Today’s text seems like two stories; Jesus rejected by his home town, and Jesus sending out the twelve. Upon closer look, it is indeed one. Jesus says a prophet is not without honor except in his home town. Then he sends his disciples to preach the gospel in their home towns.
Think about it, Peter, Andrew, James and John; fishermen from the same region are familiar with the people. What would we say to men whom we knew, who always smelled like fish and looked like they had been in the sun too long as they came promising to cast out our demons? What would we say to someone like that as he came proclaiming our need to repent? Well, instead of imagining, we should be experiencing what it is like. Not what it is like to receive such a message, but to be someone who delivers it.
Jesus calls us to be witnesses to the gospel, even in our home towns. The question becomes, do we accept his call? Have we listened to Jesus and understand his message well enough to tell others? It can seem intimidating to minister to those who might see us only as neighbors; they know our faults, they have seen our worst. That is because we too are sinners. Still, Christ commands us to go without worry, for you do not go alone. Christ is with you.
Lord Jesus, equip us to proclaim your gospel no matter where you send us. Amen.