Scripture:  “And on the Sabbath he (Jesus) began to teach in the synagogue and many who heard him were astonished, saying “Where did this man get these things?  What is the wisdom given to him?  How are such mighty works done by his hands?”

“And he (Jesus) marveled at their unbelief.  And he went about among the villages teaching.” 

“So they (the disciples) went out an proclaimed that people should repent.”  Excerpts from Mark 6:2, 6, and 12) 

Observation:  Mark 6 has something for everybody.  There is a little action, conspiracy, political intrigue, and conniving.  It also has hopefulness, a beacon of light in a corrupt world being developed.  What was the message that Jesus was teaching the disciples?  How was Jesus training these guys and in what?

Application:  Jesus was an irritant.

I have to think about that.  Jesus wasn’t welcomed everywhere he went.  Sure, crowds gathered to hear him speak and to get a healing or other miracle or two.  I wonder how many people went to the local Jesus Gathering to be entertained or somehow comforted without serious repentance on the mind—kind of like our Sundays.

Jesus wasn’t welcomed in a lot of places but boy did he bring astonishment, marvel, and wonder wherever he went!  His words were from a wisdom that was beyond the teachers of the day.  Jesus brought clarity to not only the obscure parts of scripture but even the better known parts of scripture.  He taught with authority.

So what did he teach the disciples?  Various passages in the scriptures indicate “the Kingdom of God.”  Perhaps it was more precisely he taught about God.  Why would this distinction be important?

The importance of this distinction is that “the Kingdom” is sort of impersonal, kind of like talking about America rather than an American.  From my POV as a Christian I don’t have a relationship with “the Kingdom.”  Instead I have a relationship with the number one inhabitant.  That being said, did Jesus teach the disciples about primarily a place or a Person? 

The Gospel doesn’t make sense without some sort of understanding about God (specifically the Trinity but I will leave that for another time).  That focused pursuit (for that is what it must be—a focused pursuit) takes time and deliberate effort.  It could be years—it is that for me—and is never complete.

What thumped in the disciple’s chest?  What tries to thump in mine?  It is the Gospel, the never should be taken for granted Gospel.  Who is the Gospel about?  The Triune God—nothing more, nothing less.

Prayer:  Father.  I grind this out today, stirring my mind with your word—knowing my heart is pretty distant.  That’s ok.  A little valley now and then keeps me sharp.  I confess my anger—it is dishonoring to You.  I ask for your help in not being a victim to my emotions—to grab my heart and speak words of life to it.  You see that I am struggling—I need a spiritual egg beater to stir this stony heart today.  AMEN.