MARK 6:1-29

Rejection at Nazareth, v1-6, Jesus is projecting himself as a prophet and knows the requirements of a prophet in Deuteronomy 18:15-18. He spoke with authority and as if he had a formal education, but he was just known as a carpenter! John 6:42, 7:15. What did he prophesy? The subject matter of his authoritative teaching was based on the Kingdom of God, Mark 1:15. It will come, Mk. 9:1. Why do you believe Jesus was rejected in his own hometown? So far, rejection is seen in every chapter of Mark.

1:14, John the Immersionist arrested, The forerunning prophet of Christ, rejected!

2:7, 16 & 24 The work & actions of Jesus rejected by scribes & pharisees.

3:6 & 22, The Pharisees & Herodians reject him and plot Christ’s death.

4:1-7, Most hearts/soil reject the word of Christ in the parable of the soils.

5:17 & 40 The people of the Decapolis reject Jesus’s power & Mourners laugh at him.

6:1-3, Locals in Nazareth reject him for who Christ is and what he teaches.

The statement about a prophet having honor, but not amongst his own family/friends is not from the Old Testament, it seems to be uniquely stated by Jesus. However, it is a well founded and broadly experienced fact of daily life. Another phrase that echoes the same truth is “familiarity breeds contempt”, which comes from more English usage than Hebrew. How can someone be so thoroughly rejected in so many ways & ultimately crucified, and yet still to this day be recieved?

There are only two recorded incidents of Jesus experiencing amazement, v6. The other incident is recorded in Matthew 8:8-10. What is the subject matter of both incidents?

The Pre-emptive Strikes of The First Disciples, v7-13, 

What can you do, when you’re given power over unclean spirits, one coat, a staff & sandals as well as a heart driven message of repentance with one other partner? You can heal sick people and free people possessed by demons. God loves these people and he was giving his apostles real successful on-the-job training. The Devil’s demons were dismayed! Since Jesus instructs the “dust shaking of feet”, we know he approves of us making people’s rejection of the truth a real task. No Christian should remain silent when we know people understand the truth, and openly reject it. When the truth is perverted and/or openly rejected, we must express the Lord’s disapproval of the sin. The ability to try and love a sinner while hating the sin, is expressed clearly in Jude v22-23. But never should we ever give people the impression that our love for the sinner is in any way approval of their sin. Repentance is for ALL, see Acts 17:30.

The Martyrdom of John the Immersionist, v14-29, What could you do that would make someone hate you more than “half of a kingdom”? John the Immersionist repeatedly pronounced the marriage of Herod and his brother’s wife as not “EXESTI”, legal, v18. This Greek word is translated not “permitted, allowed or legal”, elsewhere in the New Testament, Jn. 5:10, Jn. 18:31, 1st Cor. 6:12 & 10:23, 2nd Cor. 12:4, Ac. 2:29, 8:37, 16:21 & 21:37. So it’s force is to make something possible or impossible. It is not an exclusive legal term, therefore John the immersionist didn’t really care what Herod’s law was or Moses’ law was, but was primarily concerned with what God’s law is. Today, we have the same task of declaring what is right or wrong in the context of marriage. Civil laws may change, but God’s law remains the same. There is only one reason for allowing divorce & re-marriage and that is sexual immorality (PORNIAH) Mat. 19:9. There is only one reason for marriage, a man’s love and a woman’s love can be sanctified in holy matrimony, uniting them in God’s love. This makes polygamy and homosexual’s union not EXESTI

Mark 5:21-43

The last time Mark records Jesus healing anyone from or in a Synagogue, (Mk. 3:1-6) was the man with a lame hand, and there are scant signs that he had any faith in Jesus as God to heal. It was an incident of Jesus proclaiming his power, teaching his critics to see how wrong they were abusing the law and leaving people with needs unattended.

The Faith of the Fearful Father

After Jesus had calmed a storm, a tempestuous lake and raging demon possessed men, now he calms a Father pressing urgently for help as his daughter lay at home dying. Just because we are faithful or friends of God’s children does not mean we do not become distressed with disasters which God allows us to use to help deliver those hurting which we love, Acts. 28:7-9.

~ His faith had led him to hunt Jesus down while traveling from town to town.

~ His faith had led him to fall at the feet of Jesus, showing submission to The Teacher.,

~ His faith had led him to ask Jesus to come to his house and lay his hands on his daughter.

How do you use your faith, when you are fearful and/or distressed?

The Faith of the Hemorrhaging Woman

While Jesus was traveling to try and help one person, he took time to learn who else needed his strength to heal people, his work was constant, he never worried about distractions. This story should teach us that our faith should be something that can be perceived, even when never openly proclaimed, Acts 14:8-10.

