Cover to Cover
In verses 1-6, people in Jesus’ home town knew Him as the carpenter’s son, and they are offended at Him. To take up an offense is to choose to reject the Savior instead of accept the Savior. When people are offended at you, your ministry or the truth you bring, they are making a choice. They are choosing to reject you, but don’t be surprised; if those familiar with Christ rejected Him; then why would it be surprising if someone rejected you? Your faith is in God, not in the people. Because of their rejection, Jesus could not do any great miracle there. They decrease in the Holy Spirit’s anointing wasn’t based on what Jesus wanted to do for them; it was based on their rejection of Him.
Jesus marveled at their unbelief. In verse 2, we see they heard Him teach with wisdom. They knew He had done mighty works, but they didn’t value or honor Him because they were familiar with Him. They despised, or failed to value Him. Today, when people get familiar with a pastor or minster, they have a choice. They can either acknowledge the call of God on that minister’s life and honor the anointing, or they can despise it. As a leader or as a Christian, know that if they reject you, they are actually rejecting the One who sent you.
In verses 7-13, Jesus sends out the twelve, two by two, giving them power over unclean spirits. To be clean means to be pure. To be unclean is impure. The Greek word for “unclean” means the spirit has not been cleansed after becoming soiled by sin, not can it be. Demons were once angels who rejected God’s authority, choosing to follow Satan’s rebellion. There is no atonement for a fallen angel. There is atonement, or a cleansing, for God’s children, who are made in His image and likeness. Under the old covenant, once cleansed of anything, a person showed themselves to the priest who would declare them as clean and offer a sacrifice. Under the new covenant, a person is declared righteousness and cleansed through Christ. A devil cannot be cleansed. He is unclean. Don’t feel pity for an unclean spirit. NEVER has an unclean spirit desired to be clean. He is what he is – pure evil and an enemy of God.
GIVERS ARE RECEIVERS
Jesus required the disciples to live by the lodging and food that people provided for them. When people received them by inviting them into their homes and hosted them, the disciples would stay and bless them. If no one received them, they would move on, rejecting them. Their rejection was seen in shaking the dust from their shoes as a way of saying they would not even take a piece of dust with them.
DOING THE WORKS OF JESUS
The disciples learned that they also could do the works of Jesus – they too could preach, cast out demons, and heal the sick. This is also encouraging for us, as today’s representatives for Christ, doing His works.
In verses 14-29 Mark writes about John the Baptist’s death.
In verses 30-32, the disciples return to Jesus to talk about the things they did and taught. There were many people coming and going, so that the disciples did not have time to eat. Jesus told them to come aside by themselves to a deserted place to rest for awhile after their time in ministry. This good advice for ministers today. Get alone, away from people, to rest and recharge for a time.
The Lord gives Moses instructions about laws for grain and drink offerings, unintentional sin, and presumptuous sins in Numbers 15.
In chapter 16, Korah rebels against Moses, God’s chosen leader. What can we learn?
· Korah was a Levite, God’s chosen tribe for serving in the tabernacle.
· Korah and his men gathered 250 men against Moses, more specifically, men of renown, men who represented the congregation, leaders.
· These rebels came together, trying to strengthen their force against God’s leader.
· They accused Moses of exalting himself as better than others. His accusers were trying to tear Moses down, bringing him down to their level.
· When Moses heard it, he fell on his face. Moses had seen God’s form, talked with God face-to-face, plus experienced the supernatural from God Himself. None of that matters to the rebellious heart. In the same way that a rebellious, controlling spirit attempted to bring Moses down is the same rebellious spirit that despised the supernatural move of God. Don’t try to convince the rebellious person; they may pretend to honor God, but if they honored God, they would honor those who serve Him.
· Moses turned to God concerning the people. Leaders must always go higher up when people are trying to tear them down.
· In verse 7, Moses said Korah and his men took much upon themselves. In other words, they were putting themselves into a position where they didn’t belong. They were the ones exalting themselves, not Moses. In the end, God would expose the self-promoters.
· Moses asks Korah and his sons, “Is it a small thing that God called you to the Levitical priesthood, to be brought near to God?”
· Moses then says that Korah and his followers had gathered themselves against the LORD.
· Then Moses asks Korah, “What is Aaron that you complain against him?” Truthfully, when someone comes against your team, they are coming against you.
· Then Moses addresses Datham and Abiram to come near, but they wouldn’t. They accused Moses of promising them their own land and not delivering, even though it was the people’s choice to doubt God.
· Moses was angry. Do spiritual leaders get angry at rebellious attitudes? SHOULD they have a right to be angry at rebellion? It’s a human thing to do, but it is also a holy thing to do. Moses turned them over to God.
· God was ready to take out the entire congregation, but Moses and Aaron interceding, saying, “Shall one man sin, and You be angry with all the congregation?”
· God instructed Moses to command the people to separate themselves from Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.
· God instructed the people to not even touch anything that belonged to them.
· Moses told the people if God “creates a new thing” and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up alive, along with their belongings, into the pit, then the people will know that Korah and his followers HAVE REJECTED THE LORD.
· Then a fire came and consumed their 250 followers, those offering incense. These men of renown that supported a rebel died because they supported the men who rejected the Lord. Don’t be deceived. It doesn’t matter HOW MANY are against God’s leader. It doesn’t matter HOW IMPORTANT the people are in the sight of men. What matters is what God says.
· The people complained against Moses and Aaron, saying they killed the people of the Lord, referring to Korah, his leaders, and the 250 men. God was angry, ready again to do away with the people. Come against God’s leader is like coming against God.
· God allowed judgment to fall on Israel, and a plague began to spread throughout the camp. Moses instructed Aaron to hurry and make an offering, and where Aaron stood is where the plague stopped.
Let’s be careful not to come against the leaders God has placed in position. The leaders, if they are humble, know that they are nothing in themselves. They should know that the real honor goes to God and to God alone.