Mark 6#Mr 6:1| LX. JESUS VISITS NAZARETH AND IS REJECTED. #Mt 13:54-58 Mr 6:1-6 Lu 4:16-31| And he went out from thence. From Capernaum. And he cometh into his own country. Nazareth. See TFG "#Lu 1:26|" and see TFG "Lu 2:39". As to the early years of Jesus at Nazareth, see TFG "Lu 2:51". (TFG 358) #Mr 6:2| He began to teach in the synagogue. For comment on this usage of the synagogue, see TFG "Mr 1:39". Whence hath this man these things? and, What is the wisdom that is given unto this man, and what mean such mighty works wrought by his hands? They admitted his marvelous teaching and miraculous works, but were at a loss to account for them because their extreme familiarity with his humanity made it hard for them to believe in his divinity, by which alone his actions would be rightly explained. Twice in the early part of his ministry Jesus had been at Cana (#Joh 2:1 4:46|), within a few miles of Nazareth, and turning away from it had gone down to Capernaum. He did not call upon his townsmen to believe in him or his divine mission until the evidences were so full that they could not deny them. (TFG 358-360) #Mr 6:3| Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, etc. They brought forth every item of trade and relationship by which they could confirm themselves in their conviction that he was simply a human being like themselves. The question as to his identity, however, suggests that he may have been absent from Nazareth some little time. As to Jesus' kindred, see TFG "Mr 3:18". And they were offended in him. His claims were too high for them to admit, and too well accredited for them to despise, so they sought refuge from their perplexity by getting angry at Jesus. (TFG 359-360) #Mr 6:4| A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. Jealousy forbids the countrymen of a prophet to honor him. Base as this passion is, it is a very common one, and is not easily subdued, even by the best of men. In Nazareth Jesus was no more than the son of a carpenter, and the brother of a certain very common young men and girls, while abroad he was hailed as the prophet of Galilee, mighty in word and deed (#Lu 24:19|). (TFG 360) #Mr 6:6| He marvelled because of their unbelief. As to this statement that Jesus felt surprised, see TFG "Mt 8:10". "It should also be borne in mind," says Canon Cook, "that surprise at the obtuseness and unreasonableness of sin is constantly attributed to God by the prophets." The statement, therefore, is perfectly consonant with the divinity of Jesus. LXI. THIRD CIRCUIT OF GALILEE. THE TWELVE INSTRUCTED AND SENT FORTH. #Mt 9:35-38 10:1,5-42 Mr 6:6-13 Lu 9:1-6| And he went round about the villages teaching. In the first circuit of Galilee some of the twelve accompanied Jesus as disciples (see TFG "Mr 1:36"); in the second the twelve were with him as apostles; in the third they, too, are sent forth as evangelists to supplement his work. (TFG 362) #Mr 6:7| And he calleth unto him the twelve. At this point Matthew gives the names of the apostles, a complete list of the apostles will be found at the note on #Mt 10:2| (see TFG "Mt 10:2"). And began to send them forth by two and two. He sent them in pairs because: 1. Under the law it required two witnesses to establish the truth (#De 19:15 Mt 18:16 2Co 13:1 1Ti 5:19 Heb 10:28|). 2. They could supplement each other's work. Different men reach different minds, and where one fails another may succeed. 3. They would encourage one another. When one grew despondent the zeal and enthusiasm of the other would quicken his activities. The unclean spirits. See TFG "#Mr 1:23|". (TFG 363) #Mr 6:8,9| And he charged them that they should take nothing for their journey, etc. The prohibition is against securing these things before starting, and at their own expense. It is not that they would have no need for the articles mentioned, but that "the laborer is worthy of his food" (#Mt 10:10|), and they were to depend on the people for whose benefit they labored, to furnish what they might need. This passage is alluded to by Paul (#1Co 9:14|). To rightly understand this prohibition we must remember that the apostles were to make but a brief tour of a few weeks, and that it was among their own countrymen, among a people habitually given to hospitality; moreover, that the apostles were imbued with powers which would win for them the respect of the religious and the gratitude of the well-to-do. The special and temporary commission was, therefore, never intended as a rule under which we are to act in preaching the gospel in other ages and in other lands. (TFG 364) #Mr 6:10| Wheresoever ye enter into a house, there abide till ye depart thence. The customs of the East gave rise to this rule. The ceremonies and forms with which a guest was received were tedious and time-consuming vanities, while the mission of the apostles required haste. (TFG 364) #Mr 6:11| And whatsoever place shall not receive you, and they hear you not, as ye go forth thence. Jesus here warns them that their experiences would not always be pleasant. Shake off the dust that is under your feet for a testimony unto them. The dust of heathen lands as compared with the land of Israel was regarded as polluted and unholy (#Am 2:7 Eze 27:30|). The Jew, therefore, considered himself defiled by such dust. For the apostles, therefore, to