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Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible ģ (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. www.Lockman.org 

 

MARK CHAPTERS 5 & 6

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1-5 They came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gerasenes. 2 When He got out of the boat, immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met Him, 3 and he had his dwelling among the tombs. And no one was able to bind him anymore, even with a chain; 4 because he had often been bound with shackles and chains, and the chains had been torn apart by him and the shackles broken in pieces, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Constantly, night and day, he was screaming among the tombs and in the mountains, and gashing himself with stones. 

 

Mk 5,1-16

(46l) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Demons subjected >> Jesus casts out demons Ė This short paragraph accounts for dozens of full-length Hollywood movies that have attempted to depict the horror of demon-possession, and none of them have come close. It is impossible to put on screen or describe the horror of demon possession, especially when it is by more than one demon, how much more when it is by a legion of demons, legion meaning up to 2,000 of them, or at least that is what the devil claimed; he tends to exaggerate. What caused this man to be demon-possessed in the first place? Did he somehow ask for it? Did he do something to attract the demons? He probably did. He may have been an evil man from the start, but what is more significant is having a weak will. Someone who is weak in mind and emotion doesnít mean he was mentally retarded or stupid; it means he didn't know how to say no to these evil spirits. Jesus asked the demon its name, meaning He didnít know it, apparently showing weakness on Jesusí part, which we would initially think Satan could have used to his advantage like he does all forms of weakness, but the demons did not perceive Jesusí lack of omniscience a weakness. Jesus left His omniscience in heaven along with many of His other divine attributes. He lived in a mortal body with severe limitations compared to His life in heaven, yet the demons felt just as much threatened by Christ in His limitations, since the only strength Jesus needed to defeat the devil was to be innocent of all sin, which only the Son of God could have accomplished. Jesus and his disciples traveled to this region just to set this one man free who was demon-possessed. He no doubt would have stayed longer had they not asked Him to leave. That is how much this man meant to God; He felt pity for Him, being tortured by demons, and He also knew that once He was delivered, He would promote the Kingdom of God. He became the great seed sower of his region, so when Jesus returned, He would be welcomed back (Mk 7,32-37).

Mk 5,1-5

(145e) Human state of demon possession (Key verse)

Mk 5,2-4

(146a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> Demon possession >> Human state >> Their behavior >> Superhuman strength Ė Demon spirits are caught between a rock and a hard spot when it comes to possessing a person. They are disembodied spirits; they possess individuals to simulate having a body. Possessing a man is not the same as having their own body, for the spirit of the man is sown into the very fabric of his body, the manís mind being interlaced within his brain, whereas a demon must force the man to do everything through the manís body. Therefore, it is not actually the demonís actions it but the manís, nor is it the manís actions but the demonís. That is, as the man follows the demon, it superimposes itself over the manís works, giving him superhuman strength. When the demons possessed the man and worked together pushing in the same direction, this made the man strong enough to break chains. The manís bones were not strong enough to take on these forces; his bones would have broken before the chains failed, suggesting it wasnít the man or the demon breaking the chains, but both in cooperation with each other. As the man pulled on the chains according to the dictates of the demonic entities, those same forces pulled on the chain with him and broke them. This is also how the spirit realm operates, including the Spirit of God. The things the Holy Spirit wants us to do, if we do them, will work through us. This is called Working (with) the Grace of God.

Mk 5-5

(46i) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Satan falls by his own wickedness -- The demons who possessed this man afflicted wounds on the body he invaded, tormenting his host since it only knows how to steal, kill and destroy. The devil afflicted the man because he is self-destructive by nature. Instead of taking care of the vessel he conquered, he tortured it. Remember the parable in Mat 18,21-35 about the man who owed his Master ten thousand talents and was unable to repay and so the Master forgave his debt, but soon found the same man strangling his fellow man over a small, unpaid load. The demons don't want to be treated the same way they treat others, like the man who was forgiven but was unwilling to forgive. The same fate will ultimately befall them both, "And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him." So long as the devil's agenda is simply to work chaos in the world he stands a good chance of success, but he will never be able to fulfill a sophisticated objective without sabotaging his own plans. This is exactly what is prophesied to happen in the last days according to Scripture. God sends plagues to judge the inhabitants of the earth, but those plagues do not unravel Satan's diabolical plan of taking over the world; instead, we find an internal struggle that is responsible for his demise (Rev 17,12-18). He may be a master planner, but he also has a conflicted mind with obsessive and compulsive inclinations, so he is not able to accomplish anything. In other words Satan is dysfunctional, and if he were a man (which some day he will take on a man's body) he would end up in an insane asylum if he weren't thrown alive into the lake of fire. 

(146c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> Demon possession >> Human state >> Their behavior >> Masochism Ė Masochism is an intrinsic part of demon possession. Does that mean every person who inflicts pain on himself is demon possessed? No, but it does mean they are susceptible to demon possession. These demonic forces ceaselessly wear down the person, constantly jabbering at him and endlessly making demands of him, psychologically, mentally, emotionally and physically tormenting the person, until he finally surrenders to these wicked forces. The moment he does, they take over his will, and it is no longer his but theirs. The man still has access to his own volition but now he must force every fiber of his being to do anything. Working against the will of the demons that have captured him is like swimming upstream in a very strong current; the man must fight for every inch of progress. Over time the man totally gives up fighting against them and simply does whatever they want. After Jesus cast out the demons they disappeared into the air, looking for new trouble to cause, congregating in areas of concentrated sin. It is no wonder the world is so evil with entities like these free to roam and cause havoc.

(190d) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Masochism (Self-made martyr) >> Self-afflictions that are against the will of God Ė The man probably never thought about gashing himself with stones, but now he canít stop inflicting injury upon himself. Masochists say the reason they do it is to divert their attention off the internal anguish they are suffering. To gash themselves with stones or to cut themselves with razors is one of the steps that the demons use to wear down the soul, capture the will and possess the body. Therefore, one of the first steps to avoid demon possession is to stop physically afflicting themselves. The reason masochism is a demonic trap is that it materializes the victimís mental anguish, and that is exactly where the demons are trying to go with this; they want to use the manís body to manifest themselves in the natural realm. So to submit to masochism is the demon making great strides with the person in the process of possessing him, and to simply stop afflicting himself puts the breaks on that whole process.

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6-13 Seeing Jesus from a distance, he ran up and bowed down before Him; 7 and shouting with a loud voice, he said, "What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God, do not torment me!" 8 For He had been saying to him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" 9 And He was asking him, "What is your name?" And he said to Him, "My name is Legion; for we are many." 10 And he began to implore Him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11 Now there was a large herd of swine feeding nearby on the mountain. 12 The demons implored Him, saying, "Send us into the swine so that we may enter them." 13 Jesus gave them permission. And coming out, the unclean spirits entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, about two thousand of them; and they were drowned in the sea.

