Sermon – Mark 6:1-13 – “Scandalized by the form…”

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Text: Mark 6:1-13

Jesus has promised to be with us, to work on us and with us and through us, in some very specific forms. The church is the place and the Word and the Sacraments are the forms of God’s work among us. Jesus’ hometown was not scandalized by the wisdom or the miralces that he did. They didn’t deny them. They were scandalized by the form – the physical carpenter, the son of Mary. That sets a pattern throughout history. People want the wisdom and the miracles, they may not even deny much of them, but they are scandalized by the form of God’s work among his creation. They are scandalized by the all too human church. They are scandalized by the mystical nature of the sacraments in simple bread and wine and water. They are scandalized by the written Word – the Bible. They are scandalizd by the oral Word – just some sinful guy preaching. The form that God chooses often scandalizes – even when accompanied by wisdom and miracles.

The good news is that Jesus does not give up on His lost sheep. He goes to the villages around. And He sends out his disciples. We ourselves may be prophets without honor. Our kids or our spouses or someone close to us may have rejected Christ and the form of that witness – namely us. God does not give up on his lost sheep. He goes to the villages around and send out disciples.

Christians, at least american Christians, have a tendency to look through the cross. We don’t think of Jesus himself being rejected. What that really does is de-humanize Jesus. Christians see him as the glorified Christ. Those who don’t already believe don’t see it. This text shows us that human Jesus up close. Rejected by even his own house. It also shows us His faith in His mission. This was important enough, that even through that rejection, Jesus continues to call people. In an age stripped and wary of transcendant claims, but rabidly looking for them, this human Jesus portrayed by Mark that invites us to answer the question – who is this? – connects at a level we often forget.