November 18, 2022
THE UNDERVALUED VIRTUE OF HONOUR – Mark 6:1-6
Listen to last week’s sermon: THE UNDERVALUED VIRTUE OF HONOUR – Mark 6:1-6
On this Remembrance Day weekend, Pastor Eric spoke on the virtue of honour that we often overlook, undervalue, or fail to practice.
Last Friday, November 11th, we observed a moment of silence to pay homage to the veterans. We honoured them in a variety of ways; many of us went downtown, some attended parade ceremonies, while others did so from their homes. It is with gratitude that we acknowledged their service and courage. Although we may not have served in the armed forces ourselves, many of us know a relative who has. We honour these men, women, and their families who have served our country.
It is the veteran, not the preacher who has given us freedom of religion. It is the veteran, not the reporter who has given us freedom of the press. It is the veteran, not the poet who has given us freedom of speech. It is the veteran, not the campus organizer who has given us the freedom to assemble. It is the veteran, not the lawyer who has given us the right to a fair trial. It is the veteran, not the politician who has given us the right to vote.
We are grateful for the significant role the military has played in the history of our country. Thus, if you or someone in your family has served in the armed forces, we salute you today.
In a day when dishonour seems to be the norm, it is important for us to pay homage to our veterans. As Christians, we must never lose sight of the fact that God has commanded us to honour those to whom honour is due. God, our highest authority, has given the Church the mandate to cultivate, maintain, and practice a culture and attitude of honour.
Read Mark 6:1-6
This passage states, “Soon afterwards he left that section of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown. The next Sabbath he went to the synagogue to teach, and the people were astonished at his wisdom and his miracles because he was just a local man like themselves. “He’s no better than we are,” they said. ‘He’s just a carpenter, Mary’s son, and a brother of James and Joseph, Judas and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” And they were offended! Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honoured everywhere except in his hometown and among his relatives and by his own family.” And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any mighty miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he could hardly accept the fact that they wouldn’t believe in him. Then he went out among the villages, teaching.”
Mark 6 provides a clear picture of what happened to Jesus when honour was not present.
Read Mark 5:1-43, 6:1
In light of all the activity, Pastor Eric believes that Jesus left in the fifth chapter of Mark. As described in this chapter, Jesus delivered a man who was plagued by a number of impure spirits. These spirits were cast into a herd of pigs, which then caused the pigs to leap off a steep hillside into a lake and drown. The herdsmen fled to the nearby towns and countryside where they informed everyone of what had just occurred. It was a scene of frenzied activity as everyone rushed out to see for themselves. Their fear was heightened considerably when they saw the man who had been possessed by many evil spirits sitting, clothed, and in his right mind. As the news spread, the people begged Jesus to leave the area. Consequently, He got back into the boat and crossed to the other side of the lake. Later, we learn that a woman who suffered from severe bleeding for twelve years had seen numerous doctors and spent all the money she had, yet her condition continued to deteriorate. In spite of this, she felt that if she touched Jesus’ cloak, she would be made well. As soon as she touched the fringe of His clothing, her hemorrhage stopped. Jesus also raised a synagogue leader’s daughter from the dead. Jarius, the girl’s father, was informed by some men who had just left his house that his twelve-year-old daughter had died and that he should not bother Jesus. Christ did not pay attention to the men’s comments. His advice to Jarius was “Do not be afraid; just believe”. After entering the house and seeing people crying and wailing loudly, he said to them “Why are you distressed and weeping? This child is not dead. She is only sleeping.” Jesus instructed everyone to depart, then entered the room where the young girl was. Along with Him were the girl’s parents and three followers. He reached out to the child, held her hand, and instructed her to rise. In response, the girl immediately stood up and began walking.
Following the stunning miracles He performed in Mark, chapter 5, Christ returned to Nazareth, His hometown, in Mark, chapter 6. With the exception of healing a few sick individuals, He was not able to perform miracles there. What was the reason for Jesus’ inability to heal people in Nazareth? In Mark 5, it is recorded that He cleansed, delivered, healed, and even raised people from the dead. He was, however, only able to heal a small number of sick people in Mark 6. Had Jesus lost His power? According to Pastor Eric, because they dishonoured Jesus, the heavens closed over them, thus preventing Christ from performing miracles in that town. The residents of Nazareth said, “He’s no better than we are… He’s just a carpenter…” They looked down on Him because He did not have any formal theological training and returned to Nazareth with a group of disciples claiming to be a Rabbi. As a result, they did not view Jesus as the Messiah, Saviour, and Christ, but rather as a mere carpenter.
Read Mark 6:3
Many people in this community view Christ as ‘baby Jesus’. While there is mention of a baby Jesus in the Bible, He did not remain a baby throughout His life. In a similar manner, the people of Nazareth perceived Him as a carpenter but did not recognize Him as the Messiah. Despite the fact that the arrival of Jesus had been predicted and prophesied about for many years, the people of Nazareth did not recognize Him as their Saviour. In seeing Jesus as a carpenter and builder, they failed to recognize that He was the Cornerstone: the foundation of our faith and the promise of God to all mankind. Rather than honouring Christ, they belittled Him saying, “He’s just a carpenter, Mary’s son, and a brother of James and Joseph, Judas and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” The phrase ‘Mary’s son’ has been subject to some speculation because, back then, a boy was not referred to as the son of his mother, but rather as the son of his father. Calling Him Mary’s son may have been considered offensive. It is also possible that many of them doubted the virgin birth story. The carpenter’s identity as Christ was difficult for them to accept.