 

Mk 5,6-20

(146e) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> Deliverance from demon possession >> Casting out spirits with a word Ė Apparently Jesus had to command the devil to come out of the man more than once before it finally obeyed Him. This legion of demons did not immediately leave but ignored the Lord at first. Therefore, how much more trouble can we expect from demons when we try to exorcise them? For this reason Jesus said that some do not come out except through prayer and fasting . The demonic entity begged Jesus not to torment it before the time. This may be something the entity may have wished it hadnít said. It said this because Jesus had already defeated Satan in the wilderness and throughout His life of thirty years, having never committed a sin. The war against Satan had already been won; the demons were unabashed about confessing the Lord's absolute authority over them; Jesus Christ being their God is something all demons know. When it said, ďI implore You by God, do not torment me!Ē it was asking the Lord not to give them the same treatment that they were giving to the man they had possessed. These demons feared that Jesus came to throw them into the lake of fire sooner than they expected.

Mk 5,6-13

(145e) Deliverance From Demon Possession (Key verse)

Mk 5,6-8

(193l) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Run to God >> Run to God in your freedom to choose righteousness -- This man had an army of demons in him at least 2000, according to verse 13, there had to be one for each pig. Nevertheless, this man with all these demons came to Jesus. Why didn't he run the other way? Jesus came specifically to deliver the possessed man, who was far off when the boat touched ground while Jesus was saying, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" Jesus wasn't yelling at it, but the demons heard Him in the spirit realm. However, that doesn't explain why the man approached the Lord. With all the demons residing in him, the man was still able to exercise his will and went to meet Jesus; he must have felt the demons fear the Lord. The demon-possessed man running up to Jesus shows both the man and the demon making choices. Obviously it was not the demonís choice to run to Jesus, because look at the result. Why would the demons approach Jesus and then beg Him not to torment them; why didn't they run the other way? They would have except that the man pushed himself to Jesus against their will. When he stood next to Jesus, the demons took over his mouth and spoke for him. Ironically the demons said better what the man wanted to tell the Lord. The man wanted to ask Him for help, and the demons proved his point. Normally Jesus didnít allow the demons to speak in a public setting, but since this was a quiet place with few people within earshot, He allowed it. In a public setting Jesus didnít want the demons saying things that would elicit confusion, in that their objective in every word they speak is to deceive. 

Mk 5-7

(146d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> Demon possession >> Human state >> They know the Holy Spirit Ė It was shouting with a loud voice; demons are loud and obnoxious. They really believe they have something to say when in reality there is no substance to any of their words, just lies and deceit, being also the case with so many people in the world today. The more people act like demons, the more we should ask what percentage of the human population is demon possessed. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck and swims like a duck, then itís a duck. It makes sense that these shooters are demon possessed, who are shooting up our schools and other public places. They say that most of these shooters are mentally ill, but that does not exclude them from also being demon-possessed; in fact, it increases the likelihood that they are demon-possessed. It is inevitable for a society that is walking away from God to open itself to spiritual forces of wickedness and to start having problems with demon possession among the people. Ignorance, a weak-will, rebellion and belligerence are characteristics of people who become demon-possessed. It is arguable that we are living in a time when people are increasingly exhibiting the characteristics of demons. It may seem racy at first, but soon the fun stops and theyíre stuck with demonic forces that want nothing more than to destroy them.

Mk 5-9

(65ha) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Satan brings unity >> Satan is united in his efforts to destroy mankind

Mk 5,10-13

(65a) Paradox >> Anomalies >> God helps Satan >> Jesus answers the devilís prayer Ė Jesus granted the demonís request; part of the reason He did this is that God answers prayer, and if He answers the prayer of demons, how much more will He answer our prayers, especially of we pray according to his will? God is far more willing to do the things we ask of Him than He is to not do them.

 

14-22 Their herdsmen ran away and reported it in the city and in the country. And the people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and observed the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the "legion "; and they became frightened. 16 Those who had seen it described to them how it had happened to the demon-possessed man, and all about the swine. 17 And they began to implore Him to leave their region. 18 As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed was imploring Him that he might accompany Him. 19 And He did not let him, but He said to him, "Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you." 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed. 21 When Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him; and so He stayed by the seashore. 22 One of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and on seeing Him, fell at His feet

 

Mk 5,14-17

(200a) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Rejecting Christ >> Unwilling to receive Christ >> Asking Jesus to leave -- The demons entreated Jesus not to send them out of the country, because they knew the people who lived there were not going to receive Christ, and their rejection of Him was going to create a spiritual vacuum in the land, so that the demons could easily make sport of the whole community after Jesus leaves. That is why the Lord required the man He delivered to stay home and soften the peoples' hearts by telling everyone the great things He did for him, so when Jesus returned, He could minister to the whole region and they would receive Him. 

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Mk 5,15-17

(19i) Sin >> Hardened heart will twist your mind

(199k) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Rejecting Christ >> Unwilling to receive Christ >> Ignoring Christ Ė The demons wanted to stay in that country; they liked the area, but why? At the end of the story the residents of the country asked Jesus to leave. No doubt the man became demon-possessed aided by the overall spiritual condition of the society in which he lived. Whenever a society asks the Lord to leave, it will soon afterward become infested with demons. A nation develops a problem with demon-possession by asking the Lord to leave. This is what America has done in its public school system and its government and now shooters are coming to them gunning down innocent victims because they ousted Jesus from their facilities. The demons didnít want to leave the country because the people were ignorant and obstinate, making the people easy prey for demons, but Jesus told the once demon-possessed man to remain in the country. In many places Jesus wanted His ministry to remain a secret, but in this place He wanted the man to spread the knowledge far and wide to combat ignorance. Jesus answered the prayer of demons but denied the request of the man healed of demons, telling him to remain in that country, giving him a ministry of evangelism. He told him to go and tell everybody what great things God has done for him. What greater evangelist could there be than the one who was demon-possessed, now healed and in his right mind preaching Jesus to the people.

Mk 5,18-20

(8h) Responsibility >> Preparing to interact with God >> Preparing for revival Ė Jesus went to the country of the Gerasenes to preach the gospel, and the people did not receive Him, so he sent the man whom He rescued from the demons and let His handiwork speak for Him, who took on a role similar to John the Baptist; he prepared the people's hearts for a time when Jesus would return and receive Him, who went home and preached the gospel to his home region after Jesus cured him of his demons. Jesus later came back to Decapolis after they had heard what great wonders Christ had done for the demoniac and He was well received by the people, who believed in Him. See also Mk 1-2,3 for further commentary.

(241b) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Hindering the kingdom >> Obstacles in the way of the kingdom >> Ask but donít receive >> Asking for something that is not in His will -- Jesus honored the request of the demons but not of the man who was demon possessed. Why? It was important that the man whom Jesus delivered should stay as a testimony to all the people of the great things God has done, because at that point their hearts were hardened, so that the man had a more fruitful ministry than Jesus, had He stayed and tried to work with the people of Decapolis. Jesus would return along with His apostles later to a soil that was cultivated by the man whom God delivered. In other words Jesus honored the request of demons before the man's request to come with Him because He cares more about people than He does about demons. 

Mk 5,21-24

(143g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Popularity >> Sought commendably >> Seeking Jesus to be healed -- This verse goes with verse 24

Mk 5-22,23

(147g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> Raising the dead -- These verses go with verses 35-43

 

23-36 and implored Him earnestly, saying, "My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and live." 24 And He went off with him; and a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him. 25 A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, 26 and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse - 27 after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. 28 For she thought, "If I just touch His garments, I will get well." 29 Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My garments?" 31 And His disciples said to Him, "You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, 'Who touched Me?' " 32 And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction." 35 While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, "Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?" 36 But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, "Do not be afraid any longer, only believe."