shake off the dust of any city of Israel from their clothes or feet was to place that city on a level with the cities of the heathen, and to renounce all further intercourse with it. It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment. This clause is not found in the Revised Version. Compare #Mt 10:15|. (TFG 365) #Mr 6:13| And anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them. Oil was not used as a medicine. The Jews anointed their hair and their faces every day, especially when about to depart from the house to move among their fellows. This anointing was omitted when they were sick and when they fasted (#2Sa 12:20 Mt 6:16,17|). When an apostle stood over a sick man to heal him by a touch or a word, he was about to send him out of his sick chamber, and just before the word was spoken, the oil was applied. It was, therefore, no more than a token or symbol that the man was restored to his liberty, and was from that moment to be confined to his chamber no longer. Compare #Jas 5:14|. This practice bears about the same relation to the Romish practice of extreme unction as the Lord's Supper does to the mass, or as a true baptism does to the sprinkling of an infant. (TFG 369) #Mr 6:14| LXII. HEROD ANTIPAS SUPPOSES JESUS TO BE JOHN. #Mt 14:1-12 Mr 6:14-29 Lu 9:7-9| King Herod. Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great. See TFG "#Lu 3:1|". (TFG 369) #Mr 6:15| But others said, It is Elijah. And others said, It is a prophet, even as one of the prophets. The work of Jesus impressed the people as prophetic rather than Messianic, for they associated the Messiah in their thoughts with an earthly kingdom of great pomp and grandeur. Jesus, therefore, did not appear to them to be the Messiah, but rather the prophet who should usher in the Messiah. Their Scriptures taught them that Elijah would be that prophet. But the Apocrypha indicated that it might be Isaiah or Jeremiah (1 Macc. 14:41). Hence the many opinions as to which of the prophets Jesus was. If he was Elijah, he could not be properly spoken of as risen from the dead, for Elijah had been translated, #2Ki 2:11|. For a comment on similar language, see TFG "Mr 8:28". (TFG 369-370) #Mr 6:16| But Herod, when he heard thereof, said, John, whom I beheaded. For the imprisonment of John, see TFG "Lu 3:20". The mission of the twelve probably lasted several weeks, and the beheading of John the Baptist appears to have taken place about the time of their return. See TFG "#Mt 14:13|". He is risen. See TFG 14:3. (TFG 370) #Mr 6:17| For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison. See TFG "#Mt 14:3|". Herodias. She was the daughter of Aristobulus, who was the half- brother of Herod Philip I. and Herod Antipas, and these two last were in turn half-brothers to each other. Herodias, therefore, had married her uncle Herod Philip I, who was disinherited by Herod the Great, and who lived as a private citizen in Rome. When Herod Antipas went to Rome about the affairs of his tetrarchy, he became the guest of his brother Herod Philip I., and repaid the hospitality which he received by carrying off the wife of his host. (TFG 371) #Mr 6:18| It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. The marriage was unlawful of three reasons: 1. The husband of Herodias was still living (see #Le 18:16|); 2. The lawful wife of Antipas (the daughter of Aretas, king or emir of Arabia) was still living; 3. Antipas and Herodias, being nephew and niece, were related to each other within the forbidden degrees of consanguinity (#Le 18:14|). (TFG 371) #Mr 6:20| For Herod feared John. Herod feared both John and his influence. His fear of the man as a prophet caused him to shelter John against any attempts which his angry wife might make to put him to death, and led him to listen to John with enough respect to become perplexed as to whether it were better to continue in his course or repent. At other times, when the influence of Herodias moved him most strongly, and he forgot his personal fear of John, he was yet restrained by fear of John's influence over the people. (TFG 371) #Mr 6:21| When a convenient day was come. A day suited to the purposes of Herodias. The phrase refers to #Mr 6:19|. (TFG 371) #Mr 6:22| And when the daughter of Herodias herself. The language seems to indicate that others had first come in and danced. Came in and danced. This dancer was Salome, daughter of Herod Philip and niece of Herod Antipas. The dancing of the East was then, as now, voluptuous and indecent, and nothing but utter shamelessness or inveterate malice could have induced a princess to thus make a public show of herself at such a carousal. (TFG 372) #Mr 6:23| Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. The rashness of the king's promise is characteristic of the folly of sin. Riches, honors, kingdoms, souls are given for a bauble in the devil's market. (TFG 372) #Mr 6:24| And she went out, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? She may have known beforehand what to ask. If so, she retired and asked her mother that the brunt of the king's displeasure might fall upon her mother. (TFG 372) #Mr 6:25| And she came in straightway with haste unto the king. She wished to make her request known before the king had time to put limitations upon her asking. And