September 12 – Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week after Pentecost Mark 6:1-7
Honored Except Among His Own: Mark 6:1-7, especially vs. 4: “But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.’” An old sailors’ adage advises us to watch the morning sky: “Red sky at morning, sailor take warning.” The origins of this bit of folk advice are hazy, but I still take note whenever there is a red cast to the morning sky, perhaps as a result of growing up in a Navy family. Our friends at the National Weather Service, however, claim greater precision: “The computer has been responsible for an impressive improvement in the accuracy of weather predictions. Over a ten-year period, the forecasting of rain has improved to the point where the outlook for tomorrow is now as accurate as the forecast for tonight used to be.”
These thoughts lead us to consider the Lord’s observation about the honor afforded to prophets. An honest study of Scripture supports what Christ says about the righteous ones called prophets, whose works appear in the Old Testament. They were quite right in their predictions – and widely dishonored among their own people. Indeed, the same risks face those who preach today, warning us against the dangerous spiritual trends in our society.
For further affirmation of the terrifying truth contained in the warnings of Christ and His apostles, we turn to Saint Paul: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Gal 6:7). Such truths apply not only to individuals, but to societies as well. Societies that indulge in every sort of immoral and unethical behavior will reap a predictable harvest of wrong-doing, crime, disordered health, and civil unrest. It follows as night follows the day.
Let us, then, identify four truths about healing. First, everyone who values the healing touch of the Master has hope of finding true health – even if we live in countries, neighborhoods, or households where Christ is dishonored and distrusted. Although He was crucified by pagan Romans, in an era of wretched indulgence, He rose from the dead, traveled on a worldwide circuit, and is open to all comers.
Second, we understand that Christ’s healing is available to us if we, as mortal human beings, allow Him to lay His hands on us (Mk 6:5). He heals all who are sick, including the immoral, the high-born, and the nobodies.
Third, the Chief Physician’s circuit embraces every community, household, family, and person in this world who welcomes His therapy. He shows respect to neither age nor to race, financial worth, gender, nation, nor a host of other distinctions.
Fourth, we note that those who are trained under the Master, whom He calls to Himself, are sent out two by two, in fellowship with others duly authorized. To these He gives power over unclean spirits (vs. 7). Even today, these disciples will respond to our honest appeals.
Now, to be honest, a host of questions still remain concerning these four guidelines for finding health at the hands of the Chief Physician. Some questions may be offered as dodges by those who do not wish to give up what little power and authority they currently possess. There will always be those unwilling to meet Jesus Christ on His terms.
Yes, there are “conditions of service” that Christ and His healing teams will not violate. Nevertheless, we see matters of life and death being addressed in virtually every country and out-of-the-way place in the world – a prophetic ministry truly wonderful to contemplate.
Grant speedy and steadfast consolation unto Thy servants, O Jesus, when our spirits are cast down within us. Depart not from our souls in affliction. Be not far from our thoughts in time of trouble, but always defend us. Draw near unto us, Thou who art everywhere present. As Thou art ever with Thine apostles, so also unite Thyself unto those who long for Thee.