Jesus at home
1: And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. 2: And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3: Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. 4: But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5: And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6: And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
The Mission of the Twelve
7: And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; 8: And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: 9: But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. 10: And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. 11: And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. 12: And they went out, and preached that men should repent. 13: And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
Herod is worried
14: And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. 15: Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets. 16: But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead. 17: For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her. 18: For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. 19: Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: 20: For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly. 21: And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; 22: And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. 23: And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. 24: And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. 25: And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. 26: And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. 27: And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, 28: And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother. 29: And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.
When Christ taught in his own town the people could not understand how he had put this teaching together having not been anywhere except the carpenters workshop. In his own town he could do very little because the people could not see beyond their memory of his childhood. The little phrase ‘he went about the villages teaching’ describes such a wonderful ministry of Christ. And it was at this time that he sent out the Apostles preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. We see that their ministries had a number of features. First they were to work in pairs. This is because in the Law every word is confirmed in the mouth of two witnesses. Next we see that they were empowered specifically so that they can cast out demons. Next we see that they were to follow the Jewish custom of depending on the hospitality of the villages in which they visited. Therefore they did not need to take any food or money. The welcome they expected was to be based on two principles. The first is being welcomed the second is being heard. If they are not welcomed and if they are not heard then WHEN they leave. They are to shake off the dust of their shoes as a testimony against them. The significance may be they remove all trace of contamination of the place that they leave. There ministry was characterised by Preaching Demon deliverance and healing (Notice that the anointing with oil was used as part of the Apostolic ministry of healing) Herod suffering from a bad conscience assumed that John had risen from the dead when he heard of their ministry. Herod’s murder of John was one of the travesties of History.