Mark 6:1-29 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
Comments for Study 10

Mark 6:1-29
Memory Verse: 7


I. They Took Offense At Him (1-6a)

Jesus' Mid-Ministry Travels

>1. In verse 1, where did Jesus go? Who was with him? When the Sabbath came, what did Jesus do? (2a) What was people's first response to Jesus' teaching? (2b)

Mark 6:1 "Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples."

* "Jesus left there" -Jesus had just been on the west side of the lake of Galilee (5:21)

* "went to his hometown"-Jesus' town of birth was Nazareth. However he moved to Capernaum, which as a bigger city with many more Jews in it, when he started his ministry. Either could be called his hometown. But by definition, "hometown" means the place of birth.

* "accompanied by his disciples "-The disciples followed Jesus everywhere. By now he had a big following with many disciples. Most people know of the twelve apostles, but most don't realize that there was many more. Disciple means "a learner, a pupil, an adherent to the doctrines of another. In Jesus' days this meant spending one's live with one's teacher so that one could learn every aspect of being a disciple. When I look at much of my life I can say that mostly I work 10 hours a day with 2 hours of driving time and 1/2 an hour for lunch. Even in these circumstances I could be Jesus' disciple at work. Being his disciple comes from the heart, from the Spirit leading my heart and the object of that leading is to follow it. Am I a disciple? In some ways no. For I do not study the Bible as I should, which is my sword and written guide. I thank God for moving my heart to take this time to study.

Mark 6:2a "When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and..."

* "When the Sabbath came" -The Sabbath in Hebrew calendar is the modern Saturday. Jesus obviously spent nearly a week at Nazareth for in the previous section Jesus was in the synagogue on the Sabbath too.

* "he began to teach" -The prominent teacher or a new comer to a village would teach. Jesus was always chosen as the teacher in almost every synagogue the went to. At least up until the time when the Pharisees aloud it.

* "in the synagogue" -The main place of gathering in Jewish society. For the believers in Jesus after Jesus ascended to heaven the synagogue remained the center of teaching until they were cast out. Thus the followers of Jesus started their own synagogues which eventually were called churches. NOTE: the same Greek word in the Bible is translated synagogue, congregation and church.

Mark 6:2b "...many who heard him were amazed. "Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles!""

* "many who heard him" -These consisted of many people, including many of Jesus' hometown folk. They knew all about him, his secular schooling and synagogue learning. Jesus must have been different than the other boys they knew as he grew up.

* "were amazed" -The reason they were amazed was because Jesus' boyhood Jewish teachers could not have taught in what he was now teaching them. It also indicates that Jesus taught deep and obvious truths to the hearer. Therefore, Jesus continued to study after his boyhood days. In his studies he was inspired by the Holy Spirit. He continued to learn the truth of God (Luke 5:52). I too need the Holy Spirit to inspire me. If he does not I will only be like the Pharisees who studied and memorized the word of God, but rejected the truth and Jesus.

>2. Why do you think they were, in the end, offended? (3) What did Jesus say to them? (4) What does the author tell us about in verse 5? What amazed Jesus? (6a) What lessons can we learn here about how we see Jesus?

Mark 6:3 "Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him."

* "Isn't this" -They couldn't understand how an ordinary man, one of them from a small nameless town, without a seminary degree, could preach and teach the way Jesus did. They knew him when he was young.

* "And they took offense at him." -Perhaps their pride was hurt by his words. Maybe they wondered, "Who is he to say such things to us?"

Mark 6:4 "Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.""

* "Jesus said" -Jesus saw them not from a human point of view, but from God's point of view; a view which comes from the Old Testament prophecies.

* "to them" -the those who took offense at him.

* "Only in his hometown" -Many vocations receive honor in one's hometown hero (i.e. baseball star, movie star, inventer, ect.). But a prophet does not. Why? A prophet teaches many things; one of the most common it to repent (change ones ways). Because of familiarity the hometown listener feels equal to the prophet. The listener has a hard time looking beyond the human aspects of the prophet (i.e. family background) to accept his words.

Mark 6:5 "He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them."

* "He could not" -This wasn't the normal work of God.

* "except lay his hands...heal them." -They rejected him but he did not stop to try and help them.

Mark 6:6a "And he was amazed at their lack of faith."

* "And he was amazed"-not sad, not mad, not depressed. Also Jesus didn't see himself as a failure, nor did he take it personally.

* "at their lack of faith" -It seems their lack of faith kept the miracles from happening. It was not Jesus' lack of power and/or ability.

