The Man Who Would Not Be Believed – Gospel in Life

The Man Who Would Not Be Believed

Tim Keller |  December 24, 2000

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  • Christmas and Advent
  • Jesus' Birth
Mark 6:1-13
RS 123-2


Jesus is offensive. He is offensive to every culture in every part of the world and in every period of time. The Gospel message that all our accomplishments are worthless and that we must rely on Jesus alone for salvation offends us to the core. In the Gospels, no one ever “liked” Jesus or responded to Him moderately. They either tried to kill Jesus or they worshipped Him and gave up everything to follow Him.

Mark 6:1–13

Christmas reminds us that God keeps His promises, but also shows a gap between His timing and ours. It highlights the theme of rejection, reflecting how Jesus was dismissed by the world and His followers also faced rejection. The Christmas story shows how understanding Jesus is hard for the world, and being devoted to Him often brings deep spiritual challenges.

1. The reality of his offensiveness

Christmas reminds us that Jesus can be offensive, proving his realness and broad impact. He questioned common ideas, from Western self-centeredness to traditional moral behavior, and he stood as the only path to God, which often sparked strong reactions. This shows Jesus’ historical truth. To truly know Jesus, you need to accept these offensive parts of him. This goes beyond society’s rules and promotes total acceptance and forgiveness.

2. The reason for his offensiveness

Jesus’ questioning of society’s rules and his “ordinary-ness” can be offensive, but Christmas reminds us that God works through the ordinary. Many find Christianity offensive due to its simple message and the ordinary nature of its followers. But it’s important to remember that even imperfect people can spread Jesus’ message. Embracing the everyday parts of faith and accepting the flaws of other believers is key, focusing on living a meaningful life, not bothered by the ordinary parts of being a Christian.

3. The response to his offensiveness

Close relationships with other believers are really important, and we shouldn’t be swayed by wealth or social status. The temptation of success often clashes with the call to help ordinary people, even if they might reject us. The courage to live differently comes from Jesus Christ. Even though he faced the ultimate rejection, he brought peace through his sacrifice, showing the beauty of the gospel and the acceptance and love that come from God.



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