asked, saying, I will that thou forthwith give me on a platter the head of John the Baptist. She asked for the prophet's head that she and her mother might have the witness of their own eyes to the fact that he was dead, and that they might not be deceived about it. (TFG 372) #Mr 6:26| And the king was exceeding sorry. Because the deed went against his conscience and his sense of policy as above stated (see TFG "Mr 6:20"). But for the sake of his oaths, and of them that sat at meat, he would not reject her. The oath alone would not have constrained Herod to grant Salome's request, for if left alone he would rightly have construed the request as not coming within the scope of the oath. The terms of his oath looked to and anticipated a pecuniary present, and not the commission of a crime. But Herod's companions, being evil men, joined with the evil women against the man of God, and shamed Herod into an act which committed him forever to a course of guilt. Thus, a bad man's impulses are constantly broken down by his evil companions. (TFG 373) #Mr 6:28| And the damsel gave it to her mother. To the anxious, unrestful soul of Herodias this seemed a great gift, since it assured her that the voice of her most dangerous enemy was now silent. But as Herod was soon filled with superstitious fears that John had risen in the person of Christ (#Mt 14:2 Mr 6:14,16 Lu 9:7|), her sense of security was very short-lived. The crime stamped Herod and Herodias with greater infamy than that for which John had rebuked them. (TFG 373) #Mr 6:29| And when his disciples heard thereof, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb. Herod had feared that the death of John would bring about a popular uprising, and his fears were not mistaken. As soon as they had decently buried the body of the great preacher, John's disciples go to Jesus, expecting to find in him a leader to redress the Baptist's wrongs. They knew the friendship of John for Jesus, and, knowing that the latter intended to set up a kingdom, they believed that this would involve the overthrow of Herod's power. They were ready now to revolt and make Jesus a king. See #Mt 12:13 Joh 6:1,2,15|. But Jesus would not aid them to seek the bitter fruits of revenge, nor did he intend to set up such a kingdom as they imagined. (TFG 373) #Mr 6:30| LXIII. FIRST WITHDRAWAL FROM HEROD'S TERRITORY AND RETURN. (Spring, A.D. 29.) A. RETURN OF THE TWELVE AND RETIREMENT TO THE EAST SHORE OF GALILEE. #Mt 14:13 Mr 6:30-32 Lu 9:10 Joh 6:1| And the apostles . . . told him all things, whatsoever they had done, and whatsoever they had taught. They had fulfilled the mission on which Jesus had sent them, and on returning each pair made to him a full report of their work. (TFG 374) #Mr 6:31| Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place. An uninhabited place. And rest a while. For there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. Need of rest was one reason for retiring to the thinly settled shores east of the lake. Matthew proceeds to give us another reason for his retiring. See #Mt 14:13|. (TFG 374) #Mr 6:32| And they went away in the boat to a desert place apart. They sailed to the northeastern shore of the lake to a plain lying near the city of Bethsaida Julius. See #Lu 9:10|. (TFG 374) #Mr 6:33| LXIII. FIRST WITHDRAWAL FROM HEROD'S TERRITORY AND RETURN. (Spring, A.D. 29.) B. FEEDING THE FIVE THOUSAND. #Mt 14:13-21 Mr 6:33-44 Lu 9:11-17 Joh 6:2-14| And the people saw them going, and many knew them, and they ran together there on foot from all the cities, and outwent them. Jesus probably set sail from near Capernaum, and from thence across the lake to the narrow, secluded plain of El Batihah, where he landed is less than five miles. Seeing him start, the people followed him by running along the northern shore, and, though having a little farther to go, they traveled faster than the sailboat, and were waiting for him on the shore when he arrived. (TFG 375) #Mr 6:35| When the day was now far spent. The time to seek lodging and provisions had gone by, and therefore the multitude must act quickly. (TFG 376) #Mr 6:36| Send them away, that they may . . . buy themselves somewhat to eat. The apostles were the first to think of eating, and naturally enough, for they had started on empty stomachs, and their own discomfort made them anticipate the sad plight in which the multitude would soon find itself. (TFG 376) #Mr 6:37| Shall we go and buy two hundred shillings' worth of bread? The word translated "shilling" is the Roman denarius, worth about seventeen cents. The sum was not large, as we reckon money, but, considering the purchasing power of money in those days, it was an imposing sum, and it is to be doubted if the treasury-bag of Judas ever contained the fourth part of it. For a denarius was the regular price for a day's labor. (TFG 376) #Mr 6:38| How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes. When sent to see what was in their larder, it appears that they had nothing at all. Andrew reports the finding of the boy's lunch while it was as yet the boy's property (#Joh 6:8,9|). Some of the others, having secured it from the boy, report it now at the disposal of Jesus, but comment on its insufficiency. Eastern loaves were thin and small, like good-sized crackers, and around the Sea of Galilee, the