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Let Freedom Ring

No prophet is without honor except in his native place, among his own kindred, and in his own house
Mark 6:1-6

Sermon Topic Rejection

Sermon Week Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 6:4

Keywords

If ever a person had reason to be bitter and unforgiving, it was Jesus during the last week of His life. Clearly, His intense agony in the Garden of Gethsemene was evoked by more than the knowledge that His physical death was imminent, though surely that was part of it. Is it not likely that He was actually struggling with the temptation to be bitter and unforgiving? Is it not likely that He was struggling with the terrible estrangement from God that comes with such bitterness.

The episode in today's Gospel Lesson describes one of the early rejections of Jesus by His own people. It is the Sabbath and Jesus is teaching in the synagogue. Mark tells us that He was teaching in a way that kept his large audience amazed. But the mood of the audience soon changed to cynicism, and sarcastically they asked, "Where did He get all this? What kind of wisdom is He endowed with? How is it that such miraculous deeds are accomplished by His hands? Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary ...?" In short, Mark says, "They found Him too much for them" (Mk.6:2-3). Jesus responded with the familiar line, "No prophet is without honor except in his native place, among his own kindred, and in his own house" (Mk.6;4).

In a similar episode recorded by Luke, "The whole audience in the synagogue was filled with indignation. They rose up and expelled Him from the town, leading Him to the brow of the hill on which it was built and intending to hurl Him over the edge" (Lk.4:28-30). His own people, from the synagogue, trying to lynch Him.

The record of Jesus' public ministry is replete with instances of rejection, resentment, challenge, betrayal by His own people -- even His closest friends. If ever a person had reason to be bitter and unforgiving it was this Jesus, this Man For Others, this Healer, this Champion of the poor and the oppressed, this personification of God's Love, this Bearer of the promise of eternal life.

Having said this, I would like us [...]

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