 

Mk 5,23-36

(123e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Compassion >> Being willing because you are able -- These verses go with verses 41&42

Mk 5-24

(143g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Popularity >> Sought commendably >> seeking Jesus to be healed -- This verse goes with verse 21

Mk 5,25-34

(70b) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Sensitivity To The Spirit

(144k) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> Methods of healing >> Healed by touching Jesus

Mk 5,27-34

(88i) Thy kingdom come >> Fearing the power of God is the beginning of wisdom

(114c) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Obeying the Holy Spirit >> Believing the Father by obeying the Son >> Obeying Jesusí way -- The woman made up the rule herself that if she touched Jesus she would get well, the Scripture in no way leads you to believe that God told her to touch Jesus. Do you now see the difference between faith and the law? Many souls have believed that if they follow the law they will gain God's favor, but they don't (nor do they follow the law), yet this woman makes up her own rules and God honors her efforts, because she was seeking God by faith. There is no difference between getting healed through Jesus' touch or through touching Jesus, because you must believe to receive either way. 

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Mk 5-27,28

(77b) Thy kingdom come >> Hunger for the essence of God >> Hunger for His presence

Mk 5,35-43

(147g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> Raising the dead -- These verses go with verses 22&23. When it comes to signs and wonders, there are other issues involved regarding Godís willingness to perform miracles. Just because we and those surrounding us believe, doesnít mean others in a larger circle believe in God, including our home church and the Church at large. In this age of apostasy when genuine faith and truth is seldom seen or heard, for someone to perform a miracle in this overall environment of unbelief would not exactly promote Godís purpose, unless a divinely ordered revival were taking place and we were part of it, otherwise people would get the wrong idea and even blaspheme the miracle and more evil than good will come of it, so it would have the opposite effect of its intent. These are some of the reasons we donít see signs and wonders in the Church these days. When Jesus performed miracles, He was at the center of the revival that He was creating, whose apostles would continue after He ascended to heaven with the establishment of the Church. There was a larger purpose for His miracles than the miracles themselves, so we must ask ourselves what is the larger purpose of miracles that we are asking from God. There was good reason for signs, wonders and miracles to occur in Jesusí day, for if the structures of the Church hadnít been built through the accumulation of faith partially formed by the signs and wonders of Jesus and His apostles, there would be no Church today. God will not accommodate even His own believers if there is not a larger purpose for the miracles, but when revival comes, signs and wonders will return.

Mk 5-35,36

(17c) Sin >> Unrighteous judgment >> Judging in the flesh >> Evaluating circumstances by the carnal mind Ė Once someone dies no one in the flesh is able to help, except perhaps to bury the person. Jesus, However, had plans that the natural man could not understand. It is never too late for God to make His indelible imprint on our unmanageable circumstances. He may not always raise the person from the dead, but He will always find a way to illumine our darkest hour when we seek Him by faith. 

(20g) Sin >> Doubt is the consequence of the fear of death

Mk 5-36

(20c) Sin >> Nature of sin >> Unbelief >> Having a mind that is unable to receive

 

37-43 And He allowed no one to accompany Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the synagogue official; and He saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. 39 And entering in, He said to them, "Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep." 40 They began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He took along the child's father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was. 41 Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, "Talitha kum!" (which translated means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!"). 42 Immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded. 43 And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and He said that something should be given her to eat.

 

Mk 5,37-40

(222h) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Do not give what is holy to dogs >> God shares no intimacy with dogs >> God does not let dogs in His house -- Along with the child's parents, Jesus invited His three closest disciples with Him to witness His glory in the raising of this child from the dead and closed the door on unbelief when He sent those mockers on their way. Jesus could have chosen three other disciples who needed their faith strengthened more than these three, since they seemed to be with Him where ever He went, but Jesus previously laid down a principle stating: "To Him who has shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance...." The God of the universe refuses to operate in an environment of unbelief "... But to him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him," (Mat 13-12). Had Jesus allowed those mockers to remain with Him as He raised the child from the dead, He would have condoned unbelief, in fact rewarded it. It was better that they witness the child come to them healthy and whole, that they may marvel at what just occurred behind the door, and pray for faith that next time He might invite them to come with Him behind the door to witness the glory of God. 

Mk 5-39,40

(243b) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Mocking Christ

Mk 5-40

(201c) Denying Christ >> Whoever is not with Jesus is against him >> You are against Christ when your unbelief materializes >> If your heart is not with Him your deeds are against Him -- Man has never officially declared war against God, but he has always been at war with Him since the beginning. If we do nothing to make peace with our maker, then we are at enmity with Him by default. We don't need to actively be His enemy to be at enmity with Him, but we do need to actively seek His peace to find that peace at the cross. It doesn't take much for man to find himself on the wrong side of the door as these mockers were who laughed at Jesus as He affirmed His intension of raising this child from the dead. These people who mocked Christ were not greater sinners than you or me; in fact, they are just like us when we don't know what God is doing and laugh when we hear about His will. Did you know that God is soon going to initiate a world-wide revival; are you going to be a part of that, or are you going to laugh at the notion?

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Mk 5-41,42

(123e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Compassion >> Being willing because you are able -- These verses go with verses 23-36. How many people, if they had received authority to wield the power of God like Jesus did, would have eventually used it for evil? We all would have gone down that road, but Jesus didn't. He used the power of God for good only; He never used it to glorify Himself. Jesus was able to raise this little girl from the dead, and for that reason, and for the purpose of glorifying and exemplifying His Father, He was willing. He didn't ask anything from anyone, but offered the gift of God free of charge, only that they would believe in Him for eternal life for His Father's sake. 

Mk 5-41

(115g) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Laying on of hands >> Signs, wonders and miracles

(128h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Gentleness >> Jesus is gentle

 

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Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible ģ (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. www.Lockman.org 

 

MARK CHAPTER 6

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1-6 Jesus went out from there and came into His hometown; and His disciples followed Him. 2 When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? 3 "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?" And they took offense at Him. 4 Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household." 5 And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.

 

Mk 6,1-6

(70g) Authority >> Sin of familiarity >> Familiar with the truth (enemy of discernment) >> Familiar with Jesus in the flesh Ė The writer of the epistle of James was the brother of Jesus. He had the unusual opportunity to live with Jesus throughout his childhood and into his adult years. It may have been a strain on him to realize later in life that his older brother was the messiah, suggesting there were no signs pointing to this fact. Neither James, nor any of his brothers, or anyone in his community suspected Jesus was the Son of God. This suggests that Jesus experienced quite a dramatic transformation on the day of His baptism by John, when He received the anointing.