In the next verse, Jesus said, “A prophet is honoured everywhere except in his hometown and among his relatives and by his own family.” In other words, it is a great privilege to represent the Lord. The task of speaking on His behalf is a highly honourable one.
Read Mark 6:4-6
Why was Jesus not recognized in His hometown or among His family members and relatives? Pastor Eric believes it is because they treated Christ with familiarity rather than with the utmost honour. A person is honoured when he or she is highly respected or highly valued. Someone said, “To show honour is to esteem a person to his proper rank.” In other words, we are to honour people in accordance with their level of authority. Thus, we are to value Jesus differently than we value our parents. He deserves the highest honour, worship, and praise from His people.
Dishonoring someone goes beyond showing disrespect: It is also the failure to acknowledge the person’s rank. This was the treatment Jesus received. No insults or sarcastic remarks were directed at Him. The people of Nazareth simply did not recognize the Son of God for who He truly was. Though the Saviour lived in their town, they considered Him to be a mere carpenter. As a result, their respect for Him did not correspond to His status as God and the Creator of all things.
Is this the reason why some believers experience answers to prayer and miracles, while other believers who have not grown spiritually in many years do not? Is this the reason why a church that preaches the true gospel and the true Jesus experiences God’s miracles and His power to save, while other churches preach the same message from the same Bible but are spiritually dry? Is this indicative of a lack of honour? Increasing familiarity increases our tendency to treat people and things lightly. It is therefore imperative that we continue to revere and honour Jesus.
As we see in the gospel of Mark, a lack of honour prevented a town from experiencing the glory of heaven. Chapter 6 does not state that Jesus was unwilling to perform miracles, but rather that He was incapable of doing so. According to the Bible, nothing is beyond the power of God. Why then was Christ’s power limited in Nazareth? Quite simply because a lack of honour will bind the Lord’s hands or reduce the impact or breakthrough one will experience.
Read 1 Samuel 2:30
According to Pastor Eric, if we begin to greatly esteem God and stop treating Him lightly, two things will happen:
- The heavens will open up and God’s blessings will pour down upon us. In Mark 6, the heavens were closed over the entire town as a result of a lack of respect and faith in Jesus.
- The Lord will honour us if we honour Him both privately and publicly. In 1 Samuel 2:30, the Almighty asserted, “Therefore, I, the Lord God of Israel, declare that although I promised that your branch of the tribe of Levi could always be my priests, it is ridiculous to think that what you are doing can continue. I will honour only those who honour me, and I will despise those who despise me.” This passage was written when Eli, a priest, scorned the Lord’s sacrifices and chose to place his own sons above Him.
There are five ways we can honour God. We can honour Him with our time (our time), our talents (our gifts), our temple (our body), our treasure (our finances), and your ticker (our heart).
How else can we honour the Lord? We can recognize Him for who He is. Even though we will never be able to fully comprehend God until we reach the heavenly realm, we can pray and meditate on His name and attributes as we read the Scriptures. We can also express our gratitude to Him. As a result, our spiritual walk, our prayers, and our perception of the Lord will be significantly and positively impacted. Our heavenly Father is the Almighty God, our provider, our source of peace, our shield, our protector, our comforter, our Saviour, and our healer.
In the opinion of Pastor Eric, it is essential that we stop viewing God as our buddy and begin to view him as our Daddy. Clearly, there is a distinction between the two. There are certain things that Buddy tolerates that Daddy does not, and Daddy deserves the respect and honour that Buddy is not entitled to.
Read Psalm 34:1
It is also possible to honour God through praise. David stated in Psalm 34:1,
I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
This means we are to praise Him in good and bad times, during times of prosperity and also during times of adversity.
Read Matthew 15:8 and Psalm 19:14
Even though they professed their devotion to God with their mouths, the Pharisees and teachers of the law were far removed from Him in their hearts. Honouring the Lord is not always a public act. It is also done in private. It involves refusing to sin when temptation arises, refraining from engaging in unhealthy discussions, and refusing to dwell on unwholesome thoughts.
Read Proverbs 3:9
Proverbs 3:9 states,
Honour the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.
Thus, we should honour God not only with our time, talents, and words, but also with our wealth. To put it another way, generosity and tithing are forms of honour as they allow us to contribute to and support the Lord’s work.
Read Romans 13:7
We also honour God by holding in high regard those whom He called us to highly respect. In Romans 13:7, Paul says,
Give everyone what you owe them. If you owe them any kind of tax, then pay it. Show respect to those you should respect. And show honour to those you should honour.
Conversely, the dictionary defines dishonour as follows:
1 – To treat in a degrading manner;
2 – To bring shame on; and,
3 – To refuse to accept or pay something such as a bill or cheque.
Paul said, …honour those you should honour.” He did not say, “Honour those whom you believe should be honoured.” When we honour those whom God called us to revere, we are in fact honouring Him. This does not necessarily mean that we agree with everything the individual says, does, or believes, but rather that we respect the title he or she holds. We respect his or her rank.
Read Exodus 20:12
The Bible commands us to honour our parents. It is also one of the Ten Commandments. Honouring our mother and father, will not only ensure us a long life but also teach us to respect those who are deserving of our respect. Unless we highly respect our parents, respect for others cannot be achieved.
Read Ephesians 5:33, 1 Peter 3:7, 2:18, and Leviticus 19:32
We must also honour our spouses, our superiors, and seniors.
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:12, Romans 12:10, and 13,7
As Christians, we are also required to honour church leaders, government officials, and others in positions of authority. In situations where it is unclear whom we are to honour, we are to place others above ourselves.
In honouring the people God calls us to revere, we are also honouring the Lord, since we are adhering to a principle He has established.
Watch the video here.