Mark 6

Teaching at Nazareth

1 1Jesus went out from there and came into 2His hometown; and His disciples followed Him.
2 When the Sabbath came, He began 3to teach in the synagogue; and the 4many listeners were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands?
3 "Is not this 5the carpenter, 6the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not 7His sisters here with us?" And they took 8offense at Him.
4 Jesus said to them, "9A prophet is not without honor except in 10his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household."
5 And He could do no * miracle there except that He 11laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.
6 And He wondered at their unbelief. 12And He was going around * the villages teaching.

The Twelve Sent Out

7 13And 14He summoned the twelve and began to send them out 15in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits;
8 16and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff -no bread, no bag, no money in their belt -
9 but to wear sandals; and He added, "Do not put on two tunics."
10 And He said to them, "Wherever * you enter a house, stay there until you leave town.
11 "Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, 17shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them."
12 18They went out and preached that men should repent.
13 And they were casting out many demons and 19were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them.

John's Fate Recalled

14 20And King Herod heard of it, for His name had become well known; and people were saying, "21John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why these miraculous powers are at work in Him."
15 But others were saying, "He is 22Elijah." And others were saying, "He is 23a prophet, like one of the prophets of old."
16 But when Herod heard of it, he kept saying, "John, whom I beheaded, has risen!"
17 For Herod himself had sent and had John arrested and bound in prison on account of 24Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, because he had married her.
18 For John had been saying to Herod, "25It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
19 26Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death and could not do so;
20 for 27Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. And when he heard him, he was very perplexed; but he used to enjoy listening to him.
21 A strategic day came when Herod on his birthday 28gave a banquet for his lords and military commanders and the leading men 29of Galilee;
22 and when the daughter of 30Herodias herself came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever * you want and I will give it to you."
23 And he swore to her, "Whatever * you ask of me, I will give it to you; up to 31half of my kingdom."
24 And she went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?" And she said, "The head of John the Baptist."
25 Immediately she came in a hurry 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 although the king was very sorry, yet because of his oaths and because of his dinner guests, he was unwilling * to refuse her.
27 Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded him to bring back his head. And he went and had him beheaded 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 disciples heard about this, they came and took away his body and laid it in a tomb.
30 32The 33apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught.
31 And He said to them, "Come away by yourselves * to a secluded place and rest a while." (For there were many people coming and going, and 34they did not even have time to eat.)
32 35They went away in 36the boat to a secluded place by themselves.

Five Thousand Fed

33 The people saw them going, and many recognized them and ran there together on foot from all the cities, and got there ahead of them.
34 When Jesus went ashore, He 37saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because 38they were like sheep without * a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.
35 When it was already quite late *, His disciples came to Him and said, "This place is desolate and it is already quite late *;
36 send them away so that they may go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat."
37 But He answered them, "You give them something to eat!" 39And they said to Him, "Shall we go and spend two hundred 40denarii on bread and give them something to eat?"
38 And He said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go look!" And when they found out, they said, "Five, and two fish."
39 And He commanded them all to sit down by groups on the green grass.
40 They sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties.
41 And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He 41blessed the food and broke the loaves and He kept giving them to the disciples to set before them; and He divided up the two fish among them all.
42 They all ate and were satisfied,
43 and they picked up twelve full 42baskets of the broken pieces, and also of the fish.
44 There were 43five thousand men who ate the loaves.

Jesus Walks on the Water

45 44Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into 45the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to 46Bethsaida, while He Himself was sending the crowd away.
46 After 47bidding them farewell, He left 48for the mountain to pray.
47 When it was evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land.
48 Seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the 49fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them.
49 But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out;
50 for they all saw Him and were terrified. But immediately He spoke with them and said to them, "50Take courage; it is I, 51do not be afraid."
51 Then He got into 52the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly * * astonished,
52 for 53they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart 54was hardened.

Healing at Gennesaret

53 55When they had crossed over they came to land at Gennesaret, and moored to the shore.
54 When they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him,
55 and ran about that whole country and began to carry here and there on their pallets those who were sick, to the place they heard He was.
56 Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring Him that they might just 56touch 57the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured.

