Finding Your Mission in the Face of Rejection
Whenever we find a mission or purpose, we are sure to face rejection, often from those closest to us. In today’s guide, we look at two people who overcame rejection to accomplish what everyone else thought was impossible.
Discussion Guide for Mark 6:1-13
In Austin’s sermon, he makes mention of the story of William Carey. If that name isn’t familiar to you, he is the father of the modern missions movement.
Carey had a long career with many successes in Bengal, India. He was not, however, some exceptionally educated or talented individual. The secret to his success was his ability to keep working in the face of tremendous opposition. Take five minutes to watch this story of his life.
So how does the life of William Carey give us insight into Mark 6:1-13? He was no doubt consumed with the way that Jesus stayed on mission in the face of opposition.
When Jesus Faced Rejection
He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 And on the Sabbath he 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? 3 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?” And they took offense at him. 4 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” 5 And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And he marveled because of their unbelief.
And he went about among the villages teaching.
7 And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts— 9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.[a] 10 And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. 11 And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.Mark 6:1-13
We see two main themes in this passage.
- Christ confidently stayed on mission even when his family and friends rejected him.
- Christ commissioned his disciples to press on in His mission whether they were accepted or rejected.
Jesus takes his mission and makes it the mission of each of his disciples. Not only are they to participate in his authority, his teaching, his healing, and his disciple-making but they will also participate in his suffering. And this before any of them even have a clear picture of who Jesus is!
What are the lessons we can take in our own lives following Jesus?
- Why do you think the people closest to Jesus are the most resistant to him?
- In what ways do you think the astonishment of the people of Nazareth is different from the astonishment that has led others on a journey of faith? (verse 2)
- Do you think Nazareth’s rejection hurt Jesus?
- Have you ever faced rejection from your friends or family?
- Why did Jesus send the apostles out two-by-two? (verse 7)
- Do you think Jesus’ instructions helped or hindered the apostles’ mission when they entered a town? (verses 8-11)
- Why is perseverance (or plodding) a key character trait in following Jesus’ mission?
- What lessons about discipleship can we learn from Jesus’ instructions?
- How do you think the apostles felt when they were doing some of the same works that Jesus did without his presence? (verses 12-13)
- What kind of opposition do you imagine the apostles received on their mission?
- Was the opposition they faced any different from the opposition to Jesus?
- Is there an area of life where you struggle with other people’s opinions of you more than God’s opinion of you?