Mark 6

1 And he went out thence and came to his own country, and his disciples follow him.
2 And when sabbath was come he began to teach in the synagogue, and many hearing were amazed, saying, Whence [has] this [man] these things? and what [is] the wisdom that is given to him, and such works of power are done by his hands?
3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, and Joses, and Judas, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended in him.
4 But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not despised save in his own country, and among [his] kinsmen, and in his own house.
5 And he could not do any work of power there, save that laying his hands on a few infirm persons he healed [them].
6 And he wondered because of their unbelief. And he went round the villages in a circuit, teaching.
7 And he calls the twelve to [him]; and he began to send them out two [and] two, and gave to them power over the unclean spirits;
8 and he commanded them that they should take nothing for the way, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their belt;
9 but be shod with sandals, and put not on two body-coats.
10 And he said to them, Wheresoever ye shall enter into a house, there remain till ye shall go thence.
11 And whatsoever place shall not receive you nor hear you, departing thence, shake off the dust which is under your feet for a testimony to them.
12 And they went forth and preached that they should repent;
13 and they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many infirm, and healed them.
14 And Herod the king heard [of him] (for his name had become public), and said, John the baptist is risen from among [the] dead, and on this account works of power are wrought by him.
15 And others said, It is Elias; and others said, It is a prophet, as one of the prophets.
16 But Herod when he heard [it] said, John whom *I* beheaded, he it is; *he* is risen [from among the dead].
17 For the same Herod had sent and seized John, and had bound him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of Philip his brother, because he had married her.
18 For John said to Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have the wife of thy brother.
19 But Herodias kept it [in her mind] against him, and wished to kill him, and could not:
20 for Herod feared John knowing that he was a just and holy man, and kept him safe; and having heard him, did many things, and heard him gladly.
21 And a holiday being come, when Herod, on his birthday, made a supper to his grandees, and to the chiliarchs, and the chief [men] of Galilee;
22 and the daughter of the same Herodias having come in, and danced, pleased Herod and those that were with [him] at table; and the king said to the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt and I will give it thee.
23 And he swore to her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask me I will give thee, to half of my kingdom.
24 And she went out, and said to her mother, What should I ask? And she said, The head of John the baptist.
25 And immediately going in with haste to the king, she asked saying, I desire that thou give me directly upon a dish the head of John the baptist.
26 And the king, [while] made very sorry, on account of the oaths and those lying at table with [him] would not break his word with her.
27 And immediately the king, having sent one of the guard, ordered his head to be brought. And he went out and beheaded him in the prison,
28 and brought his head upon a dish, and gave it to the damsel, and the damsel gave it to her mother.
29 And his disciples having heard [it], came and took up his body, and laid it in a tomb.
30 And the apostles are gathered together to Jesus. And they related to him all things, [both] what they had done and what they had taught.
31 And he said to them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place and rest a little. For those coming and those going were many, and they had not leisure even to eat.
32 And they went away apart into a desert place by ship.
33 And many saw them going, and recognised them, and ran together there on foot, out of all the cities, and got [there] before them.
34 And on leaving [the ship] [Jesus] saw a great crowd, and he was moved with compassion for them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.
35 And when it was already late in the day, his disciples coming to him say, The place is desert, and it is already late in the day;
36 send them away that they may go into the country and villages around, and buy themselves bread, for they have not anything they can eat.
37 And he answering said to them, Give *ye* them to eat. And they say to him, Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them to eat?
38 And he says to them, How many loaves have ye? Go [and] see. And when they knew they say, Five, and two fishes.
39 And he ordered them to make them all sit down by companies on the green grass.
40 And they sat down in ranks by hundreds and by fifties.
41 And having taken the five loaves and the two fishes, looking up to heaven, he blessed, and broke the loaves, and gave [them] to his disciples that they might set [them] before them. And the two fishes he divided among all.
42 And they all ate and were satisfied.
43 And they took up of fragments the fillings of twelve hand-baskets, and of the fishes.
44 And those that ate of the loaves were five thousand men.
45 And immediately he compelled his disciples to go on board ship, and to go on before to the other side to Bethsaida, while *he* sends the crowd away.
46 And, having dismissed them, he departed into the mountain to pray.
47 And when evening was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and *he* alone upon the land.
48 And seeing them labouring in rowing, for the wind was contrary to them, about the fourth watch of the night he comes to them walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.
49 But they, seeing him walking on the sea, thought that it was an apparition, and cried out.
50 For all saw him and were troubled. And immediately he spoke with them, and says to them, Be of good courage: it is *I*; be not afraid.
51 And he went up to them into the ship, and the wind fell. And they were exceedingly beyond measure astonished in themselves and wondered;
52 for they understood not through the loaves: for their heart was hardened.
53 And having passed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and made the shore.
54 And on their coming out of the ship, immediately recognising him,
55 they ran through that whole country around, and began to carry about those that were ill on couches, where they heard that he was.
56 And wherever he entered into villages, or cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the market-places, and besought him that they might touch if it were only the hem of his garment; and as many as touched him were healed.