(152g) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Prophets >> Jesus is a prophet >> Jesus prophesies to the world -- These verses go with verses 17-20

(198j) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Frustrating the grace of God >> Frustrating Jesus through unbelief -- Unbelief is the one and only way to sabotage the work of God. Our unbelief stops God cold in His tracks as effective as tying His hands behind His back. When you think about it, that is a lot of power, but it is negative power. God is trying to help us and we are stopping Him by simply choosing not to believe in Him. All the miracles Jesus performed along with the earth itself and all it contains, provides all the evidence we will ever need to support our faith, and we through the exercise of our own will can vitiate His efforts to convince us to believe in Him and treat our maker with contempt, regardless of the logic of faith in the proof of His existence and love. Jesus performed all His miracles to bless the people and to give them a reason to believe in the words He spoke to them from the Father, and they turned Him down cold. Tragically however, they were not rejecting Christ, but themselves, just as we do when we choose not to believe in Him. The Bible says in this passage that Jesus wondered at their unbelief. We wonder at the complexity of God's creation, at the mysteries that it refuses to divulge to the most devout and gifted scientist, but God wonders about us too, at our unbelief. 

Mk 6,2-6

(20a) Sin >> Nature of sin >> Unbelief >> Spirit of familiarity Ė The sin of familiarity is a very insidious thing. Itís based on the adage, ďFamiliarity breeds contempt.Ē Jesus came and spoke to his hometown, to the people who thought they knew Him, having grown-up with them from childhood, and having shared many experiences in the past, yet none of them had similar experiences to the ones they were having with Him this day. Jesus obviously never claimed to be an authority on God or the Scriptures His whole life, until the day set by the Father that His ministry should begin. Then, God placed an anointing on Him and caused His righteousness to glow with the glory of God. Neither the miracles nor the wisdom were palatable to the People of His hometown , who readily accepted Him as a good and righteous person, but shunned His anointing. They were forced to make a choice, either to accept Jesus as He is now or to go with what they knew about Him, and they chose to go with their past experiences. The insidious part about the sin of familiarity is that people make this same decision to go with past experience every time. The sin of familiarity says, ĎThis man is common to us; He is no one special; His whole family is here and there is nothing special about them.í The biggest problem with the sin of familiarity is the lack of willingness to submit to someone you previously understood as your equal. In other words pride is involved. Soon as Jesus left His hometown and visited other villages, the people opened their minds and ears to His message. In contrast, the spirit of familiarity required an unlearning process regarding what they knew about Jesus and relearning to accommodate the new information about Him. Unlearning and relearning is far more difficult than simply learning the first time, for we have established concepts that we must now deconstruct and introduce new concepts in their place, and much of what we think and believe is not easily replaced. Therefore, it is much easier to learn and understand the truth the first time, referring to false doctrine, rather than to be bamboozled by a lot of religious ideas, that when the truth comes to town must be replaced.

(157f) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of being hell-bound >> Being displeasing to God >> Living in unbelief

(169a) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is blind to God >> Blind to the glory of God in Christ -- These verses go with verses 51&52

(200e) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Rejecting the faith of God >> Rejecting Christ through unbelief Ė Unbelievers can disobey God and even undo the work of the Holy Spirit through their disobedience. In the opposite way it applies to believers when we act on the word of the Spirit, we become agents that work with God to perform His word in the world, and the performance of Godís word is extremely powerful; it can change peopleís lives, but outside an environment of faith this is impossible. The Bible says when Jesus entered an environment of unbelief He could do nothing. He spoke a few words; they essentially bounced off the hearersí stony hearts, and then He left. There may have been sick people present, but He did nothing to heal them, because He couldnít. Unbelief has the power to shut down the works of God; this is the power of Satan. Unbelievers often feel cocky about this, thinking they hold power over God because they can stop Him in His tracks, but like Jesus said to those who came to arrest Him, ďThis hour and the power of darkness are yoursĒ (Lk 22-53). He was saying that these forces of evil are only temporary, for one day God will put them in their place, and there they will remain forever, and Godís eternal kingdom will be rid of them.

(201h) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Jesus is an offense >> Jesus offends the world >> Faith offends unbelief -- No one will ever know how many people in Jesus home town would have believed in Him had their faith not been  handicapped by the effect of personally knowing Him prior to His ministry. They watched Him mature and fit in with the community like any other child in their neighborhood. He didn't seem to be anyone special. Christ's infinite faith and His hometown's unbelief was a contrast of epic proportions, like the Grand Canyon that is too wide to leap to the other side and too deep and perilous to walk across without being absolutely sure you want to go there. That was the problem with Jesus' relatives; they heard about His miracles and wisdom, but still weren't ready to change their minds about how they viewed Him. 

Mk 6-2

(79j) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word >> Listen to the word >> Listen to Jesus

(89i) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Increasing in wisdom

Mk 6,3-6

(144j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> Healing >> Methods of healing >> Healed by Jesusí touch

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7-11 And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits; 8 and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff -no bread, no bag, no money in their belt - 9 but to wear sandals; and He added, "Do not put on two tunics." 10 And He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town. 11 "Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them." 

 

Mk 6,7-13

(43e) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Conform to Christís ministry to the world Ė The Kingdom of God is based on giving, but in order to give there must be receivers. In heaven those who are exalted give the most, whereas here on earth we see those exalted who receive the most. They receive all the adoration and the biggest salaries for doing the least amount of work. In heaven those who give to others receive a return directly from God that they might give all the more, and those who receive from others also give until the person who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven has received that which originated from God. This is the way it works in evangelism too. The evangelist has been given the most and receives directly from God and gives to those who receive the gospel; they develop into ministers and in turn become evangelists themselves and impart the word of God to others as they have received.

Mk 6,7-11

(150b) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Instructions on evangelism Ė Those who receive the evangelist, who open their hearts and doors to them, will abundantly supply the preachers of righteousness with everything they need. Jesus instructed His disciples not to take away the peopleís opportunity to give back to them. It would be an insult for the evangelist to take along many provisions and support themselves. We donít need much to be an evangelist; we should not weigh down ourselves with a lot of material goods. When they went from town to town, some of these places were ten or fifteen miles apart, a dayís journey, take no bag or bread or even a canteen? Jesus was saying not to leave home with these things, for as we interact with the people, they will insist we take a bag of provisions with us; let them outfit the evangelist. We should not deny the graciousness of the people who bless them, ďFor the worker is worthy of his supportĒ (Mat 10-10). We leave with nothing and return fully supplied, so everything we own was graciously given to us. This is the kind of life Jesus wanted His disciples to live, being gracious to others with them being gracious in return.

Mk 6-7

(46k) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Demons are subject to the Church through Christ Ė Jesus sent His disciples to evangelize and gave them authority over the unclean spirits; these two: evangelism and faith-healing go together like peas and carrots. If we donít have the faith to heal the sick and cast out demons, then neither do we have the faith to evangelize. It takes just as much faith to command our audience to repent as it does to heal them in the name of the Lord, but if they don't receive our gospel, how will they receive the healing virtue from heaven? When Jesus came, the truth of God regarding the Old Testament was a discombobulated set of teachings and doctrines that if anyone tried to understand them would turn their minds into mush. Jesus didnít reform the old covenant but created a new covenant in His blood. It was brand-new in the first century, but now it is 2000 years old. People back then were ready for change, and many thousands of people in the first and second century got saved; then little by little false doctrine crept in the Church, until again we have the mishmash of the gospel. We talk to people about Jesus, and nobody listens to us. We can tell by the look on most peopleís faces that they have already made a commitment to Christís nemesis the devil, and if the Mark of the Beast is revealed in our generation, they will push and shove each other holding out their hand to be first to receive it. In contrast, ďThe Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into itĒ (Lk 16-16).

