Mark 6 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

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(Read all of Mark 6)
6:1 And 1 he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.

(1) The faithless world by no means diminishes the virtue of Christ, but knowingly and willingly it deprives itself of the efficacy of it being offered unto them.

6:2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing [him] were astonished, saying, From whence hath this [man] these things? and what wisdom [is] this which is given unto him, that even such a mighty works are wrought by his hands?

(a) The word signifies powers or virtues, by which are meant those wonderful works that Christ did which showed and set forth the virtue and power of his Godhead to all the world; (Matthew 7:22).

6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his b sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

(b) This word is used after the manner of the Hebrews, who by brethren and sisters understand all relatives.

6:4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without c honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

(c) Not only has that honour taken from him which is rightly due to him, but also has evil spoken of him and his words are misrepresented.

6:5 And he d could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed [them].

(d) That is, he would not: for we need to have faith if we are going to receive the works of God.

6:7 2 And he called [unto him] the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;

(2) The disciples are prepared for that general apostleship by a special sending forth.

6:8 3 And commanded them that they should take nothing for [their] journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in [their] purse:

(3) Faithful pastors should not have their minds set even on things that are necessary for this life, if they might be a hindrance unto them, even if it is just a small hindrance.

6:9 But [be] shod with e sandals; and not put on f two coats.

(e) The word properly signifies women's shoes.
(f) That is they should take no change of garments with them, so that they might be lighter for this journey and travel more quickly.

6:10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, g there abide till ye depart from that place.

(g) That is, do not change your inns in this short journey.

6:11 4 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

(4) The Lord severely avenges evil done to his servants.

6:13 And they cast out many devils, and h anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed [them].

(h) This oil was a token and a sign of his marvellous virtue: and seeing that the gift of healing has stopped a good while since, the ceremony of anointing which is yet carried on by some is of no purpose.

6:14 5 And king Herod heard [of him]; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty i works do shew forth themselves in him.

(5) The gospel confirms the godly and vexes the wicked.
(i) The word signifies powers, by which is meant the power of working miracles.

6:15 Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of k the prophets.

(k) Of the old prophets.

6:16 But when Herod heard [thereof], he said, It is John, whom I l beheaded: he is risen from the dead.

(l) Commanded to be beheaded.

6:19 Therefore Herodias m had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:

(m) Sought all means to hurt him.

6:20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him n gladly.

(n) The tyrant was very well content to hear sentence pronounced against himself, but the seed fell upon stony places.

6:22 And when the daughter o of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give [it] thee.

(o) This same Herodias had the daughter by Philip, not by Herod Antipas, and Josephus called the daughter Salome.

6:24 And p she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.

(p) For women did not used to eat with men.

6:27 And immediately the king sent an q executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,

(q) The word signifies one that bears a short lance, and the king's guard was so called because they bore short lances.

6:31 6 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

(6) Such as follow Christ will lack nothing, not even in the wilderness, but they will have an abundance. And how wicked a thing it is not to look during this temporal life to the hands of the one who gives everlasting life!

6:37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, r Shall we go and buy s two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?

(r) This is a kind of demand and wondering, with a subtle mockery, which men commonly use when they begin to get angry and refuse to do something.
(s) Which is about twenty crowns, which is five pounds.

6:39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by t companies upon the green grass.

(t) Literally, "by banquets", after the manner of the Hebrews who have no distributive words; see (Mark 6:7). Now he calls the rows of the sitters, "banquets".

6:40 And they sat down in u ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.

(u) The word signifies the beds in a garden, and it is literally, "by beds and beds", meaning by this that they sat down in rows one by another, as beds in a garden.

6:45 7 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.

(7) The faithful servants of God after their little labour are subject to a great tempest which Christ, being present in power although absent in body, moderates in such a way that he brings them to a happy haven, at such time and by such means as they did not expect: A graphic image of the Church tossed to and fro in this world.

6:46 And when he had sent x them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.

(x) His disciples.

6:51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were y sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.

(y) They were still so amazed when they knew that it was no spirit, that they were much more astonished than they ever were before, when they saw the wind and the sea obey his commandment.

6:52 For they z considered not [the miracle] of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

(z) Either they did not perceive, or had not well considered that miracle of the five loaves, to the point that the virtue of Christ was just as strange to them as if they had not been present at that miracle which was done just a little before.

6:54 8 And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him,

(8) Christ being rejected in his own country, and suddenly arriving to those who had not looked for him, is received to their great profit.

6:56 And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched a him were made whole.

(a) Or the hem of his garment.