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The Human Jesus (Mark 6)

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Mark 6

Jesus in Nazareth
And he left there and went to his hometown; and his disciples followed him. 2 And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard him were astonished, saying: Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom given to him? What mighty works are done by his hands! 3 Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, Joses, Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended by him. 4 And Jesus said to them: A prophet is not without honour, save in his hometown, and among his own kin, and in his own family. 5 And there he could not do his mighty work, except that he laid his hands upon a few sick people and healed them. 6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages teaching.

Jesus sends out the disciples
7 And he called the twelve and began to send them out in pairs; and he gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 And he instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a staff. No bread, no wallet, no money in their purse; 9 but to go wearing sandals, and not to wear two coats. 10 And he said to them: Whenever you enter into a house as a guest, remain there until you leave town. 11 And whatever place shall not receive you and they will not hear you, as you leave there, shake off the dust that is under your feet for a testimony against them. 12 And they went out and preached that all should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

Herod and John the Baptist
   14 And king Herod heard of it, for Jesus' name had become well known; and he said: John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why these powers work in him. 15 But others said: It is Elijah; and others said: It is a prophet, even as one of the prophets. 16 But Herod, when he heard of it, said: It is John, whom I beheaded; he is risen.
   17 For Herod himself had had John arrested and thrown into prison to please Herodias, his brother Philip's wife; for he had married her. 18 For John said to Herod: It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife. 19 And Herodias set herself against him, and desired to kill him; but she could not, 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. And when he heard him, he was much perplexed; and he heard him gladly.
   21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his nobles, military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22 And when the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests, and so the king said to the girl: Ask of me whatever you will, and I will give it to you. 23 And he made an oath to her: Whatever you shall ask of me, I will give it to you, to the half of my kingdom. 24 And she went out and said to her mother: What shall I ask? And she said: The head of John the Baptist. 25 And she rushed to the king and asked, saying: Here and now, I want you to give me on a platter the head of John the Baptist. 26 And the king was exceeding sorry; but for the sake of his oaths and his dinner guests, he could not reject her request. 27 And immediately the king sent a soldier of his guard and commanded that he bring John's head. And the soldier went to the prison and beheaded John, 28 and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.
   29 And when his disciples heard of it, they went and took his corpse and laid it in a tomb.

Jesus feeds 5000 men
   30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them: Come, we shall depart for a deserted place and rest for a while. For there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure time, even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place. 33 Now many saw them going and recognised them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 And when Jesus came ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion on them, because they were as sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. 35 And when the day was far spent, his disciples came to him and said: The place is deserted and the day is now far spent. 36 Send them away, that they may go into the country and villages round about and buy themselves something to eat. 37 But he answered and said to them: You give them something to eat. And they said to him: Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat? 38 And he said to them: How many loaves have you? Go and see. And when they knew, they reported: Five loaves and two fishes. 39 And he commanded that all should sit down in groups upon the green grass. 40 And they sat down in groups of hundreds or of fifties. 41 And he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke the loaves; and he gave them to the disciples to set before them; and the two fish he divided among them all. 42 And they all ate and were filled. 43 And they collected twelve basketfuls of leftovers, and also of the fish. 44 There were five thousand men that ate the loaves.

Jesus stills a storm
   45 And immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and to go without him to the other side to Bethsaida, while he sent the crowd away. 46 And after he had taken leave of them, he departed into the mountain to pray. 47 And when evening had come, the boat was in the midst of the sea and he was alone on the land. 48 And seeing they were having difficulty rowing, for the wind was against them, about the fourth watch of the night he went to them, walking on the sea; and he would have passed by them. 49 But they, when they saw him walking on the sea, supposed that it was a ghost and cried out. 50 For they all saw him and were disturbed. But he immediately spoke to them and said to them: Be of good courage! It is I! Be not afraid. 51 And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly amazed, 52 because they did not understand the miracle of the loaves; their heart was hardened.
   53 And when they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognised him, 55 ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went, into villages, or into cities, or into the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and pleaded with him that they be allowed to touch the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched him were cured.



6:1 His own country is another indication of Christ’s humanity (also in v. 4). He “came to His own” (Jn. 1:11). He had a home area, and spoke with a Galilean accent.

6:3 The translation “carpenter” is unfortunate. The Greek tekton can mean any manual worker. He could’ve been a stonemason or a casual building labourer.

6:10 Jesus loves families and homes, and wanted them to be the nucleus for the new community He was developing.

6:12 Repentance means ‘a change of mind’. It doesn’t as a word necessarily refer to stopping sinning- God is described as ‘repenting’. We may be simply too weak to stop sinning; but we can repent in that we change our mind, we strongly repudiate our sins, we try not to do them, our deepest heart is with the Lord and not with the flesh.

6:37 Jesus asks the question to try to elicit faith and spiritual ambition from the disciples. But they couldn’t see beyond the immediate problems. The possibility that Jesus could do a miracle and multiply what little bread they had… just didn’t occur to them. All they could think of was the cost of buying the bread.

6:41 Blessing and breaking bread, then giving it to the disciples, is so similar to the last supper. Through the breaking of bread, we show our faith in the fact that Jesus provides for our needs.

6:48 Jesus made as if He would walk past them in order to make them cry out to Him for help. Because so far they’d not thought of praying to Jesus for help, because He wasn’t with them. He works like that with us today, bringing us into situations which have no human way out, and appears to ignore us- only so that we will pray and call out to Him the more fervently. This is one reason for the apparent silence of God which we find so difficult to accept.

6:52 They didn’t reflect upon the miracle, and so they lacked faith to face the next trial which came along in their lives. The incidents in our lives are arranged by God in a certain order. We are intended to reflect upon the great things He has done in our experience, not just benefit from them and go onwards in life without remembering them or thinking about them. Ingratitude and lack of reflection on life’s events are typical of human beings; and we must try to do better.

6:56 They thought that by touching a holy man they would be cured. This is a wrong idea, but Jesus went along with it. See on 5:28.