Updated: Nov 25, 2021
There are times when we experience a sense of urgency. I like to wake up early in the morning, enjoy a cup of coffee while I read the Bible, spend some time in prayer and then get ready for my day. But then there are those mornings when I have overslept. My morning routine is thrown completely off as I hurriedly look for the first thing to put on, brush my teeth, and sprint out the door hoping beyond hope that the traffic in Houston will be light.
A sense of urgency does not always mean panic. There are those times when we have urgent news to share with others. It may be good news such as finding out God has answered our prayers and we want to share this with others. There is a sense of urgency to share the goodness of the Lord.
Several times, I have mentioned Mark’s gospel is an urgent gospel. Mark has a message to share about the Messiah. In chapter 6, Jesus shares this sense of urgency concerning the message of the kingdom. However, not everyone is willing to listen.
REJECTED AT HOME
Chapter 6 begins with a story of how Jesus is rejected in His hometown. When the Sabbath had come, Jesus begins to teach in the synagogue. Many, hearing Him speak, listened, and were amazed at His teaching and understanding (ref. 6: 1-2). But the words of Jesus also became a stumbling block. Some were offended (ref. 6: 3). In His hometown, among His family, close friends, and those who knew Him as the carpenter’s son, Jesus was rejected by some. They would not hear the urgent message of the kingdom of God. Jesus “marveled because of their unbelief.” (ref. 6: 6). Those of His hometown had a preconceived understanding of Jesus. He is the guy who fixes our broken stuff and repairs our homes. How is it that this carpenter is to teach us in matters concerning God’s kingdom?
It can be easy for us to approach Jesus in this same way. In our minds, we have an understanding of who Jesus is. He is the One who is to answer my questions and prayers the way I want them to be answered. He is the One who should say the things I want Him to say. We approach Jesus with a preconceived understanding of who He is. He is to like the people I like and who are like me. He is to dislike those I dislike and who are unlike me. However, when we find His words in conflict with our understanding of who Jesus is, we should pause and consider our motives.
Do I truly listen to His words to understand them or am I just listening for what I want to hear? Have I come to hear Jesus with my own preconceived understandings and prejudices or am I truly seeking to hear and understand Him?
The message of Jesus is an urgent message. It’s one that needs to be shared and received. Jesus sends out the twelve, two by two with urgency and gave to them the power over unclean spirits (ref. 6: 7).
“He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts—9 but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics.”
MARK 6: 8-9
There is a sense of urgency. Take what you have on and go, there is no time for preparations. Hurry! Jesus has an urgent message to share! A message people need to hear.
What was the urgent message they were to share? (Mk. 6: 12) “So they went out and preached that people should repent.”
By this point, in reading Mark’s gospel, this should be a message ringing loud and clear in our ears. It was the message of John the Baptist preached.
“John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.”
MARK 1: 4
It is the message Jesus is proclaiming.
“Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
MARK 1: 14, 15
Mark is pressing his readers. No longer is God’s kingdom coming at some point in the future as the prophets foretold. His kingdom is now. The reign and rule of God is now. The good news of God’s Messiah is now. The time to turn from our sin and receive Him is now.