Read Mark 6:1-13
Right after I was ordained, my sponsoring priest invited me to come home and to preach in the parish where I grew up. After the service, one of the matriarchs of the parish came up to me and said, “I remember when you were but a snot-nosed little kid. Who are you to preach to me?” Jesus, can relate. “And they took offense at him.” It is easy to find fault, especially if we are looking for it. We can discern from their words that those in Jesus’ hometown were anxious to find fault. “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?” Sadly, His family also got caught up in the mood of the crowd. Who does he think he is?
None of us is immune to the temptation to judge another. Even the Apostle Paul was unwilling to accept Mark back for a second missionary tour. He found fault with the young man, and that attitude led to a rift with Barnabas. In today’s reading, we see that Jesus recognized that there would be people unwilling to accept the ministry of the twelve He was commissioning. He warned them saying, “And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them.” He did not want the fault-finding they would encounter to discourage His disciples.
How easy it is on the one hand to find fault, and on the other to take offense. But we can choose. We can choose to find fault, or seek what is good. We can choose to be offended by others’ opinions, or we can choose to ignore a slight. We can choose to “shake off the dust” of the crowd’s doubt and reach out to Jesus. Jesus “was amazed at their lack of faith,” but He chose to press on, to commission the twelve, and continue ministering “from village to village.” Let us choose to “shake off the dust” and follow Him.