~ Her faith had led her to publicly hunt Jesus down when she was poverty-stricken and sick.

~ Her faith had led her to tell herself that if she could touch his clothes she would be healed.

~ Her faith had led her to fall down before him and tell him the whole truth.

How do you use your faith, when you are hurting and/or desperate?

In verse 28, the word “healed”, in the Greek is actually the same word for ‘saved’, so it seems Mark may be trying to motivate the reader to desire touching Jesus through this story and be saved. If we could see ourselves as desperate as this woman who had no hope but Jesus, we too, would be drawn to search for Jesus and hear his life-giving words, “your faith has made you well”. Are you spiritually healthy or spiritually sick? Sin sick souls are sentenced to suffer with Satan! Do we have Jesus Christ and his life-giving Spirit anointing us with healing?

In verse 38-40, there is no gentle Jesus, meek & mild, but rather a forceful and determined Christ taking action against the chaotic, noisy and distressed crowd, to clear the area with calm so the parents, upset by the girl’s death, could focus on attending to their daughter’s needs. Only in v41 does Jesus change in attitude to gently administer God’s power into a corpse for life renewed.

In verse 43, the stern warning of silence from Jesus is his way of trying to get the people to help him with the issue of timing his ministry to publicly draw attention to his suffering, not his powerful authority. His suffering would draw everyone to him for the life, strength and wisdom we need. The best reason for commanding silence for now is stated in John 5:41. Who does Christ really want us to honor?

Mark 5:1-20

After Jesus had established his authority over the destructive physical environment in the eyes of his closest followers by calming the storm and lake. Now he would demonstrate his authority over the destructive powers of the spiritual environment around them. This incident Jesus masters, is called by many of us, an exorcism. The strength and courage Jesus shows is remarkable, considering the fact that he is outside Israel in unfamiliar territory. As far as the four gospels record, Jesus only ventures outside of Israel during his ministry twice, but when he does, he wastes no time manifesting the power of God against the devils most destructive works. When we leave our comfort zone, how aware are we that our battle is against the spiritual forces of evil? See Ephesians 6:12

v7, Though it seems odd for a demon to invoke God’s name (“I implore you by God”) in his demands of Jesus, the parallel story in Mat. 8:29 suggests the reason: “Why have you come to torment us before the time?” There was an appointed time in which demons would face their judgment, and they seem to have viewed the arrival of Jesus on the scene as an illegitimate change in God’s plan regarding the time when their sentence would be executed. It is a pity that worldly people do not see “an appointed time” God has proclaimed and promised to come, but the demons do. Do you?

The most peculiar fact about this exorcism is the torturous way Jesus deals with the unclean spirits (Legion is a military term which Romans used to describe thousands of soldiers). Jesus had already exorcized unclean spirits many times before this encounter, but this one shows how he treats the real culprits. By contrast, he emphasizes what cost the healed man should pay, which is to preach the mercy shown to him in his hometown. Do we consider sharing our faith and story of conversion, a duty that is commanded of us, or a privilege? See Romans 1:16.

Luke tells us about a characteristic of unclean spirits; they do not like water, Luke 11:24. So why would Jesus permit a huge number of unclean spirits to go into pigs, if he knew they would be forced to run into a lake and drown? Because they asked for it and deserved to wander in discontent. The price of many pigs’ pain and the loss of the farmer’s income was worth the lesson in punishing the unclean spirits. How the public reacted to the healed man’s liberty and salvation was entirely up to the people of Decapolis, afterall, they could rely on the well known fact of the healed man’s testimony to help them gain the community’s help in rebuilding the pig farm. This could be one reason Jesus insisted on saying “no” to the healed man’s request to follow Jesus into Israel. The healed man would of course bless others with the work of God’s message for salvation, and also make the community aware of the pig farmer’s need for help. The people of the Decapolis are an interesting community; The Decapolis refers to a group of towns (originally consisting of ten; the Greek name literally means “ten towns”). Their unity came from their Greek culture and stories, which set them apart from surrounding areas. So it was possible for news to travel faster amongst them, than most other towns. There is no mention of the people being angry at the loss of the pig herd, but rather the community feared Jesus in the same way the disciples feared Jesus when he stilled the storm & lake, Mk. 4:41. Christians today need this kind of fear of God, it would certainly help us in praising Him as we should and promote the spread of his good news. 

v20, Mark ends the story with a subtle but significant point.  The man could not separate what God had done, from the one (JESUS) through whom God had done it. This man was called to be a witness of God’s goodness through Jesus at home!

