The Cost of Mission
March 5, 2017 Series: The Drama of the Gospel: What It is and How It Changes Everything
Passage: Mark 6:1–6:13
As we continue to go through the book of Mark looking at the life and ministry of Jesus, we are this morning looking at a passage that focuses on the theme of mission. Jesus’ mission, and by extension our mission. We have two accounts here. Jesus in his hometown of Nazareth and Jesus sending out the disciples two by two. What connects these two accounts is the theme of mission. While we certainly are to recognize that many of the instructions Jesus gives are tied to his specific circumstances, we do learn here some very important and practical lessons concerning mission. The sermon will focus on two of these lessons. First, is the fact that mission is dangerous. Maybe that is why we intuitively resist living our lives on mission. We know that our basic identity is to be a people on mission. Jesus in fact said, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (John 20:21). We are called to live sent. But we see Jesus being rejected, even in his very own hometown, so we know that mission is dangerous. We will be rejected too. Which leads to the second point. Mission is costly. There is a cost to us. And certainly part of that cost is that we not in control. One of the things we learn from Jesus’ sending out of his disciples is that we are to be totally dependent on God. And that leaves us out of control. Mission is costly. And that is a challenge.
But more than a cost to us, there is a cost to Jesus. And Jesus pays the ultimate cost. Jesus pays a cost in being rejected in his own hometown and at those closest to him taking offense at him. But the ultimate cost that Jesus pays is the climax of the cross. It is on the cross that Jesus faces the ultimate rejection and he does so for us. As the Apostle Paul says to the church at Corinth, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). What did the mission cost Jesus? Everything. And what did he get? He got us, a family to be on mission with him. Dangerous? Yes. Costly? Yes. But there is no greater purpose to live for than to live for the serving of and mission of God’s kingdom.