Mark 6:1-15 (Wednesday Evening Bible Study)

Mark 6:1-15

  • Mark 6:1-6
  • He left there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. “Where did this man get these things?” they said. “What is this wisdom that has been given to him, and how are these miracles performed by his hands? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And aren’t his sisters here with us?” So they were offended by him. 4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his household.” 5 He was not able to do a miracle there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief. He was going around the villages teaching.
    • He was coming to His home town
      • There are no harsher critics than those who have known us since childhood
    • The Rabbis moved about the country accompanied by their little circle of disciples, and it was as a teacher, with his disciples, that Jesus came.
    • His teaching was greeted not with wonder but with a kind of contempt
      • They were scandalized that a man who came from a background like Jesus should say and do such as He did. Familiarity had bred a mistaken contempt
    • They refused to listen for two reasons
      • Isn’t this the carpenter?
        • Greek word here does mean a worker in wood, but it means more than merely a joiner.
        • It means a craftsman; one that builds ships and houses and temples. Someone who would build anything from a chicken-coop to a house; build a wall, mend a roof, repair a gate; the craftsman, the handyman, who with few or no instruments and with the simplest tools could turn his had to any job.
        • The people of Nazareth despised Jesus because He was a working man. He was a man of the people, a layman, an ordinary man—and therefore they despised Him.
        • The people of Nazareth despised Jesus because He was a working man. To us that is His glory., because it means that God, when He came to earth, claimed no exemptions. He took upon Himself the common life with all its common tasks.
        • We must alway s beware of the temptation to evaluate one another by externals and incidentals, and not by native worth.
      • The Son of Mary
        • The fact that they called Jesus Mar’s son tells us that Joseph most likely was dead
        • Jesus was only 33 when He died; and He did not leave Nazareth until He was 30
          • Why this long delay?
            • The most likely reason was that Joseph died young and Jesus took upon Himself the support of His mother and His siblings; and only when they were old enough to fend for themselves did He go forth.
        • But the people of Nazareth despised Him because they knew His family
          • Sometimes when familiarity should breed a growing respect it breeds an increasing and easy-going familiarity. Sometimes we are too near people to see their greatness
      • The result of all this was that Jesus could do no mighty works in Nazareth. The atmosphere was wrong, and there are smooth things that cannot be done unless the atmosphere is right.
        • It is still true that people cannot be healed if they refuse to be healed.
        • There can be no preaching in the wrong atmosphere
          • In an atmosphere of expectancy, the poorest effort can catch fire. In an atmosphere of critical coldness or bland indifference, the most Spirit-packed utterance can fall lifeless to the earth.
        • There can be no peace-making in the wrong atmosphere
          • If those gathered together have come together to hate, they will hate
          • If they have come together to refuse to understand, they will misunderstand. 
          • If they have come together to see not other point of view but their own, they will see no other.
          • But if they have come together, loving Christ and seeking to love each other, even those who are most widely separated can come together in Him.
      • There is laid on us the tremendous responsibility that we can either help or hinder the work of Jesus Christ. We can open the door wide to Him—or we can slam it in His face.
  • Mark 6:7-11
  • 7 He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs and gave them authority over unclean spirits. 8 He instructed them to take nothing for the road except a staff—no bread, no traveling bag, no money in their belts, 9 but to wear sandals and not put on an extra shirt. 10 He said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that place. 11 If any place does not welcome you or listen to you, when you leave there, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”
    • The innermost garment was the tunic
      • It was very simple. A long piece of cloth folded over and sewn down one side
      • It was long enough to reach almost to the feet
      • Holes were cut in the top corners for the arms
      • Commonly sold without any hole for the head to go through (to prove the garment was new)
      • At its simplest, this inner garment was little more than a sack with holes cut in the corners. In a more developed form it had long close-fitting sleeves; and sometimes it was oped up so that it was made to button down the front. 
    • The outer garment was used as a cloak by day and as a blanket by night.
      • Usually it was made of two strips of cloth, each seven feet by a little more than two feet, seen together. The seam came down the back
      • But a specially carefully made cloak might be woven of one piece, as Jesus’ robe was. This was the main article of dress.
    • There was the girdle.
      • It was worn over the two garments we have already described. The skirts of the tunic could be hitched up under the girdle for work or for running.
      • The girdle was often double for the eighteen inches from each end. The double part formed a pocket in which money was carried.
    • There was the head-dress
      • It was piece of cotton or linen about a yard square
      • It could be white, blue, or black
    • There were the sandals
      • They were merely flat soles of leather, wood, or matted grass.
      • The soles had thongs at the edges through with a strap passed to hold the sandal on to the foot
