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Daily Discipleship for the Week of July 4

Sunday, July 3-9 (B) – Mark 6:1-13

The Choices of Discipleship: Acceptance or Rejection?

Focus Question: When people find out you are a Christian, how are you received?


word of life

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’” Mark 6:4 (NRSV)


Read Mark 6:1-13

Jesus spent a lot of time traveling, moving from one ministry opportunity to the next. In this text, Jesus returns to his hometown. As is the custom of devout Jews, he went to the synagogue to teach on the Sabbath. Those who were privileged enough to hear him were amazed at his teaching.

1. What would it have been like to be taught by Jesus?

2. What makes an outstanding teacher?


Some in the synagogue would not receive the gift of his teaching. Instead, they began stirring things up by prodding, “Where did he come from? What is his teaching?” They questioned his family and roots. How could a carpenter’s son be so insightful and knowledgeable? They even became offended by his ability to teach with authority. To them, it just wasn’t right.

3. Why could people not receive the teaching of Jesus?

4. Is it easier to receive the teaching of Jesus today?


Perhaps Jesus was too well-known by the hometown crowd, creating their skeptical response. Jesus was not able to perform any deed of power. What a disappointment. Many times, people were amazed at Jesus. This time, Jesus was amazed by his hometown neighbors.

5. Should Jesus have spent more time trying to persuade them to believe? Explain.


Jesus left his hometown and traveled to other villages to teach and heal. He expanded his ministry by sending his disciples out by pairs, giving them power to heal. The pairs were instructed to take nothing with them, not even money or bread. Their journey would be one of trust – to heal those who were sick, but also to believe that their own basic needs would be met.

6. Do you sense the disciples are ready for these responsibilities?

7. What concerns do you have for the disciples?


Jesus warned them about the possibility of rejection. This was not just a theory. They witnessed Jesus being rejected in his own hometown and heard his amazement at the lack of faith of his neighbors. Not all were prepared, ready or open to hear about the love of Jesus Christ and to receive healing. But if the disciples were rejected, they were to shake the dust off their feet and continue to be a witness in other locales.

8. Describe the possible range of feelings of the disciples as they reacted to being sent by Jesus.


Mark records only the good that is done – demons are cast out, the sick are anointed, and many are cured. If the disciples were rejected by anyone, it doesn’t get recorded in Mark.

9. How did the disciples learn to trust in the promises of Jesus?

10. What can we learn from this text?


wordamong us

Anthony loved music and learned to play guitar during the summer before his senior year in high school. As the prom got near, he was faced with a dilemma. He and his girlfriend were planning to attend their high school prom, but his buddies had decided to skip the prom and head to the anti-prom gathering at a nearby theme park. His buddies were planning to be out all of Saturday night and wanted Anthony to be part of their final fling. Months before, Anthony had committed to playing his guitar at church for a special service. He was the only guitarist and was needed. None of his friends, including his girlfriend, knew about him playing guitar in church. Anthony wanted to please everyone, but didn’t see how.

1. How would you advise Anthony?

2. How does it feel to be rejected by friends?

3. Does it make any difference if the rejection is related to Christ or the church?


Rejection is never easy, yet we follow One who was rejected in his hometown. He ended up dying on the cross –- the ultimate rejection. His crucifixion was not a sign of the people’s love for him, but instead became a sign of his love for us.

4. In what ways was Jesus rejected in his life?

5. How could he endure such rejection?

6. How do we deal with rejection?

7. Discuss possible ways of responding when we meet rejection due to being a disciple of Jesus.

8. How do you not become discouraged?


Christians follow one who was rejected and nailed to a cross. Some things over the years have not changed—including certain people’s acceptance of God’s Word and faith. Not all want to hear a word of hope, healing, and love. Not all are ready.

9. What can we do as we wait for others to become ready to hear of God’s love?


Jesus gave his disciples incredible powers to heal and bear witness to him. He warned them about the rejection by some, but urged them to continue to bear witness. Filled with the authority of Jesus, they were able to do incredible good.

10. How open are you to being a witness to Jesus?

11. How might God use you to bring healing and hope?



Prayer

Mighty One, give me courage to be a witness to your gracious love. Amen

Dig Deeper

Mark 15: 25-39


last word

Take a moment

to write down times

when you have been rejected

because you followed Jesus.

If you have nothing to write,

consider becoming more bold in

your witness.

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