Mark 6* Christ despised in his own country. (1-6) The apostles sentforth. (7-13) John the Baptist put to death. (14-29) Theapostles return, Five thousand fed by a miracle. (30-44) Christwalks on the sea, He heals those that touch him. (45-56)1-6 Our Lord's countrymen tried to prejudice the minds ofpeople against him. Is not this the carpenter? Our Lord Jesusprobably had worked in that business with his father. He thusput honour upon mechanics, and encouraged all persons who eat bythe labour of their hands. It becomes the followers of Christ tocontent themselves with the satisfaction of doing good, althoughthey are denied the praise of it. How much did these Nazareneslose by obstinate prejudices against Jesus! May Divine gracedeliver us from that unbelief, which renders Christ a savour ofdeath, 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 greatweakness, and expected no wordly advantage, yet, in obedience totheir Master, and in dependence upon his strength, they wentout. They did not amuse people with curious matters, but toldthem they must repent of their sins, and turn to God. Theservants 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 stillmore when he was dead. Herod did many of those things which Johnin his preaching taught him; but it is not enough to do manythings, we must have respect to all the commandments. Herodrespected John, till he touched him in his Herodias. Thus manylove good preaching, if it keep far away from their beloved sin.But it is better that sinners persecute ministers now forfaithfulness, than curse them eternally for unfaithfulness. Theways of God are unsearchable; but we may be sure he never can beat a loss to repay his servants for what they endure or lose forhis 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, butwhat they are willing should be told to their Lord. Christnotices the frights of some, and the toils of others of hisdisciples, and provides rest for those that are tired, andrefuge for those that are terrified. The people sought thespiritual food of Christ's word, and then he took care that theyshould not want bodily food. If Christ and his disciples put upwith mean things, surely we may. And this miracle shows thatChrist came into the world, not only to restore, but to preserveand nourish spiritual life; in him there is enough for all thatcome. None are sent empty away from Christ but those who come tohim full of themselves. Though Christ had bread enough atcommand, he teaches us not to waste any of God's bounties,remembering how many are in want. We may, some time, need thefragments that we now throw away. 45-56 The church is often like a ship at sea, tossed withtempests, and not comforted: we may have Christ for us, yet windand tide against us; but it is a comfort to Christ's disciplesin a storm, that their Master is in the heavenly mount,interceding for them. And no difficulties can hinder Christ'sappearance for his people, when the set time is come. Hesilenced their fears, by making himself known to them. Our fearsare soon satisfied, if our mistakes are set right, especiallyour mistakes as to Christ. Let the disciples have their Masterwith them, and all is well. It is for want of rightlyunderstanding Christ's former works, that we view his presentworks as if there never were the like before. If Christ'sministers now could cure people's bodily diseases, whatmultitudes would flock after them! It is sad to think how muchmore most care about their bodies than about their souls.
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