So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent / Mark 6:1-13; 2 Corinthians 12 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / Sunday July 4th, 2021 / Season Of Pentecost / Mount Olive Lutheran Church
Text: Mark 6:1-13; 2 Corinthians 12
Theme: “So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent“ (v.12)
Intr – What is at the center of our Christian message? If someone asks us why they should attend Church, what we should say?
We might be tempted to say these:
Peace and Love – after all, The Church talks a lot about those two. But in the Gospel today we see Jesus coming to his hometown to share His message which includes Peace and Love, as He did in many villages around, and what happens? From sharing that message in the Synagogue, He’s driven out to the top of a hill to be thrown down, after being rejected by His own family.
Health and wealth? - Well, perhaps if you are faithful to God, if you are dedicated Christian he will be faithful to you and bless you with health and riches, isn’t that right? Here we have to look to Paul, especially in today’s epistle. Do you know any Christian who dedicated himself to Christian cause more than Paul? Along with all the good he had, there are lists of the problems too. Even in the epistle today he lists insults, calamities, etc… What does he get by being such a good Christian? A thorn in his flesh. And after asking God three times, he is told to be content with God’s Grace.
Family – that’s a compelling one. As Christians we place much honour in the family as instituted by God Himself. But when we look to what Jesus says in Mark 10, and especially we look to the Gospel today, we may have second thoughts. Jesus’ own family rejects Him. Brothers, sisters, mother, relatives…sounds like His entire hometown was willing not to listen to His message about the importance of our families, but to take offense at Him.
Other topics could be mentioned here, but those suffice to make the point. What is it that is at the center of our Christian proclamation?
We have a good clue of the center of Jesus message when we look what he sent His disciples to: “So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent”. This is the first and main verb in the text. Expelling demons and healing people comes after that. The center of their proclamation was repentance.
Repentance. That lies at the center of the Christian proclamation. For it includes, as we Lutherans like to put it:
Law – No one can escape this sentence, Not even Jesus’ siblings. Jesus marveled at their unbelief. Law needs to be preached because if you don’t know you need repentance, you won’t know you need to believe, and more importantly, in Whom to believe.
Gospel – Forgiveness of all sins is at Hand for all sinners. The Christian Church is one of the few places in which one can hear about forgiveness. Erasing of the past, fresh start. And it is the only place where you here about Forgiveness in Christ – the one that counts not for this life, but forever.
Does that impact all other areas of life? No doubt about that
Peace and Love – They receive an entire new meaning. Peace of being forgiven. Love of being loved by the One whose essence is Love.
Health and wealth – We will be led to understand that when we are healthy and wealthy, this comes from God’s Grace. When we are sick or poor, we continue under His Grace and love
Family – We see our family as a God given present. But also as a place where we will live our faith, and will never put it above God’s Message. Not even Jesus did. If we think it’s hard to have faith issues inside our own family, talk about Jesus.
Ill: Imagine if your entire family was in a huge debt, about to lose their assests. You are living out in the West and you become one of the two who hit the jack pot at lotto max. 75 million dollars cash. You come to town to gather with them, and there you announce that you will be helping every single one of them to erase their debt. What you get from them as they hear it? First, astonishment. “Isn’t this Lucas?... Where did he get this money from? I know him it’s so and so…. “ And then offense and rage. “It can only be fruit of dishonest labour.” They tell you there are calling the RCMP next day to let them know about you.
The Saviour Himself who was going to lay his life down for all – including his family – faces rejection, and from the people of the town even the threat of dying in a different hill that the one he was marching to. Among the reasons, because he was preaching not only Peace and Love, but prior to that, Repentance and faith.
“So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent.” This proclamation is for you and me still today. The message is actually easy – repent and believe – but it’s the hardest at the same time. We don’t like to admit, we have a hard time to confess our sin. It’s a message we don’t like all the time, but that we need all the time. We need a life of repentance. But of course, it does not stop there, as we know Jesus preached “repent and believe the Gospel”.
This seems to be not that hard to do when Jesus comes and gives our daily bread and heals our sicknesses, as we saw thousands following Him for that reason. That becomes harder when he shows up not as “the Jesus I was expecting” who is Love, so, “love is love, he accepts everything and everybody as they are, no need for changes”. remember, he wasn’t shy of confronting His own family His message will continue to confront culture still today. It confronts our sinful nature, in search of self justification or easy way outs of our mistakes and sins.
Still, the message lingers: “So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent.” That message echoed in Jesus family, at least for part of then. We know his mother was at the feet of the Cross. Judas, his brother, wrote the epistle of Jude, as well as the epistle of James seems to be written by the brother of the Lord.
Jesus continues to send us today to “So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent.” Jesus is rejected; He goes through a near death experience. Still, the message carries on. He goes to the villages. He sends his disciples. He sends pastors and royal priests. The culture, the rage, the astonishment, everything shall pass and change. The message goes on.
Cc - “So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent.” This is the center of the Christian proclamations. Repent and believe. Receive. And then, live this message in your family, proclaim this message with your way of living your faith. Be thankful for the health and wealth you have and resort to Him when you are sick or poor. Be a part of Jesus family by faith. Live in Peace and Love.