Mark 4:21-41

v21-25, Most Jewish homes were lit with oil lamps. This was both beneficial and at the same time dangerous, as oil needed a safe & stable place to burn. So we see Jesus putting an emphasis on providing a basis for the light to shine effectively and safely. A lampstand is essential for safety and to help the light shine effectively. But the idea of judgment was on Christ’s mind, as he wanted his followers to recognize that if they treated the light of God with carelessness and apathy, then they would be judged. The very nature of this light needed care, and if they judged it unnecessary, neglecting it, they would get burnt! Just as we treat electricity with respect, so 1st century people had to treat oil lamps with respect. Jesus is the light of the world, and if people don’t pay close attention and learn the purpose of why he is teaching, they will suffer the consequences. Do not misuse the light of the world, use it efficiently! This parable is similar to Luke 8:16-18.

This parable is found only in Mark 4:26-29 and shows a complete picture of the coming of God’s kingdom: (1) sowing; (2) growth; (3) harvest. Some understand the parable as a reference to evangelism, but it does not seem to be the central idea. If you contrast it to the parable of the sower which emphasizes the quality of the different soils, this parable emphasizes the power of the seed to cause growth (with the clear implication that the mysterious growth of the kingdom is accomplished by God), without human understanding or observation.

v30-34, Jesus wanted us to have a clear understanding of the Kingdom of God, so most of his parables make comparisons to help us relate to the rule or domain of God’s Kingdom. Christ would become the King of kings, as the Kingdom of God entered the entire globe, and would not simply be represented by Israel any longer. So humankind needs to know it’s nature, values and purpose so that people of many different ways of life enter it, and grow in God’s domain with Christ ruling in their hearts. What do you believe is represented in his phrase, “so that the wild birds can nest in it’s shade?” A good way to see this from the past and into the future is to read Psalm 91:1-6 alongside Revelation 21:22-22:3. Keeping in mind that many christian soldiers die on the battlefield and many christian nurses die from contagions. While at the sametime, kings bring their glory into the New Jerusalem and the leaves of the tree of life in this city bring healing to the nations. How can we make sense of this? By looking at the benefits of God’s faithfulness in Christ in this life with all it’s perils. There is a reason why the western world has moved on from covid restrictions in September 2022, and China still suffers over 21 million people locked down! The kingdom of heaven grows like a mustard seed bush and the wild birds nest in it’s shade! The world benefits from God’s compassionate rule. Christians with this insight into Christ’s Kingdom are best at seeing the silver lining around any storm cloud that punishes our world. Hindus, Muslims, atheists and even Jews do not see His blessings like Christians do.

v35-41 “Peace, Be Still” is not a whispered request Christ makes to the wind and sea, but rather a command! See Mk. 9:25 & Luke 4:39. His authority overwhelms his disciples, amazing them. One day you and I will see his authority open the heavens and raise the dead on Judgment Day. Comfort and encourage each other with these words, 1st Thessalonians 4:14-18.

Mark 4:1-20

The crowds were so large again that Jesus teaches from a boat on the lake of Galilee for safety’s sake and also because Jesus wanted as many people as possible to hear his teaching, which is actually part of this parable’s point. There are well over 40 parables in the New Testament but only 3 are actually explained by Jesus, the rest are meant for us to meditate upon, memorize or prayerfully study. Sometimes, Jesus will end a parable with a single pointed conclusion, but for the most part, most parables are left for us to pray about to make our own conclusion as the New Testament shows us that…

The Spirit of Christ is our _______________ (Matthew 23:10, John 14:26 & Colossians 3:16) and James warns the church globally, that leading the church as a Teacher is not a role the majority of Christians should try to fulfill, James 3:1-2. Yet it is a requirement of Elders, 1st Timothy 3:2. “LISTEN” v3, is a command made only by Jesus, as every leader in the church should be calling for everyone to listen to Jesus, not just our leaders, preachers, Elders & teachers. 

Jesus gave the disciples an allegorical interpretation of the parable of the sower (Mt. 13:18), and of the wheat and tares (Mt. 13:37) in which every little detail of the story had a significant meaning. The parable of the vineyard (Mt. 21:33) also has an allegorical message about God sending his prophets, and finally his Son, who are rejected by Israel. The sower would sow the seed (Word of God) and generally Jesus defines people as having four different kinds of soil (or hearts, Mt. 13:19).

  1. Hardened,   2. Rocky,    3. Thorny,   4. Good.

Was the farmer picky about what type of soil he sowed his seed in?   Yes or No ?

How many of the different types of hearts actually bear fruit from the seed planted?

Which type of soil (heart) never had an opportunity to let the seed germinate?

Why did the growing plants in rocky soil (hearts) have a shortened lifespan?

Which soil (heart) was troubled by the deceitfulness of riches and worldly interests?