salting and preserving of small fish was an especial industry. These fish, therefore, were about the size of sardines. The whole supply, therefore, was no more than enough for one hungry boy. But each loaf had to be divided between a thousand, and each fish between twenty-five hundred men. (TFG 377) #Mr 6:39,40| And he commanded them that all should sit down by companies upon the green grass. By thus arranging them in orderly companies, Jesus accomplished several things. He saved his apostles much time and labor in distributing the food. He insured that each one should be fed, and that the reality of the miracle could not be questioned, and he ascertained definitely how many men were fed. (TFG 377) #Mr 6:41| And looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake the loaves. He blessed the loaves and fishes by returning thanks for them. This and similar acts of Jesus are our precedents for giving thanks, or, "asking the blessing" at our tables. (TFG 378) #Mr 6:43| And they took up broken pieces, twelve basketfuls, and also of the fishes. See TFG "#Joh 6:12|". #Mr 6:44| And they that ate the loaves were five thousand men. Considering the distance from any town, the women and children would not likely be numerous. They form no part of the count, for Eastern usage did not permit the women to sit with the men. They, with the little ones, would stand apart. (TFG 378) #Mr 6:45| LXIII. FIRST WITHDRAWAL FROM HEROD'S TERRITORY AND RETURN. (Spring, A.D. 29.) C. THE TWELVE TRY TO ROW BACK. JESUS WALKS UPON THE WATER. #Mt 14:22-36 Mr 6:45-56 Joh 6:15-21| Bethsaida. The suburb of Capernaum. While he himself sendeth the multitude away. The obedience of the disciples in leaving him helped to persuade the multitude to do likewise. (TFG 379) #Mr 6:46| He departed into the mountain to pray. The news of John's assassination (#Mt 14:13|) was calculated to exasperate him in the highest degree, and also to deeply distress him. He needed the benefits of prayer to keep down resentment, and to prevent despondency. For this he started away as soon as he heard the news, but the people prevented him till night. (TFG 379) #Mr 6:47| The boat was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. They evidently expected that he would follow. Possibly they skirted the shore, hoping that he would hail them and come on board. (TFG 379) #Mr 6:48| And seeing them distressed in rowing, for the wind was contrary unto them. That is, it blew from the west, the direction toward which the disciples were rowing. About the fourth watch of the night. From 3 to 6 A.M. He cometh unto them, walking upon the sea. The disciples of Jesus can rest assured that the eyes of the Lord will behold their distresses, and that sooner or later the Lord himself will arise and draw near for their deliverance. (TFG 380) #Mr 6:49,50| But they, when they saw him walking on the sea, supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out. Their fears would probably have been greater if Jesus had approached the boat, for they were severe enough to make them cry out, even when he was seen to be passing by them. (TFG 380) #Mr 6:50| Be of good cheer: it is I. There was no mistaking that voice. If Isaac knew the voice of Jacob (#Ge 27:22|), Saul the voice of David (#1Sa 26:17|), and Rhoda the voice of Peter (#Ac 12:13|), much more did the apostles know the voice of the great Master. Be not afraid. See TFG "#Lu 1:30|". (TFG 380) #Mr 6:51,52| And they were sore amazed in themselves. The disciples showed the hardness of their hearts in that the working of one miracle did not prepare them either to expect or to comprehend any other miracle which followed. They ought to have worshipped Jesus as the Son of God when they saw the five thousand fed, but they did not. But when he had done that, and had walked upon the water, and quieted the wind, and transported the boat to the land, they were overcome by the iteration of his miraculous power, and confessed his divinity (#Mt 14:33|). (TFG 381) #Mr 6:53| Gennesaret. The land of Gennesaret was a plain at the western end of the lake of Galilee. Josephus describes it as about thirty furlongs in length by twenty in average width, and bounded on the west by a semicircular line of hills. Also see TFG "Lu 5:1". (TFG 381) #Mr 6:54-56| And when they were come out of the boat, straightway the people knew him. Though the apostles had started their boat toward Capernaum, the storm appears to have deflected their course, and the language of the text suggests that they probably came to land at the south end of the plain, somewhere near Magdala, and made a circuit of the cities in the plain of Gennesaret on their way to Capernaum. As he did not stop in these cities, the sick were laid in the street that they might touch him in passing through. (TFG 382) #Mr 6:56| They laid the sick in the marketplaces, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment. Moreover, as they knew the course that he was taking, by running ahead they could anticipate his arrivals and have the sick gathered to take advantage of his presence. The story of the woman who touched the hem of his garment (#Mr 5:25-34 Mt 9:20-22 Lu 8:43-48|) had evidently spread far and wide, and deeply impressed the popular mind. (TFG 382)
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