II. Jesus Sends the Twelve on Field Work Training (6b-13)

>3. What did Jesus do next? (6b) Why did Jesus call the Twelve to him? (7a) In what way was this a new stage in his ministry? What must have been his ultimate goal for the Twelve? (3:14; 16:15)

Mark 6:6b "Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village."

* "Then Jesus went around" -Jesus left his hometown. Jesus wasn't discouraged by the rejection in his hometown.

* "teaching from village to village" -Jesus did not stay in one place too long. There are many reasons for this. The obvious was to reach more people.

>4. Why do you think Jesus sent them out two by two? (Ecc. 4:10) What did he give them? (7b) Why only this?

Mark 6:7a "Calling the Twelve to him, he send them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits."

* Jesus delegated authority to them.

* "he sent them out" -Earlier he had appointed the twelve (Mark 3:14 "He appointed twelve--designating them apostles--that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach"). Now he was sending them out on short missions on their own. Later he would send them out permanently and physically by themselves. (Mark 16:15 "He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.")

* "two by two" -Ecc. 4:10 "If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!"

* The disciples would have to learn to work together as a team.

* "gave them authority over evil spirits." -They were engaged in the spiritual battle. They already had been given other things. (Mk. 3:14-16) Man's real problem is a spiritual problem so Jesus' disciples are in a spiritual battle. Demon possession comes from a sin problem, sin problem comes from a faith problem.

* They practically learned after observing Jesus.

* They must have been excited but also fearful.

* The disciples were young spiritually. At this time Jesus was almost two years in his three year ministry. Yet, Jesus did not think them to young to be sent out. He did not think them incapable even though they weren't as good as him. His mission was to raise them as leaders and this was part of his faith.

>5. What instructions did he give them? (8-11) What was he trying to teach them about how to do God's work in terms of finance? In terms of people? In terms of their attitude?

Mark 6:8-11 "These were his instructions: "Take nothing for the journey except a staff--no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them."

* "his instructions" -This was something new for them so he had to teach them. By faith they would have to follow his instructions. His instructions were specific, clear, and reasonable.

* To rely only on God.

* Learn faith in God.

* If they had to many things it would have been hard to travel quickly.

* "one house" -They might make every effort to stay in the house for a number of reasons. By staying in one house they could be personable, available, creditable, and would be able to stay on tract.

* "shake the dust off" -cut off a relationship if they reject.

>6. What did the disciples do? (12) Why is this message so important? What happened? (13) How could the weak disciples do this?

Mark 6:12 "They went out and preached that people should repent."

* "repent" -One must change his life in God's eyes.

* This is no doubt an overview of their message. Yet is must have been simple and consist. However, this is half of the message of John the Baptist and Jesus early on in his ministry. That message was, "Repent and believe."

Mark 6:13 "They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them."

* Jesus had called, appointed and blessed them.

III. Herod Heard About This (14-29)

>7. How did the people respond to the disciples' field work training? (14-15) How did King Herod respond? (16) Why was he so afraid?

Mark 6:14-15 "King Herod heard about this, for Jesus' name had become well known. Some were saying, "John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him." Others said, "He is Elijah." And still others claimed, "He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.""

* "King Herod" -Herod and his four sons held the same title. There are more than one in the Bible. This is not the one of Jesus' birth who was called Herod the Great. When Herod the Great died his kingdom was divided up to his four sons. They were not Jews.

* "heard about this" -Jesus and the disciples work.

* Jesus' name was glorified, not the disciples.

* The people did not know who Jesus was for they did not make a commitment to him.

Mark 6:16 "But when Herod heard this, he said, "John, the man I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!"

* His sin made him a slave to fear. His conscience bothered him.

* He had killed John the Baptist.

>8. Why had King Herod arrested John? (17-18) Why did he finally have him beheaded? (19-28)

>9. What does this event tell us about the times in which Jesus lived and worked? How does it shed light on Jesus' discipleship training?

Mark 6:17-18 "For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, whom he had married. For John had been saying to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."

Mark 6:19-28 "So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him. Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, "Ask me for anything you want, and I'll give it to you." And he promised her with an oath, "Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom." She went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?" "The head of John the Baptist," she answered. At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: "I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter." The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John's head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother."

* Herod was hostile to the gospel and God's servants.

* Still Jesus raised up spiritual leaders. He taught them in the midst of bad times. Jesus didn't struggle with men like Herod, he just preached the gospel.