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Baptism & The Thief on the Cross | Introduction to the Book of Acts | Preaching with Inspiration | Adair Chapman Sermon | More...

 Mark 6

The First Commission of the Disciples

Mark 6:1  And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.     

Went out from from Capernaum and came into his own country, Nazareth, where he had been brought up.

Mark 6:2  And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?     

Jesus habitually entered the synagogues on the sabbath day to read the scriptures and teach the people cf: Matt. 13:53-58. This man that we all know … this was the second time Jesus was rejected in Nazareth cf: Luke 4:14-29.

 Mark 6:3  Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him   

Is not this the carpenter is putting Him on a level with themselves there was nothing degrading in being a carpenter.  Matthew reads "The carpenter's son." This shows that Jesus also had worked at the trade. It was the custom for every Jew to be taught some trade by his parents. The rabbis said: “ He who does not teach his son a trade, is much the same as if he taught him to be a thief.

Regarding the naming of His brothers: Words should be understood in their first, ordinary meaning unless there is some good reason not to do so.  If it was not for the Catholic false doctrine that Mary forever remained a virgin no one would understand it other wise.

Mark 6:4  But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.


A proverbial saying expressing a world wide truth.  Rarely does a community realize the greatness of it’s own sons until they come back with the stamp of greatness from the outside world.

Mark 6:5  And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 

Matthew states the reason: "Because of their unbelief." It was not from want of power, but the condition of faith that he required. Those in need of help must either have faith enough to seek his help, or their friends must have faith.  As faith is the condition of the salvation of the soul, so Christ required it as a condition of the salvation of the body from disease or death.

Mark 6:6  And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.  

Jesus lived in a atmosphere of perfect faith, it was a marvel that His countrymen the chosen people of God would reject salvation when it was delivered directly to their doors. He then went round about the villages, He did not abandon the district. Cf: Matt. 8:10 & Matt. 9:35.  But He now leaves Nazareth forever.

Mark 6:7  And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; 

It was the purpose of Jesus to prepare witnesses to testify of Him and His teaching to the whole wide world. They were to leave their profession, follow Him and be with Him daily to hear His teaching as He repeated them day by day. This the very first of the commissions seems to be a preliminary trial of them to gradually school and fit them for the Great Commission to come. Two and two that they might encourage, counsel and support each other.  To also show that union among preachers of the Gospel is essential to the promotion of the cause of truth.

For the commission of the twelve also see Matt. 10:1-42, and compare Luke 9:1-6. Matthew's account is the fullest.

 Mark 6:8  And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:   

They were to go as they were in their ordinary dress as common travelers, trusting God for their necessary support. Only the staff that each had already.  Matthew says staves in the plural and forbids a supply for future use.  The meaning is do not make any provision for your journey but rather go just as you are. “Scrip” is Greek pay-rah a wallet or leather pouch for food or a shepherd’s bag.  They were to go without bread or money to buy bread.

Mark 6:9  But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.   

Matthew forbids shoes, instead of which they were to wear sandals. The ancient shoe resembled the modern; the sandal Roman solea was a sole tied on the foot. The sandal was usually worn by the common people and the disciples were to dress like them. Be free from all encumbrances

 Mark 6:10  And he said unto them, In what place so ever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.


The common salutation upon entering a house was:  “Peace be unto this house.”


Mark 6:11  And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.


This is how they were to act to those who reject them and their message. The Jews considered themselves defiled by the dust of a heathen idol country which was represented by the prophets as a polluted land cf: Amos 7:7  This shows the certainty of the general judgement and also the fact the men will be judged according to their opertunities.


Polluted when compared to the land of Israel which was considered a holy land in the Messianic age cf: Ezekiel 45:1.


Mark 6:12  And they went out, and preached that men should repent.


Jesus says about repentance:

Cf: Luke 13:1-9 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.  And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.  He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.  Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?  And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:  And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

Mark 6:13  And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.    

There is natural healing efficacy in olive oil. Oil was a symbol of the Divine grace; to anoint with it symbolized the Holy Spirit. Its use implied that God was the healer.  Oil was a common home remedy much like taking 2 aspirins and going to bed. The only other time anointing with oil is mentioned in the New Testament is:

James 5:14-16 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Mark 6:14  And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him 

Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great. Years later in 39 AD he was banished to France where Herodias followed him. Both of these villains died in exile.  The guilty conscience of Herod suggested Jesus was John risen from the dead and now superhuman or miraculous powers are active in Him. Also for Herod's opinion of Christ and the death of John the Baptist, cf: Matt. 14:1-12 & Luke 9:7-9.

Mark 6:15  Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.


There was a diversity of opinion among the people as to who Jesus was …


Mark 6:16  But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.


The “I” is emphatic, made so by his feeling of guilt. The memory of his crime no doubt haunted him.

Mark 6:17  For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her. 

One step in the wrong direction prepares for another and another.  This states why John was cast into prison, on account of the instigation of the adulterous woman, a fact omitted by Matthew.

Mark 6:18  For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.