(68c) Authority >> Jesus Delegates Authority To Execute Judgment >> Against Satan -- This verse goes with verses 12&13

Mk 6,8-10

(1c) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God and people >> Avoid the appearance of evil Ė Everything Jesus said to his disciples regarding the formalities of evangelism was for the purpose of avoiding offense. He instructed them to stay in the same house until they left town. Imagine the arguments that would ensue if the evangelist moved from house to house. The hosts would say, ĎHe liked my house better,í or, ĎHe left your house because of poor food.í No matter what kind of host, they were to stay there. Fortunately, those who would open their home to the evangelist have the gift of hospitality, otherwise they wouldn't have insisted they stay at their house. How many times does the Bible tell us to avoid offending people? The gospel message to sinners who are in need of a savior is offensive enough without adding needless offense to it. The evangelist discovers two kinds of people in the world: those who hate them and those who love them with virtually nothing in-between. Those who love the evangelist are the ones being saved, and the best way of showing them the grace and mercy of God is to give them the opportunity to be gracious in return. This is also how the evangelist knows if they are actually receiving the gospel. There are many who claim to believe in God but are incognizant of the needs of others, but those who are gracious to the evangelist along his way are confident in their understanding of the gospel.

Mk 6-10

(208k) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Personal relationship >> Being married to God >> Emotional relationship

Mk 6-11

(200b) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Rejecting Christ >> Rejecting the will of God >> Rejecting the gospel -- Jesus said in Mat 7-6, "Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pears before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces." In other words don't waste your time and resources on people who don't want what you are offering. Remember, Jesus also said, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men," (Mat 4-19). Some fishermen will just flop down at their favorite hole with their twelve-pack of beer, wet a worm and call it a night. Whether they catch anything is immaterial; they came to relax, kick back and drink beer. If the fish are biting, it just adds one more element to the experience, but it is not necessary. Other fishermen are very serious about what they do; if the fish are not biting in one hole, they will go to the next, and when that hole gives out, they will move to the next. Jesus is saying in this verse not to be a lazy fisherman and flop down at any old hole and stay there and get drunk; rather, if the fish aren't biting, leave, and knock the mud off your shoes so you can sneak up to the next hole.

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12-15 They went out and preached that men should repent. 13 And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them. 14 And King Herod heard of it, for His name had become well known; and people were saying, "John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why these miraculous powers are at work in Him." 15 But others were saying, "He is Elijah." And others were saying, "He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old."

 

Mk 6-12,13 

(68c) Authority >> Jesus Delegates Authority To Execute Judgment >> Against Satan -- These verses go with verse 7

Mk 6-12

(149b) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Three key messages in evangelism >> Repentance

(193b) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Repent >> Turn from your evil ways >> Turn from sin Ė Faith is a snowball effect in that the more works of faith we do, the more faith we accumulate. Some think they know the truth; they go to evangelize, but no fruit materializes from all their efforts, because their knowledge is diluted with false doctrine. Unbelief also has a snowball effect in that when society hears the gospel of this sort, they turn-off and become almost impossible to reach with any gospel. We end up with a reprobate society who has rejected Christ, and then our country disintegrates into moral decay. A reformation is required and a revival of the people, but this requires God to step in and take charge of the work that He has commissioned us to do. There was a reformation in the 16th century, but it did just about as much harm as good; so to say that it was a work of God is questionable. Man conferred with each other with all the holes in the Catholic Church and hatched a new direction called Protestantism that changed course from a works-oriented salvation that required no faith to a faith-oriented salvation that required no works, and both are about equally useless. We now have a grace that is so free that we donít have to do anything except believe a certain set of doctrines. We just say the sinnerís prayer and go on our way, living the way we did before be believed, which is just about as bad as legalism. What did Jesus teach His disciples? ďThey went out and preached that men should repent.Ē When was the last time we even heard the word repent? If what we are preaching is not truth, then it is error, and error abides in darkness, where demons live, the very ones we would attempt to exorcize along our evangelism journeys.

Mk 6-13

(113i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> The anointing >> Anoint with oil Ė To imagine that there was power in the oil they used to anoint a person was witchcraft. Attribution errors such as this are extremely harmful, simply because it takes away from the glory of God. The minister wipes a little oil on the person before he prays for him, and if he attributes the healing to the oil and not to God, that is idolatry. The anointing oil and the manner in which it was applied is completely different today from how they used it in the first century. We have this little vial of oil, and with a drop on the end of his finger the minister daubs the personís forehead in the sign of the cross and then prays over him, as though God intended to work through this process, but God only works through faith. The anointing oil the disciples used was not a single drop, but a handful that they rubbed in the personís hair to revitalize the personís appearance, like they did in the fifties, calling them greasers. Jesus lived in a very dry and arid land, and when people got sick, they wouldnít care for themselves, and they would begin to dry-up, so the disciples would rub oil on their heads and on their face and hands to revitalize their skin and make them feel better, similar to applying skin lotion today. It was something they would have done had they become well. The disciples would anoint them with oil while they were still sick and pray over them, so the oil represented faith that God would heal them. The mindset was, ĎWe might as well anoint you now, because you are going to be healed in just a few minutes.í Anointing a person was an act of faith.

(145b) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> Unique methods of healing

(146h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> Deliverance from demon possession >> Disciples have authority to cast out demons -- Note that the disciples were able to cast out demons before Pentecost, that is, before the death, the resurrection and the ascension of Christ, and consequently before the Spirit was sent from heaven. In other words the disciples were not technically saved while they were casting out demons and healing the sick. Jesus was making the point to His church that we are able to operate in the gifts, not because we are saved (though we are), but because we have received special authority from God. Mat 10-1 says that Jesus gave them authority over the unclean spirits, and gave them power over all forms of sickness. He spoke the word over them (otherwise, how would they have known about their authority?). If you know in your spirit that God has given you special authority to operate certain gifts, then by all mean do so. Associate the gifts with the gospel, and let the gospel take precedence over the gifts, because it is the gospel that is your ministry, not the gifts. The gifts of the spirit are for giving a blessing and for turning heads to hear the gospel. 

Mk 6,14-16

(177j) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Presumption (Hinduism) >> Misunderstanding the circumstances

Mk 6-14

(143j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Jesus is popular because of His works -- Jesus was happy to become popular with the people, but it was not His aim to become popular because of His works. As hard as He preached the gospel, His miracles, signs and wonders became the buzz of the town. Jesus often instructed the people not to mention the miracles He performed for them as an attempt to keep His ministry's emphasis off the miracles and on His teachings. He taught about righteousness, judgment and self control; the people would sit and listen to Him, but they didn't come by droves to hear Him speak as much as they came to see His miracles. (Had they been more interested in what He had to say, they may not have allowed Him to be crucified.) If Jesus struggled with redirecting the people from His works to His words, then you and I would witness our ministry built around miracles, signs and wonders quickly turn into a horrible nightmare unless it was tightly controlled by a wisdom far greater than our own. 