So that good soil (hearts), can actually be good, do we see the opposite of hard is soft? Do we see the rocky soil is shallow and the opposite, is soil that has depth and is able to hold moisture for the seed? Do we see that the opposite of soil with thorny weeds is soil that is kept clear of weeds?  All the problematic soils, hard, rocky & thorny, have this in common; water either runs away, dries up, or is taken up by the weeds, choking the plants growing from the implanted seed (Word of God). What does Jesus claim to give any who come to him, recorded in John 7:37? What does Paul compare water to in 1stCorinthians 12:13 ?

Mark 3:7-35

Even with such large crowds begging for help, and from practically all the regions of Israel, Jesus is powerfully merciful towards them all. He successfully meets the challenge of helping them, even those with evil spirits. How did the unclean spirits react to Jesus?

Jesus had at least two reasons why he silenced demons, firstly because they were evil and had no right to speak out of turn before ruling divinity, as it is inappropriate for evil to proclaim what is holy. Secondly because if he let them speak the truth, in any capacity, the obvious political implications are not what Jesus wanted people to pursue, the timing of the public’s desire for a King had to wait till he was nearer the passion week. In this way Jesus was still in complete control of his self-sacrifice. At the end of his ministry, he did not deny such a lofty title as Christ when the high priest asked him (Mk. 14:61-62). But as his ministry developed (Mk. 8:29), Jesus began to ask his own closest disciples to define their identity of him. Here in the first year of ministry, Jesus is not only calling disciples, but he “Appoints” them, 3:14. What is the primary purpose in appointing or naming them? (Luke 6:13).

v20-22 shows us a persistent refusal of Jesus by Jewish Leaders, who are in contrast to his disciples. Mark even includes the physical family of Jesus as refusing to accept Jesus as even reasonably serving The Lord. The fact that Jewish leaders accuse Jesus of being in league with the devil (22-30) is included between Mark’s mention of Jesus’ family coming to restrain him (the Greek word for restrain here is also used to mean arrest; see Mk. 6:17, 12:12, 14:1-51) because they thought he was out of his mind (v21). This is an amazing conclusion by his physical family since they had been eye-witnesses to his first miracle of turning water into wine, see John 2:1-12. How do you think Mary and his brothers expect Jesus to make known his identity?

It is probably Mark’s intention in this passage to show that Jesus’ family is to be regarded as comparable to the experts in the law & Pharisees in their perception of the true identity of Jesus; the family of Jesus are wrong in their understanding of him as well. The tone is obviously one of sadness and the emphasis on Jesus’ true family in v31-35 effectively underscores the comparison between his relatives and the scribes on the one hand, and those who truly obey God on the other hand!

How did Jesus reply to the charge of casting out demons by the power of Satan?

If we are wrongfully charging the Forgiver to be in league with the Devil, how could we even want to be forgiven, much less be surprised to find out that it’s impossible to be forgiven of the sin of blasphemy?

Does it not surprise any reader of this passage to find that educated Jewish leaders would attribute the power of miracles performing so much good, to “Beelzebul”? It means “Lord of Dung Flies”. The only possible reason for doing this, is that they thought Satan was a master of deception, using his power for good to trick people into following him to their ultimate destruction. 

Who does Jesus describe as his “True” Family? v33-35.

Mark 2:23-3:6

During the days of Jesus, it is estimated that Jewish oral law restricted at least 38 kinds of labor on the Sabbath and the activity of Jesus and his disciples was a violation of that law. Why was Saturday so important to the Jews for rest?

2:23-24, What did the disciples of Jesus do that was challenged by the Pharisees?

They were plucking heads of grain on the ______________, see Duet. 23:25 & Colossians 2:16.

2:25-28, What two arguments did Jesus make in defense of His disciples?

  1. The _____________ of David and his men eating the showbread, 
  1. The Son of Man is _________ of the Sabbath. Would David ever be referred to as Lord of the Sabbath?

How did Jesus ultimately treat the Sabbath Law of Moses, in reference to Matthew 5:17?

The phrase “First Day of the Week” occurs eight times in the New Testament, 

Name three events of the LORD, that are connected to the “First Day of the Week”.

  1. The Lord’s  R________________, Mt. 28:1, Mk. 16:2-9, Lk. 24:1, Jn. 20:1-19
  1. The B____________ of B________ , Acts 20:7
  1. The Churches C_________________, 1st Corinthians 16:1-4

What day is more significant than any other day of the week in the New Testament? See Revelation 1:10

3:1-5, What two commands did Jesus give the man with the withered hand in the Synagogue on the Sabbath?

A.                                                                    B.

When Jesus asked Pharisees about good vs evil and life vs killing on the Sabbath, He must have had Isaiah 58:7-14 in mind, to put the idea of work on the Sabbath as something the Lord would do.

3:6, Who began to plot to destroy Jesus?  The Pharisees together with the _________________