing. He decides to return to Nazareth and continue the mission trip they had begun. Instead of greeting him with open arms and welcoming him, those townspeople rejected him, they questioned his authority and were unable to accept his teaching nor his healings.
They couldn’t get past the fact that they knew him “when.” They remembered the teenage Jesus, the 13 yr. old boy who was perhaps a little squirrely. Now, we don’t really know what the teenage Jesus was like, but I have to imagine that junior high boys today aren’t that different from the same age youngsters 2000 years ago. In fact I am pretty sure that teenage Jesus participated in young boy shenanigans like most boys that age and that’s hard to forget.
Maybe these towns folks couldn’t get past the fact that they had known his family, they were common folks, nothing special really. What made Jesus think that he was a Rabbi? After all they knew him as a craftsman, he was just a carpenter. He was overstepping his boundaries and attempting to be something they didn’t think he was.
Have any of you had that experience? Maybe with siblings or high school friends? You grew up and went out to live on your own, started a family and your siblings or friends had a hard time treating you as a grown up? They only were able to imagine you how you were when you were sixteen. Home town critics are tough.
Jesus returned to his hometown, but it was not on for social visit. “He came as a rabbi, a teacher, with his disciples in tow. Jesus went to the synagogue, as an itinerant rabbi might do, and began to teach.”
Luke tells us that one reason the people were so angry was that when he came into the synagogue he was given the scroll of Isaiah to read. He unrolled it to the place that was to be read for that day and read the following:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
What was Jesus saying? What could he have possibly meant by “today this scripture has been fulfilled?” He was outing himself as the Messiah and those who were witnesses were not amused, in fact, they were enraged. They were not going to accept that Jesus was anything but the small town carpenter and local boy. He was no Messiah!
Jesus understood what was happening and declares, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” Rather than attempt to force himself on the townspeople, he and the disciples left and continued on their journey. Luke says in fact that he was run out of town.
Some will, some won’t, so what!
After the disappointment in Nazareth, they went among nearby villages teaching and healing. Jesus decided to adopt a divide and conquer approach. He split up his disciples and sent them ahead, giving them authority over unclean spirits and authority to heal. His instructions were simple. First, don’t go alone – Jesus sent the disciples out in teams of two, there was safety in numbers.
Next he said that they didn’t need to take anything with them. God will provide. Jesus was specific in telling them to only take a staff to assist them in walking, but not to worry about what they will eat, what clothes they will wear nor where they will stay. He told them they wouldn’t need money because they would be welcomed into homes of new believers. God would provide lodging for them each night.
Jesus said to stay as long as they were welcome, not to overstay their welcome but to stay until their work was done. He said that if they weren’t accepted or welcomed to shake it off and move on. Shaking dust off of your feet was a gesture of cursing a place. “On the day of judgment, the rejecting towns will be worse off than Sodom and Gomorrah. Shaking dust of the feet may reflect the shaking of one’s clothing as a sign of renunciation. Clearing away even the dust under one’s sandals suggests an even more thorough rejection than shaking out garments or washing one’s hands. The tradition merely stands as a testimony before God that the town has refused to hear God’s word.”
Rejection is part of the disciple business. You put yourself on the line when you go face to face with others and share your faith with them. Some will listen, many will turn away and ignore your efforts.
Some will, some won’t, so what!
Why did Jesus tell this story to us? Why is it in the bible today? After Jesus was crucified and resurrected he met with his disciples and said to them:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
This is the Great Commission. These are our marching orders. When we signed on to become a Christian we said we would follow Christ. Jesus Christ commands us to share our faith, to tell everyone we meet what a difference He has made in our lives, what a difference this community of believers has made in our lives. It isn’t supposed to be an option. It’s what we do. We have found something that has transformed our lives. Our relationship with Christ has brought peace to a live filled with turmoil. Being a follow of Jesus fills us with the Holy Spirit and with God by our side there isn’t anything we can’t do. Right?! So why wouldn’t we want to share that?
It’s like a great piece of gum that you want to share with your friends…remember that? Who wants gum? Sharing our faith needs to become as natural as asking others to share a piece of gum.
A few years back a study done by Thom Rainer showed that “Ninety-six percent of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if they are invited. Perhaps we need to pause on this response. Perhaps we need to restate it. More than nine out of 10 of the unchurched said they would come to church if they were invited.
Church, are you inviting FRAN? Remember FRAN? Are you inviting your friends, relatives, acquaintances or neighbors? Invite them to share the love of Christ, invite them to introduce them to the Savior of the World, invite them so that their lives might be transformed by the Holy Spirit. Invite them so that one day we may have enough people that we can afford the church building we are going to build.
I have a news flash. If we had the money today to build our church today, we couldn’t afford the upkeep with the number of people who are currently active. To need a church building, to be able to afford a church building, we need to expand the Kingdom of God. It is up to each one of us to invite those we come in contact with to come into relationship with God.
You can do that by extending an invitation to join us for worship on Sunday morning. I have put an invitation card into the bulletin so that each of you have a card you can give to FRAN…your friend, relative, acquaintance or neighbor. Extend an invitation to come to Theo Pub, extend an invitation to join our bucket brigade and explain to them what we are doing, raising money for our church building.
Don’t get hung up on thinking you need something to be able to invite your friends. Jesus told us to go and share God’s love without worrying about anything. Just go and do it and remember that not everyone will accept the invitation. Some will say no and you are to always remember: Some will, some won’t, so what!
 “You Can’t Go Home Again.” Thomas Lane Butts. May 20, 2015. Accessed www.ministrymatters.com July 1, 2015.
 Luke 4:16-21
 Mark 6:4
 New Interpreters Bible. Accessed at www.ministrymatters.com. July 1, 2015.
 Matthew 28:18-20
 http://www.churchcentral.com/news/survey-finds-many-unchurched-would-come-to-church-if-invited-2/ Accessed July 4, 2015