Dealing with Disappointments in Ministry

Here’s one of those puzzling passages of Scripture… (and when you come across them it is best to take them at face value and just trust God with the details) – Mark 6:1-6

Let me set the scene… Jesus had come back to his “hometown” (Nazareth), where he was raised, where he played with friends, where he learned and plied a trade (carpentry) with His earthly “Dad,” where he studied Scripture in synagogue school.  His reputation as a powerful healer and teacher has gotten around.  It’s Sabbath, and the “home boy” has been invited to teach in the synagogue… big event! 

Wow, His teaching was powerful and profound!  And the stories of His healing power!  Where did He get all of this?  You would have thought He’d be the community celebrity – a hero!

But no… the Bible says, “They took offense at Him!”  They said, “How are such mighty works done by His hands?  Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?  And are not His sisters here with us?”

Figure that!  And here’s the “kicker” … The powerful, profound teacher – the miracle worker – the Son of God, the Messiah, “Could do no mighty works there, except that he laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them… And He marveled because of their unbelief.”

There it is… Jesus, the Son of God – Messiah – Savior of the world, LIMITED by the unbelief and attitudes of those who heard Him – even those who were His “homefolks.”

I wonder how many times it has happened since then… God’s powerful healing, life-transforming, message and presence among “His people” limited by skepticism and unbelief! 

He must have been terribly disappointed!  But did He allow that to stop Him from ministry?  No!  Never!!

Next passage… “And He went about among the villages teaching.  And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave THEM authority over the unclean spirits! … So THEY WENT OUT and proclaimed that people should repent.  And THEY cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them!” (From Mark 6:6-13 ESV)

So this is what I jotted in the margin of my Bible this morning… “Never allow your disappointment in ministry to hinder the advancement of God’s Kingdom message and ministry!  Instead mobilize others to join you in sharing the Gospel and getting involved in ministry along with you!  Instead of being stifled by disappointments – move past them and enlist others in spreading the Gospel!”  That’s what Jesus did!

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