It’s possible, this morning, that you are feeling a little foggy. In the US, the time changed over the weekend. We’re two years into a major disruption to life and death. We’re aware of military actions that affect people we know and people we don’t. And the cats went back home.
When we say, “I don’t know why I’m so tired,” it’s worth stopping and realizing that perhaps we do. And acknowledging and responding appropriately. With a nap, more coffee, lament, intercession, and perhaps, exchanging photos.
Jesus goes back to Nazareth. He teaches. And no one believes who he is now because they are stuck in who he was. “Isn’t he Mary’s son? Aren’t his sisters with us?”
His disciples are with him. They see the scorn. They hear the mocking.
They’ve seen all he has done, the power he has, the lives that have been changed. They are witnesses to the real Jesus, as far as they know. They are witnesses to the ignored Jesus.
And now the story changes from Jesus doing the work while the disciples watch, to the disciples doing the work.
He sends them out with instructions about what not to carry. He tells them what to do. He tells them there will be rejection and tells them what to do in that case.
He talks about rejection because they had just seen him being rejected. In front of the home crowd, in close geographic proximity to his biological relatives.
It was important for the disciples to be shown before they were sent, that all the power in the world can’t force understanding. What we think we know can be more powerful, and more debilitating, than the truth.
But it’s also important to the readers to remember that the family in Nazareth would eventually understand. And by the time this account was written out, James, a name on the list, was a colleague and leader.
A cautionary note, lest we take all our lessons from the middle of the story.