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16-30 But when Herod heard of it, he kept saying, "John, whom I beheaded, has risen!" 17 For Herod himself had sent and had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, because he had married her. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." 19 Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death and could not do so; 20 for Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. And when he heard him, he was very perplexed; but he used to enjoy listening to him. 21 A strategic day came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his lords and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee; 22 and when the daughter of Herodias herself came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to you." 23 And he swore to her, "Whatever you ask of me, I will give it to you; up to half of my kingdom." 24 And she went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?" And she said, "The head of John the Baptist." 25 Immediately she came in a hurry to the king and asked, saying, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter." 26 And although the king was very sorry, yet because of his oaths and because of his dinner guests, he was unwilling to refuse her. 27 Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded him to bring back his head. And he went and had him beheaded in the prison, 28 and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard about this, they came and took away his body and laid it in a tomb. 30 The apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught.

 

Mk 6,16-28

(2e) Responsibility >> Keep your commitments >> it is better not to vow at all -- It displeased King Herod who had to behead John the Baptist because of his oath, though he grew somewhat fond of the righteous zealot. In the game of chess that move has a name: Check Mate. Herod should have said something like this to the sashay dancer, 'If your request is within reason, I will give it,' ("up to half my kingdom" was a proposal of marriage, an offer to join his harem, how flattering). Jesus advised us not to vow at all in Mat 5,33-37, stating that it is evil. What you can vow you can say without vowing and it means the same thing unless you have to change your mind for some unforeseen reason. The ancients were taught to fulfill their vows to the Lord. The difference in us is the emphasis of integrity; we of the new covenant who live by the grace of God should be honest enough to do what we say without vowing. A vow is like a law; you are obligated to fulfill it. Jesus came to replace such things with His grace, who gives us the power to keep our word and the wisdom not to speak our words in stone. 

Mk 6,17-28

(18j) Sin >> Twisted thinking >> Unable to distinguish between good and evil >> Godís people are evil -- This woman, Herodias, was another Jezebel, the woman Elijah the prophet had the pleasure of meeting, who is depicted as a woman with a bitter spirit who hates anyone who loves God, who hates especially anyone who would reprove her wicked lifestyle in the name of God. Unfortunately, the Jezebel spirit is alive and well on planet earth, growing exponentially in numbers and power. I have met more people in the last five years than I have met throughout my life who hate God with all their hearts, and their hatred directly transfers to His people whenever they have the opportunity to add their input to the circumstances of those whose purpose in life is to please God. The Jezebel spirit does her best to leave in her wake a little of herself as a stumbling block for the righteous in the form of destructive influences. 

Mk 6,17-20

(89l) Thy kingdom come >> God convicts us of sin >> Conviction reminds us to repent

(134j) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Sins of the body >> Immorality >> Physical adultery

(152g) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Prophets >> Jesus is a prophet >> Jesus prophesies to the world -- These verses go with verses 1-6

Mk 6,17-19

(76d) Thy kingdom come >> Wicked motives >> Motives based on envy

Mk 6-20

(106i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Means of hearing from God >> Through prophets Ė Herod was a very hedonistic man, who continuously felt the need to be entertained and found John amusing, yet he also offended Herod when he told him to repent of his adultery, since he had relations with his brotherís wife. What did John say that was so amusing? We know that John the Baptist spent much of his life in the wilderness eating grasshoppers and wild honey, and so he probably had many stories to tell. Being a city slicker and addicted to civilization, Herod and John probably didnít have much in common; in fact, they say opposites attract. The fact that Herod was in no way interested in the word of God or faith in Jesus, suggests that John had to put down his zeal for God and show him a more secular version of himself and instead told him stories about his life battling the elements in the wilderness. John began to forget how he ended up in the kingís dungeon after Herod secularized him, making him view his life from a natural standpoint, yet Jesus did not criticize him for his period of weakness (Lk 7,18-28). John was probably not interested in reciprocating Herodís friendship, who had made many compromises in his comfort level, which amused Herod, who sought Jesus too, not for the word of God, but to see a miracle and perhaps listen to some of His stories (Lk 23-8). Basically, a person hears what he wants to hear from a prophet. Whatever he is open to receiving from him is what he will hear and nothing else. If people say there are no more prophets today, then that is what they will receive from the prophets, nothing; but if they want to hear the word of God, they will hear it.

(168j) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world has deaf ears to God >> Deaf from a hardened heart Ė Herod the tetrarch was fascinated with John the Baptist, though Herod was afraid of him. Herod kept John alive in prison against the counsel of the Pharisees and others who hated John. We live in a very touchy-feely world, and so killing the prophets is not how we would solve our problem with prophets today. We actually have a bigger problem; there are no prophets in the world at all; at least, that is the word on the street. Those who deny the existence of prophets maintain their confidence on the fact that theyíve never personally seen or heard one, but would they know a prophet if they saw or heard one? Actually, Herod would agree with those who deny the prophets, though Jesus walked the earth in his day and he had a prophet locked in his prison and would soon have him decapitated. It goes back to the teachings of the apostle John, who spoke about an inability to hear the word of God. Although Herod liked John the Baptist, he was a man who was completely deaf to spiritual truth, and so whatever it was Herod liked about John, it wasnít the word of God.

Mk 6-29,30 -- No Entries

 

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31-35 And He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while." (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) 32 They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves. 33 The people saw them going, and many recognized them and ran there together on foot from all the cities, and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. 35 When it was already quite late, His disciples came to Him and said, "This place is desolate and it is already quite late;

 

Mk 6,31-56

(100m) Thy kingdom come >> Devotion >> In your ministry to people >> Devoted to ministering to their physical needs -- Notice in verse 31 that Jesus and His disciples ministered to people so much that they didn't even have time to eat. They intended to take a furlough, but were met by the masses on the other side of the lake, and continued ministering to the people. Jesus fed five thousand men alone (not mentioning the women and children) with five loaves of bread and two fish through the miracle hand of God. Jesus immediately sent His disciples in a boat back to the other side of the lake, while He stayed behind as a good host and bid the people farewell. Jesus who then needed a break both from the multitudes and from His own disciples, strode to the mountaintop to pray. Finally, He met up with His disciples in the middle of the sea, and when they touched land, they were met again by a mob who brought all their sick to Him, and as He entered their villages, as many as who touched even a piece of His clothing were being cured. Had Jesus not gone to the mountain, He never would have gotten a break. This shows the tremendous commitment they had to minister to the people around them. 

Mk 6,31-34

(143g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Popularity >> Sought commendably >> seeking Jesus to be healed -- These verses go with verses 54-56

Mk 6-31

(117e) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Rest in Jesus (Sabbath) >> Let Jesus do the work >> Let Him work on you

Mk 6,33-56

(108h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Revelation of Jesus Christ >> Spiritual revelation >> Revelation of His identity

Mk 6,33-46

(235g) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Giving (your inner self) >> Hospitality (providing a temporary home) >> Being a good host

Mk 6-33,34

(123d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Compassion >> Reaching out to those in need -- It would have been easier to get back in the boat and keep searching for a place to rest, which was what they were doing when they came to shore there in the first place, but it would not have been the compassionate thing to do. His compassion for the people was greater than His own personal need to relax, since they have been ministering for many days. Jesus sensed that the people needed Him; they just wanted Him to be there and pay attention to them for a little while; it says they were like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus stayed and taught them the word of God and filled their bellies with the bread of God, and when it was time to depart, they felt that God cared about them and truly loved them. That was what they needed. That is what we all need. 