Mark 6 Commentary

Chapter 6

Christ despised in his own country. (1-6) The apostles sent forth. (7-13) John the Baptist put to death. (14-29) The apostles return, Five thousand fed by a miracle. (30-44) Christ walks on the sea, He heals those that touch him. (45-56)

Verses 1-6 Our Lord's countrymen tried to prejudice the minds of people against him. Is not this the carpenter? Our Lord Jesus probably had worked in that business with his father. He thus put honour upon mechanics, and encouraged all persons who eat by the labour of their hands. It becomes the followers of Christ to content themselves with the satisfaction of doing good, although they are denied the praise of it. How much did these Nazarenes lose by obstinate prejudices against Jesus! May Divine grace deliver us from that unbelief, which renders Christ a savour of death, rather than of life to the soul. Let us, like our Master, go and teach cottages and peasants the way of salvation.

Verses 7-13 Though the apostles were conscious to themselves of great weakness, and expected no wordly advantage, yet, in obedience to their Master, and in dependence upon his strength, they went out. They did not amuse people with curious matters, but told them they must repent of their sins, and turn to God. The servants of Christ may hope to turn many from darkness unto God, and to heal souls by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Verses 14-29 Herod feared John while he lived, and feared him still more when he was dead. Herod did many of those things which John in his preaching taught him; but it is not enough to do many things, we must have respect to all the commandments. Herod respected John, till he touched him in his Herodias. Thus many love good preaching, if it keep far away from their beloved sin. But it is better that sinners persecute ministers now for faithfulness, than curse them eternally for unfaithfulness. The ways of God are unsearchable; but we may be sure he never can be at a loss to repay his servants for what they endure or lose for his sake. Death could not come so as to surprise this holy man; and the triumph of the wicked was short.

Verses 30-44 Let not ministers do any thing or teach any thing, but what they are willing should be told to their Lord. Christ notices the frights of some, and the toils of others of his disciples, and provides rest for those that are tired, and refuge for those that are terrified. The people sought the spiritual food of Christ's word, and then he took care that they should not want bodily food. If Christ and his disciples put up with mean things, surely we may. And this miracle shows that Christ came into the world, not only to restore, but to preserve and nourish spiritual life; in him there is enough for all that come. None are sent empty away from Christ but those who come to him full of themselves. Though Christ had bread enough at command, he teaches us not to waste any of God's bounties, remembering how many are in want. We may, some time, need the fragments that we now throw away.

Verses 45-56 The church is often like a ship at sea, tossed with tempests, and not comforted: we may have Christ for us, yet wind and tide against us; but it is a comfort to Christ's disciples in a storm, that their Master is in the heavenly mount, interceding for them. And no difficulties can hinder Christ's appearance for his people, when the set time is come. He silenced their fears, by making himself known to them. Our fears are soon satisfied, if our mistakes are set right, especially our mistakes as to Christ. Let the disciples have their Master with them, and all is well. It is for want of rightly understanding Christ's former works, that we view his present works as if there never were the like before. If Christ's ministers now could cure people's bodily diseases, what multitudes would flock after them! It is sad to think how much more most care about their bodies than about their souls.

Footnotes 12

  • [a]. Exousia: see Note, Matt. 10.1.
  • [b]. Or 'display their force in:' see Matt. 14.2; 'fervent,' Jas. 5.16.
  • [c]. Imperfect tense, 'kept saying:' see Matt. 14.4. Cf. Mark 1.45.
  • [d]. Or 'observed him diligently.' The word has the force of 'watching closely, and keeping in mind,' whether to pay attention to, or to preserve. Which of these applications is the just one is the question. It is used four times (three besides this); twice for 'preserved,' as the wine and the bottles, Matt. 9.17; Luke 5.38; once for Mary's 'keeping' things in her heart, Luke 2.19. I should have preferred 'observed him diligently,' but that I do not find it used of a person, meaning 'paying attention to what he says.' It is used of words and opinions, but then it has still the force of 'keeping them safe.'
  • [e]. The meaning is doubtful: perhaps 'convenient day,' i.e. to Herodias's future purpose. Not a festival, but a leisure day.
  • [f]. Commanders of 1,000 men.
  • [g]. Or 'gave thanks.'
  • [h]. Or 'the ship:' see Matt. 4.21.
  • [i]. As 'bid adieu,' Luke 9.61.
  • [j]. Or '[even] after.' The 'through' (epi) denotes the occasion for their believing.
  • [k]. Lit. 'where they heard that he is there.'
  • [l]. As ch. 1.41.

Mark 6 Commentaries