    • The wallet may be one of two things
      • It may be the ordinary traveller’s bag. This was made of a goat’s skin.
        • Often the animal was skinned whole and the skin retained the original shape of the animal, legs, tail, head and all! 
        • It had a strap at each side and was slung over the shoulder
        • In it the shepherd, or a pilgrim, or a traveler carried bread, raisins, olives, and cheese enough to last him a day or two
      • Or it could mean a collecting bag
        • Very often the priests and devotees went out with these bags to collect contributions for their temple and their god
      • If the first meaning is taken, Jesus meant that His disciples must take no supplies for the road, but must trust God for everything.
      • If the second meaning is taken, it means that they must not be like the grasping priests. They must go about giving and not getting.
    • It was the Rabbinic law that when a man entered the Temple courts he must put off his staff and shoes and more girdle.
      • All ordinary things were to be set aside on entering the sacred place.
      • It may well be that Jesus was thinking of this, and that He meant His disciples to see that the humble homes they were to enter were every bit as sacred as the Temple courts.
    • Hospitality was a sacred duty in the middle east
      • When a stranger entered a village, it was not his duty to search for hospitality; it was the duty of the village to offer it.
      • Jesus said if hospitality was refused, they must shake off the dust of that place from their feet when they left.
        • The Rabbinic law said that the dust of a Gentile country was defiled, and that when a man entered Palestine from another country he must shake off every particle of dust of the unclean land
        • If they refuse to listen to you, the only thing you can do is to treat them as a strict Jew would treat a Gentile house. There can be no fellowship between them and you.
    • So we can see that the mark of the Christian disciple was to be utter simplicity, complete trust, and the generosity which is out always to give and never to demand.
  • Mark 6:12-13
  • 12 So they went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons, anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
    • Here is a brief summary of the work that the Twelve did when Jesus sent them out
      • To the people they brought Jesus’ message. 
      • Herald’s proclamation
        • They did not create a message; they brought a message
        • They did not tell people what they believed and what they considered likely
        • They told people what Jesus had told them. 
        • It was not their opinions they brought to people; it was God’s truth
        • Those who would bring an effective message to others must first receive it from God.
      • To the people they brought the King’s message
        • Repent!
        • To repent means to change one’s mind and then to fit one’s actions to this change.
        • Repentance means a change of heart and a change of action. 
        • It is bound to hurt, for it involves the bitter realization that the way we were following is wrong
        • It is bound to disturb, because it means a complete reversal of life.
        • That is precisely why so few people do repent—for the last thing most people desire is to be disturbed.
        • The change is not necessarily from robbery, theft, murder, adultery, and glaring sins. The change may be from a life that is completely selfish, instinctively demanding, totally inconsiderate, the change from a self-centered to a God-centered life—and a change like that hurts.
        • Repentance is no sentimental feeling sorry; repentance is a revolutionary thing—that is why so few repent
      • To the people they brought the King’s mercy
        • Not only did they bring this shattering demand upon people’s lives; they brought also help and healing
    • So the Twelve brought to people the message and the mercy of the King, and that remains the Church’s tasks today and everyday.
  • Mark 6:14-15
  • 14 King Herod heard about it, because Jesus’s name had become well known. Some said, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that’s why miraculous powers are at work in him.” 15 But others said, “He’s Elijah.” Still others said, “He’s a prophet, like one of the prophets from long ago.”
    • There is the verdict of a guilty conscience.
      • Herod had been guilty of allowing the execution of John the Baptist, and now he was haunted by what he had done
      • Inwardly, they cannot command their thoughts; and, whenever they allow themselves to think, their thoughts return to the wicked things that they have done
      • Outwardly, we live in the fear that we will be found out and that some day the consequences of our evil deeds will catch up with us.
      • When Herod heard of Jesus, the first thing that flashed into his mind was that this was John the Baptist whom he had killed, come back to reckon with him
        • Because the sinning life is the haunted life, sin is never worth the cost.
    • There is the verdict of the nationalist.
      • Some thought that Jesus was Elijah come again.
      • It was an essential part of their belief that before the coming of the Messiah, Elijah, the greatest of the prophets, would come again to be his herald and his forerunner.
      • This is the verdict of those who desire to find in Jesus the realization of their own ambitions. They think of Jesus not as someone to whom they must submit and whom they must obey; they think of Jesus as someone they can use. Such people think more of their own ambitions than of the will of God.
    • There is the verdict of those who are waiting for the voice of God
      • There were those who saw in Jesus a prophet
      • People in those days were listening for the authentic voice of God—and in Jesus they heard it
        • It is true that Jesus was more than a prophet.
        • He did not bring only the voice of God
        • He brought the very power  and the very life and the very being of God

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