Sunday’s Reflection: Here we see Jesus both ministering in his hometown and sending out the disciples two by two to undertake their own ministry. Both encounter some forms of unbelief. Jesus’ hometown cannot accept his teaching because he is too familiar to his friends and neighbors; they only see the town carpenter. The disciples are warned that not all will welcome their message (and they have just seen a clear example of this in Nazareth). The unbelief has consequences in both instances. Still, as the disciples and Jesus’ travel around to villages, the good news of God’s kingdom is spread widely; people are healed and demons are cast out and repentance is preached. Humanity will resist God’s grace, gospel, and healing power, but this does not end God’s ministry. God’s kingdom will prevail even in the midst of our unbelief.
Jesus accepts rejection in stride, leaving behind people who have rejected him, and continuing his ministry elsewhere—a good model for the church today. ‘two by two’ – a partner bestows strength and support. They also provide pleasant companionship and encourage each other in difficult circumstances. The disciples go where Christ sends them and do what Christ tells them to do. Anyone can accomplish great things in Christ’s name.
Where do you see resistance to God’s message and power, either in your own life or in your ministry? How can you trust God to help you overcome this resistance? Where do you see God’s power to heal and teach in your life and in your ministry?
Prayer: O GOD, God of the prophets, in every age you send the word of truth, familiar yet new. Let us not be counted among those who lack faith, but give us vision to see Christ in our midst and to welcome your saving word. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen. Opening Prayers (1997) alt. Amen.
From the Anglican Church of Canada and Sermons that Work.