This is not common.  Men who claim to be Preachers flatter the great and honorable ones of the earth in order to secure their favor.  A great source of corruption in the Church is the temptation of preachers to ordain the rich and famous to the eldership in order to flatter them to secure their favor.  Instead of elders must some day give an account as shepherds of the flock.  

Mark 6:19  Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:

Just as Jezebel was the foe of the first Elijah cf: I Kings 19:2 so Herodias was the foe of the second Elijah – John the baptizer.

Sought to kill him this wicked woman sought his murder, but could not kill him because Herod refused to consent.

Mark 6:20  For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly  

Herod was in awe of him as a holy man, and feared the indignation of the people if he slew him.     

Mark 6:21  And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee

A convenient day for Herodias. Probably the governors of particular districts of Galilee. High captains were military men, literally chief or captains over a thousand men. Nobles by title, having no office civil or military.

Mark 6:22  And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.


The Scheme worked. She was Herod’s step daughter being the daughter of Herodias’ previous husbande Phillip.  Joshephus tells us her name was Salome.


Mark 6:23  And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.


A noble price for a dance.  Even today the rich vie with each other over the presents they make the dancing girls.  A wild and reckless promise  made by one who had lost his wits to drunkenness. Half his kingdom for a lude immoral dance. How many in our day give away the Kingdom of Heaven for nothing. Just like the old rock and roll song: money for nothing and chicks for free. The race of Esau still lives who sell their birthright for a mess of pottage.


Mark 6:24  And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.


Which of every thing offered her?  Palaces, jewels a crown everything a girl’s heart could desire. The mother was a wicked vindictive woman, relentless in cruelty, sacrificing her daughters good and making her an accomplice in crime.  All because she was corrected and reproved of her wrongs.  


Mark 6:25  And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.


Now we have a daughter using her fleshly charms to gratify her mother’s vengeance.


Mark 6:26  And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.


His pride would not let him draw back from his oath before the great ones of his petty earthly kingdom.

Mark 6:27  And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,  

Under Oriental monarchs the captain of the guard was the executioner.

Mark 6:28  And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.


How one sinner leads another to sin.


Mark 6:29  And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.


Mark 6:30  And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.


The disciples reported back when they returned from carring out their limited commission.

Mark 6:31  And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.  

For the feeding of the five thousand cf:  Matt. 14:14-21 and Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:5-14. All the four gospels give this account.

Mark 6:32  And they departed into a desert place by ship privately   

Departed into a desert place which was an uninhabited place; in this case the small plain of Butaiha, just east of where the Jordan enters the lake of Galilee.

Mark 6:33  And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.


They could probably watch Him in the boat as they walked along the shore.


Mark 6:34  And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.


They had no spiritual guide and were exposed to many false teachers.


Mark 6:35  And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:


The crowd’s intense interest held them all day and they brought no food.  


Mark 6:36  Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.


Let them scatter among the people living in the area for food and lodging.


Mark 6:37  He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?


They thought what Jesus proposed to be unreasonable.


Mark 6:38  He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.


John 6:9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?


Mark 6:39  And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.


Mark 6:40  And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.


So that the twelve disciples could pass between the ranks and serve all the people.


Mark 6:41  And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.


As Jesus brake from the bread and the fishes they did not grow less.


Mark 6:42  And they did all eat, and were filled.


And there remained more than they began with.


Mark 6:43  And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.


Twelve baskets each apostle filled his basket. Greek: kof-ee-nos small baskets.  John 6:12  When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.


Mark 6:44  And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.


Matthew 14:21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.


The moral of the story as is fully explained in several chapters of Matthew is:  Just as Jesus can multiply the bread and fishes to feed His children, the false teachers can multiply their false doctrine to trick many.

Mark 6:45  And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.

 John says, "toward Capernaum." Capernaum was the ultimate point to be reached; but on the way there they were to sail along the coast in a northwest direction, and touch at Bethsaida, take into the boat Jesus, who would go there by land, and then sail southwest to Capernaum. The ruins at Bethsaida are found near where the Jordan empties into the Sea of Galilee, and not very far distant from the scene of the miracle. For the storm and Christ walking on the sea, see Matt. 14:22-32 and John 6:15-21.


Mark 6:46  And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.


Matthew indicates Jesus went alone.


Mark 6:47  And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.


Mark 6:48  And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.


Between 3am and 6am when they were exhausted and helpless from rowing Jesus comes to them.


Mark 6:49  But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:


They thought it was an apparition or a sign of disaster or death.


Mark 6:50  For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.


Mark 6:51  And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.


Mark 6:52  For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.


They comprehended not that He who exercised such power over the loaves and fishes also had power over the wind and sea.


Mark 6:53  And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore.


Mark 6:54  And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him,


Mark 6:55  And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was.


Mark 6:56  And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.


This is a beautiful plain on the western shore of the sea about 4 miles long and 3 miles wide.


His great fame as a healer has proceeded Him and He healed many in fulfillment of the prophecy:


Isaiah 35:1ff    The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.

Isa 35:2  It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.

Isa 35:3  Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.

Isa 35:4  Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

Isa 35:5  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

Isa 35:6  Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

Isa 35:7  And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

Isa 35:8  And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

Isa 35:9  No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:

Isa 35:10  And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.


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