(216e) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> Godís will over man >> Compelled by the Spirit >> God takes advantage of your love for Him >> Godís spirit is irresistible -- Jesus could have groaned at the sight of all the people waiting for Him in His physically tired state. His disciples probably did groan, not at the people, but at the Lord, who they knew would not refuse their need. Jesus didn't make a lot of decisions in His life, but let the Holy Spirit lead Him into the will of His Father. When Jesus saw the crowd, He didn't decide to minister to them, but was compelled by the Spirit to do so. When God finds people who are willing to be led by the Spirit, He uses them like His favorite tools; He doesn't let them rest much, because He doesn't have many favorite tools and there is a lot of work to be done. It is pointless for us to resist the Holy Spirit, because it is we who stand to loose the most if we rationalize our duties away. The crowd got to spend a few hours with Christ and got their bellies filled with miracle bread, but Jesus benefited most as He continuously communed with His Father. It is far more accurate and insightful to understand that Jesus was addicted to the Holy Spirit and to see the Father waiting on the people while Jesus waited upon His Father. That does not in any way detract from the fact that Jesus Himself cares for us, but depicts the trinity in operation and the hierarchy of authority and submission that existed between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

(240a) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Pastor (Shepherd) >> Jesus is the chief shepherd

Mk 6,35-56

(146k) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> Purpose of Miracles, Signs And Wonders >> Get peoplesí attention to hear the word Ė It was quite a day for the disciples; Jesus fed over five thousand people with a basket of food; He walked on water and healed the sick and dying. It is possible that at the end of this day the disciples finally got the revelation that nothing was impossible with God, and this is all Jesus wanted them to understand. It was critical for them to understand it, because the day was coming when He would no longer be with them. Had they understood this before the day came for Jesusí suffering, they would have known His death was not the end. As it was, none of His disciples genuinely expected Jesus to rise from the grave. Wicked unbelievers didn't get the best of this man; it was impossible, and his disciples should have known that. When we look at the disciplesí reaction to the crucifixion of their Lord and Master, they were absolutely destroyed. To the degree of their complete devastation was the degree that nobody truly understood the revelation that nothing is impossible with God.

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36-47 send them away so that they may go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat." 37 But He answered them, "You give them something to eat!" And they said to Him, "Shall we go and spend two hundred denarii on bread and give them something to eat?" 38 And He said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go look!" And when they found out, they said, "Five, and two fish." 39 And He commanded them all to sit down by groups on the green grass. 40 They sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. 41 And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food and broke the loaves and He kept giving them to the disciples to set before them; and He divided up the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and they picked up twelve full baskets of the broken pieces, and also of the fish. 44 There were five thousand men who ate the loaves. 45 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida, while He Himself was sending the crowd away. 46 After bidding them farewell, He left for the mountain to pray. 47 When it was evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land.

 

Mk 6,36-44

(30b) Gift of God >> God is our source >> His creative ability supplies our needs

(227i) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Depending on Jesus to impart His gifts into us >> To give us what we give to the world -- Jesus could have blessed the bread and fish and distributed it to the people by Himself. His disciples' role was not crucial to His success, but He put them to work, not just to expedite the event or make His job easier, but like little children who learn better with hands-on experiences, He wanted to make a point that stayed with them for the rest of their lives and helped them tremendously in their ministries after Pentecost. Not immediately but later they realized that God works through a hierarchy of authority. Christ received from His Father (the infinite resource) enough to feed the multitudes with five loaves and two fish, distributed it to His disciples, who in turn distributed to the people. 

Mk 6-36,37

(44i) Judgment >> Transformed >> Fulfill your ministry >> Your calling from God >> Complete it

(232b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Count the cost >> The cost is more than you can imagine so donít count Ė Because of their faith the disciples followed Jesus, who asked them to feed the five thousand, which required them to believe in God for a miracle. As impossible of a request as it was to feed the multitudes with an armful of bread and a handful of fish, we may also run into circumstances because of our faith that will require just as great a miracle as this one. Note that the disciples didn't exercise much faith, but depended on Jesus to find a way to feed the people. The greater the miracle the less faith it takes to see it fulfilled, because you know there is nothing you can do to help, except perhaps distribute the blessing. Jesus challenged His disciples to the limit. They loved Him and were mystified by Him, but they were also afraid of Him, of what He might say or do next. Jesus knew they would not be able to do this, but He told them anyway to give the masses something to eat. He was planting the seed in them that nothing is impossible to those who believe. Perhaps someday after He had returned to His Father they will need a miracle and remember when the Lord asked them to do something impossible, leaving the suggestion that God is willing to perform such a miracle through them as feeding thousands of people with five loaves and two fish. 

(246e) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Disciples literally feed the people through Christ

Mk 6,37-44

(229e) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> God causes the growth >> Kingdom grows like crops in a farmerís field Ė The disciples collected the bread and fish and brought it to Him, which became the seed that grew to feed the multitudes.

Mk 6-37,38

(33b) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Believers are His sons and daughters Ė Jesus sent His disciples on all kinds of errands and gave them tasks to do; He sent them to acquire what food was available, and Jesus reserved His part among them to do the impossible. They did the things they especially could do, and He did the things that only He could do. It was important to Him that they became involved, like parents raising their children. He involved each disciple in the group-activity as a learning experience and as a way of making memories. They may have been simple tasks, but they were important jobs. The disciples needed to feel useful, and to develop strong bonds between their fellows, that none of them felt left out but understood themselves as intrinsic members of God's family.

Mk 6-37

(4f) Responsibility >> Advocate Godís cause >> From him who has shall much be required Ė Whatever we can do we should do, and whatever He commands us to do we must do, for there is always a blessing in it for us, and a lesson. If we know Godís will, we must devote our lives to doing it, no matter what it takes. If we are unsure of His will, it would be pointless to devote our lives to just anything and hope God blesses it, yet this is how most Christians live out their faith. They have no idea about the will of God or his purpose and calling, but just grab the nearest thing and ask Him to bless it. What they should do is dedicate their lives to the word of God and prayer, asking Him to lead them into their calling, like Jacob who wrestled with God, demanding that He bless him (Genesis 32,24-28). This only happened once with Jacob, and every Christian should strive with God at least once in their lives to receive the blessing that they seek from Him. When we finally discover Godís will, we can devote our lives to doing it with a full expectation of receiving the blessing.

(59b) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> Supply the needs of the people / Give them what I supply to you

(63f) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Sarcasm >> Minimize the truth to make a point

(72a) Authority >> Ordained by God >> We are ordained to walk in His authority

(158b) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Divide and conquer >> Strife >> Grumbling

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Mk 6,39-42

(137m) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Maturity >> Maturing with our brothers >> Employing your gifts to mature the body (Spiritual fellowship) Ė Had Jesus not instructed the people to sit in groups of hundreds and fifties, we can assume they would have divided into smaller groups with family members, friends and acquaintances. They would have never gotten to know their neighbors. Jesus wanted them to sit in groups of fifties and hundreds so they could get to know other people and talk with their neighbors that they may have never met, learn each otherís names and talk about the words that Jesus spoke to them. The reason Jesus gave them this meal was that they stayed and listened to Him, and that if they tried to go home, they would have fainted on the way. He rewarded them for listening to the word of God.

