Mark 6

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Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

1 1He went away from there and came to 2his hometown, and his disciples followed him.
2 And 3on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and 4many who heard him were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands?
3 5Is not this 6the carpenter, the son of Mary and 7brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?" And 8they took offense at him.
4 And Jesus said to them, 9"A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household."
5 And 10he could do no mighty work there, except that 11he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them.
6 And 12he marveled because of their unbelief. 13And he went about among the villages teaching.

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles

7 14And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.
8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff--no bread, no bag, no money in their belts--
9 but to 15wear sandals and not put on two tunics.[a]
10 And he said to them, "Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there.
11 And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, 16shake off the dust that is on your feet 17as a testimony against them."
12 18So they went out and 19proclaimed 20that people should repent.
13 21And they cast out many demons and 22anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.

The Death of John the Baptist

14 23King Herod heard of it, for Jesus'[b] name had become known. Some[c] said, 24"John the Baptist[d] has been raised from the dead. That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him."
15 25But others said, "He is Elijah." And others said, "He is 26a prophet, like one of the prophets of old."
16 But when Herod heard of it, he said, "John, whom I beheaded, has been raised."
17 27For it was Herod who had sent and seized John and 28bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because he had married her.
18 29For John had been saying to Herod, 30"It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
19 And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death. But she could not,
20 for Herod 31feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he 32heard him gladly.
21 But an opportunity came when Herod 33on his birthday 34gave a banquet for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee.
22 For when Herodias's daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you."
23 And he vowed to her, "Whatever you ask me, I will give you, 35up to half of my kingdom."
24 And she went out and said to her mother, "For what should I ask?" And she said, "The head of John the Baptist."
25 And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter."
26 And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her.
27 And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John's[e] head. He went and beheaded him in the prison
28 and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.
29 When his 36disciples heard of it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught.
31 And he said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and 37they had no leisure even to eat.
32 38And they went away in 39the boat to a desolate place by themselves.
33 Now many saw them going and 40recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.
34 When he went ashore he 41saw a great crowd, and 42he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.
35 And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, "This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late.
36 43Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat."
37 But he answered them, 44"You give them something to eat." And 45they said to him, 46"Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii[f] worth of bread and give it to them to eat?"
38 And he said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go and see." And when they had found out, they said, 47"Five, and two fish."
39 Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass.
40 So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties.
41 And taking the five loaves and the two fish he 48looked up to heaven and 49said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all.
42 And they all ate and were satisfied.
43 And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish.
44 And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.

Jesus Walks on the Water

45 50Immediately he 51made his disciples get into 52the boat and go before him to the other side, 53to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.
46 And after he had taken leave of them, 54he went up on the mountain to pray.
47 And when 55evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land.
48 And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about 56the fourth watch of the night[g] he came to them, walking on the sea. 57He meant to pass by them,
49 but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out,
50 for they all saw him and 58were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, 59"Take heart; it is I. 60Do not be afraid."
51 And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded,
52 for 61they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts 62were hardened.

Jesus Heals the Sick in Gennesaret

53 63When they had crossed over, they came to land at 64Gennesaret and moored to the shore.
54 And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately 65recognized him
55 and ran about the whole region and began to bring 66the sick people 67on their beds to wherever they heard he was.
56 And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, 68they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even 69the fringe of his garment. And 70as many as touched it were made well.

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.

Cross References 70

  • 1. For ver. 1-6, see Matthew 13:54-58; [Luke 4:16-30]
  • 2. Matthew 2:23; Luke 4:23
  • 3. Mark 1:21; Luke 4:31; Luke 6:6; Luke 13:10; [Acts 13:14]; See Matthew 4:23
  • 4. See Matthew 7:28
  • 5. [Luke 4:22; John 6:42]
  • 6. [Matthew 13:55]
  • 7. See Mark 3:31
  • 8. See Matthew 11:6
  • 9. Luke 4:24; John 4:44; [Jeremiah 11:21; Jeremiah 12:6; John 7:5]
  • 10. [Mark 9:23; Genesis 19:22]
  • 11. See Mark 5:23
  • 12. [Matthew 8:10]
  • 13. Matthew 9:35; Matthew 11:1; Luke 8:1; Luke 13:22
  • 14. Mark 3:13-15; For ver. 7-11, see Matt. 10:1, 5, 9-14; Luke 9:1, 3-5; [Luke 10:4-11; Luke 22:35]
  • 15. Acts 12:8
  • 16. Acts 13:51; [Nehemiah 5:13; Acts 18:6]
  • 17. See Mark 1:44
  • 18. Luke 9:6
  • 19. Matthew 10:7, 8
  • 20. Matthew 3:2; Matthew 4:17
  • 21. [See ver. 12 above]
  • 22. James 5:14
  • 23. For ver. 14-29, see Matthew 14:1-12; Luke 9:7-9
  • 24. Mark 8:28; Matthew 16:14
  • 25. [See ver. 14 above]
  • 26. See Matthew 21:11
  • 27. Luke 3:19, 20
  • 28. Matthew 11:2; John 3:24
  • 29. [See ver. 17 above]
  • 30. Leviticus 18:16; Leviticus 20:21
  • 31. [Matthew 14:5; Matthew 21:26]
  • 32. Mark 12:37; [Mark 4:16]
  • 33. Genesis 40:20
  • 34. 1 Kings 3:15; Esther 1:3; Esther 2:18
  • 35. Esther 5:3; Esther 7:2
  • 36. See Matthew 9:14
  • 37. Mark 3:20
  • 38. For ver. 32-44, see Matthew 14:13-21; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-13; [Mark 8:2-9]
  • 39. See Mark 3:9
  • 40. ver. 54
  • 41. [Matthew 9:36]
  • 42. [Matthew 9:36]
  • 43. ver. 45; [Matthew 15:23]
  • 44. [2 Kings 4:42-44]
  • 45. [John 6:7]
  • 46. [Num. 11:13, 21, 22]
  • 47. Mark 8:19
  • 48. Mark 7:34; John 11:41; John 17:1
  • 49. Mark 8:7; Mark 14:22; 1 Samuel 9:13; Matthew 26:26; Luke 24:30; [1 Corinthians 14:16]
  • 50. For ver. 45-51, see Matthew 14:22-32; John 6:15-21
  • 51. [Matthew 8:18]
  • 52. ver. 32
  • 53. Mark 8:22; [Luke 9:10]
  • 54. Luke 6:12; Luke 9:28; [Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16]
  • 55. [Mark 13:35]
  • 56. [See ver. 47 above]
  • 57. [Luke 24:28]
  • 58. [Luke 24:37]
  • 59. Matthew 17:7; [Deuteronomy 31:6; Isaiah 41:13; Isaiah 43:1, 2; John 16:33]
  • 60. Matthew 17:7; [Deuteronomy 31:6; Isaiah 41:13; Isaiah 43:1, 2; John 16:33]
  • 61. Mark 8:17-21
  • 62. John 12:40; Romans 11:7; 2 Corinthians 3:14; See Mark 3:5
  • 63. For ver. 53-56, see Matthew 14:34-36; [John 6:24, 25]
  • 64. Luke 5:1
  • 65. ver. 33
  • 66. Matthew 4:24
  • 67. Luke 5:18
  • 68. Acts 5:15
  • 69. See Matthew 9:20
  • 70. Mark 3:10; Luke 6:19

Footnotes 7

  • [a]. Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin
  • [b]. Greek his
  • [c]. Some manuscripts He
  • [d]. Greek baptizer; also verse 24
  • [e]. Greek his
  • [f]. A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer
  • [g]. That is, between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Mark 6 Commentaries