A Scandalous Homecoming

A Bible Exposition Of Mark 6:1-6

Dr. Chester Karrass was an academic who devoted his life to advanced research and experimentation in negotiation techniques. He eventually earned a PhD from the University of Southern California, and spent years as a negotiator and a negotiation consultant.

Karrass’ approach to negotiation is effective, but there is nothing earth-shattering about his process. Essentially you have what the buyer wants, what the seller wants, and then an area in between that represents how far each will go and still be satisfied. If you can get the terms of the agreement into that zone then you have a deal.

Karrass offers many principles. One of them is related to your target. Your target is: what you think is reasonably possible to get out of a negotiation. You have a goal where you want to end up. You make your first offer with room for concessions (i.e. giving up certain things). In this process then you give something up, they give something up, and so on and so on until you have a deal.

In Karrass process you make your first offer knowing that you will take concede portions to get a deal. Well the Karrass approach may work for buyers and sellers, it might work for employers and employees, or landlords and tenants. In fact, master negotiators can find ways to make deals work, even when it seems impossible. They do it by discovering the sticking point for the other party, and then giving in when it comes to that area.

Friends, of all the deals that can be negotiated, negotiation has no place when it comes to the Gospel. As we will see today, Jesus desires to be accepted and loved and worshipped in His hometown, and yet He is unwilling to compromise in any way to accomplish that goal.

Jesus doesn’t negotiate. 

His offer is incredible, really. You can’t find it anywhere else—surrender yourself to Him trusting exclusively in His perfection to provide the basis for your standing before God.

And He brings the righteousness. He brings the forgiveness. He brings the peace and the joy and the newness of life. He brings His Spirit to dwell within you. He promises you heaven—eternity with Him. And all He asks is that you simply repent and believe.

And although that may be simple, it is also very specific and very narrow. The gate is narrow to get into heaven. It is a turnstile—the little metal contraption you walk through when you go into an arena that counts the attendees.

Jesus defines what it means to repent and believe and He is absolutely unflinching on the definition. There is no negotiating. No special cases. No exceptions. You accept or reject the package deal on His terms.

And as we will see. This is why the Gospel requires the supernatural work of God. Because the human heart will never accept the Gospel if God doesn’t incline the heart. It is distasteful, it is offensive.

Our outline for today’s passage is:

3 Descriptions that Capture the Homecoming of Jesus

  1. The roots—Jesus returns to his hometown for evangelism (1-2a)
  2. The response—Jesus rejected by his hometown for the scandal (2b-5)
  3. The result—Jesus renounces his hometown for unbelief (6)

Mark 6:1–6—1 Jesus went out from there and came into His hometown; and His disciples followed Him. 2 When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him. 4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” 5 And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.