Mk 6,45-52

(5f) Responsibility >> Discipleship tested >> God tests your faith through hardship Ė The disciples probably spent half the day on the lake. After sending the multitudes away, after a long hike into the mountain, after many hours of quality time with His Father and then a long return to the lake, Jesus could still see His disciples in the boat struggling against the wind and waves. They couldnít have gone a mile in all that time. We would think if it were that difficult to make headway, they would have turned back and waited for the wind to recede, but their Master gave them orders and they didnít know what else to do. They didnít want Him waiting for them on the other side of the lake, and since He commanded them to meet Him there, nothing God asks of us is impossible, though at times we need a miracle to overcome our many adversaries. They felt they had to do what Jesus said, for He didnít want to disappoint Him, and it did seem like a simple request, until they were confronted with the insurmountable windstorm, but going back was not an option, because the Lord would have rebuked them for their lack of faith.

(147c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> God exercises authority over His creation

(187f) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Dying to receive the glory of God >> Die to self to know the revelation of God Ė The disciples were astonished, meaning they may have actually understood something this time. It may have finally sunk-in, probably because their lives were at risk. They were straining at the oars for many hours and getting nowhere, and they were running out of strength. Had they let their boat go broadside with the wind, the next wave would have capsized them, so hour after hour they had to keep their boat pointed into the wind; they could have drowned. When it came to their mortality, they were more open-minded to the truth and to the lessons Jesus wanted them to learn. This was no doubt the subject of Jesusí prayer to His Father. It must have grieved Him that His disciples didnít learn anything from the fish and the loaves. He must have told His Father, ĎMy disciples arenít getting it.í They understood so little about Jesus, though He spent day after day with them and performed miracles right under their noses. They were not internalizing any of it, and so He and His Father hatched a plan to help them comprehend Jesus as God in human flesh. In many of the same ways, we donít understand what God considers necessary, and so we may also find ourselves in a terrible predicament where we will be forced to see God in a whole new light. They needed to know this for the future. Remember, the men in that boat (plus the apostle Paul) did more to secure the gospel in the world than anybody who came after them, and they gave their lives as martyrs for Christ.

Mk 6-46

(82g) Thy kingdom come >> Three elements of prayer >> Where to pray

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48-56 Seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them. 49 But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were terrified. But immediately He spoke with them and said to them, "Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid." 51 Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished, 52 for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened. 53 When they had crossed over they came to land at Gennesaret, and moored to the shore. 54 When they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, 55 and ran about that whole country and began to carry here and there on their pallets those who were sick, to the place they heard He was. 56 Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured.

 

Mk 6,48-52

(74l) Thy kingdom come >> Let not your heart be hardened >> Insensitive to the things of God Ė The disciples fetched a few loaves and fish in a hand-basket, and Jesus fed thousands of people with it. He handed the food to the disciples and they took it to the groups who had reclined on the grass and came back for more, but they never stopped to think about what they were doing. It was mechanical to them; they never internalized it. How could they internalize it? When they got involved in a miracle, they should have said in their hearts that if He can do this, then He can do anything. Had they just set that in their hearts, and come to this revelation, they would have been miles ahead. There were two things Jesus wanted His disciples to know: (1) that He truly was the Son of God and that nothing was impossible to Him, and (2) as a result of this revelation, Jesus wanted them to understand that nothing was impossible to them either through their faith in Him.

Mk 6,48-51

(28j) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> God protects us from the devil -- The wind stopped and He was intending to meet them on shore when Jesus passed by them, until He saw that they were afraid; then He climbed in the boat to show His disciples that He was not a ghost. 

Mk 6-49

(30b) Gift of God >> God is our source >> His creative ability supplies our needs

Mk 6-50

(23l) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Fear of the unknown >> Fear of miracles Ė Jesus stood on the lakeshore and saw His disciples straining at the oars; He walked to them on the water, intending to pass by them, but they became afraid, so He stopped and quieted their fears. He didnít want His disciples to be afraid of Him or of anything, ever. They needed to fear God, but not this way, not as a ghost, whereas the devil would have us afraid. Fear says, ĎI canít.í Fear relinquishes control to the object of our fear, whereas faith sits in the driverís seat and calls all the shots. Jesus commanded them to go to the other side of the lake, and whatever Jesus tells them they can do. They did make it to the other shore, though it required a miracle. It was interesting that Jesus didnít calm the storm before He started walking on the lake; rather, He walked through the storm. That is, the storm was immaterial to Him, just as immaterial as the lake itself. The elements were not an impediment to Him. What could impede His work? The only thing manís disobedience ever did was hang Him on a cross, which was Godís plan from all eternity, so there was nothing anybody could do against Him.

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Mk 6-51,52

(169a) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is blind to God >> Blind to the glory of God in Christ -- These verses go with verses 2-6. The cause of spiritual blindness is a hardened heart. The disciples' hearts were blind not just to the fact that Jesus fed thousands of people with only a handful of bread and fish, but on a more serious level their hearts were blind to the understanding that if He can do that, then He can basically do anything. This means that there is nothing to ever worry about again. Is it true that their hearts were hardened because they feared He was a ghost, or because they were afraid of the storm? The answer is Yes, both of them is true. God considered their hearts hardened because they feared. Fear acts as a giant billboard in your heart that says, 'God is too small to help me.' You can see how He could interpret that as an insult. After feeding the five thousand, Jesus hoped His disciples would have gained some insight into His identity; He hoped they would at least toy with the idea that nothing is impossible to Him, that if He isn't there at the moment, He won't be late, and when He arrives, He will solve the problem, regardless of how great the circumstances. However, it seems the disciples just handed out the bread and fish without thinking about what was happening, as though a catering service were behind them. Then, when they found themselves in a storm at sea, they were no more prepared to believe in God for help than before the feeding of the five thousand.

(183h) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Spirit of the broad road >> Spirit of unbelief

Mk 6,53-56

(144k) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> Healing >> Methods of healing >> Healed by touching Jesus Ė This is the God we serve. He came down to visit us, and Jesus demonstrated the power of His Father, and nothing was impossible to Him. The things we can expect in the future will be more amazing than Hollywood could ever imagine. The human imagination isnít big enough to conceptualize the full scope of God, simply because Godís imagination is greater than ours, and He can materialize His thoughts. Thoughts of evil and self-centeredness can never enter His mind, and so nothing of that sort will comprise the coming new creation. Some say that God is the most self-serving person, who demands His creation to worship Him. If He is so self-serving by seeking worshippers of us, we need to remember that He has served us first, and thereby made Himself deserving of our worship. The reason people complain about the creation worshipping God is because of their sinful nature; if it werenít for that, they would gladly worship God too.

Mk 6,54-56

(143g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Popularity >> Sought commendably >> seeking Jesus to be healed -- These verses go with verses 31-34

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