Mark 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)

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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