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 57

  • 1. Mark 6:1-6: {Matthew 13:54-58}
  • 2. Matthew 13:54, 57; Luke 4:16, 23
  • 3. Matthew 4:23; Mark 10:1
  • 4. Matthew 7:28
  • 5. Matthew 13:55
  • 6. Matthew 12:46
  • 7. Matthew 13:56
  • 8. Matthew 11:6
  • 9. Matthew 13:57; John 4:44
  • 10. Mark 6:1
  • 11. Mark 5:23
  • 12. Matthew 9:35; Mark 1:39; Mark 10:1; Luke 13:22
  • 13. Mark 6:7-11: {Matt 10:1, 9-14; Luke 9:1, 3-5;} Luke 10:4-11
  • 14. Matthew 10:1, 5; Mark 3:13; Luke 9:1
  • 15. Luke 10:1
  • 16. Matthew 10:10
  • 17. Matthew 10:14; Acts 13:51
  • 18. Matthew 11:1; Luke 9:6
  • 19. James 5:14
  • 20. Mark 6:14-29: {Matthew 14:1-12;} Mark 6:14-16: {Luke 9:7-9}
  • 21. Matthew 14:2; Luke 9:19
  • 22. Matthew 16:14; Mark 8:28
  • 23. Matthew 21:11
  • 24. Matthew 14:3; Luke 3:19
  • 25. Matthew 14:4
  • 26. Matthew 14:3
  • 27. Matthew 21:26
  • 28. Esther 1:3; Esther 2:18
  • 29. Luke 3:1
  • 30. Matthew 14:3
  • 31. Esther 5:3, 6; Esther 7:2
  • 32. Luke 9:10
  • 33. Matthew 10:2; Mark 3:14; Luke 6:13; Luke 9:10; Luke 17:5; Luke 22:14; Luke 24:10; Acts 1:2, 26
  • 34. Mark 3:20
  • 35. Mark 6:32-44: {Matthew 14:13-21; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:5-13;} Mark 8:2-9
  • 36. Mark 3:9; Mark 4:36; Mark 6:45
  • 37. Matthew 9:36
  • 38. Numbers 27:17; 1 Kings 22:17; 2 Chronicles 18:16; Zechariah 10:2
  • 39. John 6:7
  • 40. Matthew 18:28; Luke 7:41
  • 41. Matthew 14:19
  • 42. Matthew 14:20
  • 43. Matthew 14:21
  • 44. Mark 6:45-51: {Matthew 14:22-32; John 6:15-21}
  • 45. Mark 6:32
  • 46. Matthew 11:21; Mark 8:22
  • 47. Acts 18:18, 21; 2 Corinthians 2:13
  • 48. Matthew 14:23
  • 49. Matthew 24:43; Mark 13:35
  • 50. Matthew 9:2
  • 51. Matthew 14:27
  • 52. Mark 6:32
  • 53. Mark 8:17f
  • 54. Romans 11:7
  • 55. Mark 6:53-56: {Matthew 14:34-36;} John 6:24, 25
  • 56. Mark 3:10
  • 57. Matthew 9:20; Numbers 15:37-40

Footnotes 28

  • [a]. Or "His own part of the country"
  • [b]. Or "works of power"
  • [c]. Or "Jacob"
  • [d]. Or "his own part of the country"
  • [e]. Or "work of power"
  • [f]. Or "knapsack" or "beggar's bag"
  • [g]. Lit "being shod with"
  • [h]. Or "inner garments"
  • [i]. Lit "go out from there"
  • [j]. Lit "under your feet"
  • [k]. Or "proclaimed as a herald"
  • [l]. Lit "and"
  • [m]. Lit "was hearing him gladly"
  • [n]. I.e. chiliarchs, in command of a thousand troops
  • [o]. Lit "those who reclined at the table with him"
  • [p]. Lit "those reclining at the table"
  • [q]. Lit "out"
  • [r]. Lit "The"
  • [s]. Lit "what they may eat"
  • [t]. The denarius was equivalent to one day's wage
  • [u]. Lit "recline"
  • [v]. Lit "reclined"
  • [w]. Lit "harassed in rowing"
  • [x]. I.e. 3-6 a.m.
  • [y]. Or "troubled"
  • [z]. Lit "had not understood on the basis of"
  • [aa]. Or "their mind was closed, made dull," or "insensible"
  • [ab]. Lit "where they were hearing that He was"

Mark 6 Commentaries