This is Episode #290 and today we’ll read Mark chapters 6-7 together. A lot of hardened hearts in this one…in Nazareth and surprisingly, the disciples!
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #290 and today we’ll read Mark chapters 6-7 together. A lot of hardened hearts in this one…in Nazareth and surprisingly, the disciples!
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Mark Chapter 6
Rejection at Nazareth
He left there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. “Where did this man get these things?” they said. “What is this wisdom that has been given to him, and how are these miracles performed by his hands? Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And aren’t his sisters here with us?” So they were offended by him.
Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his household.” He was not able to do a miracle there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. He was going around the villages teaching.
Commissioning the Twelve
He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the road except a staff — no bread, no traveling bag, no money in their belts, but to wear sandals and not put on an extra shirt. He said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that place. If any place does not welcome you or listen to you, when you leave there, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons, anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
John the Baptist Beheaded
King Herod heard about it, because Jesus’s name had become well known. Some said, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that’s why miraculous powers are at work in him.” But others said, “He’s Elijah.” Still others said, “He’s a prophet, like one of the prophets from long ago.”
When Herod heard of it, he said, “John, the one I beheaded, has been raised!”
For Herod himself had given orders to arrest John and to chain him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because he had married her. John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” So Herodias held a grudge against him and wanted to kill him. But she could not, because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing he was a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard him he would be very perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him.
An opportune time came on his birthday, when Herod gave a banquet for his nobles, military commanders, and the leading men of Galilee. When Herodias’s own daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask me whatever you want, and I’ll give it to you.” He promised her with an oath: “Whatever you ask me I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”
She went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?”
“John the Baptist’s head,” she said.
Buried by His Disciples
At once she hurried to the king and said, “I want you to give me John the Baptist’s head on a platter immediately.” Although the king was deeply distressed, because of his oaths and the guests he did not want to refuse her. The king immediately sent for an executioner and commanded him to bring John’s head. So he went and beheaded him in prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When John’s disciples heard about it, they came and removed his corpse and placed it in a tomb.
Feeding of the Five Thousand
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.” For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.
So they went away in the boat by themselves to a remote place, but many saw them leaving and recognized them, and they ran on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them.
When he went ashore, he saw a large crowd and had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then he began to teach them many things.
When it grew late, his disciples approached him and said, “This place is deserted, and it is already late. Send them away so that they can go into the surrounding countryside and villages to buy themselves something to eat.”
“You give them something to eat,” he responded.
They said to him, “Should we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?”
He asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”
When they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.” Then he instructed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke the loaves. He kept giving them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. Everyone ate and was satisfied. They picked up twelve baskets full of pieces of bread and fish. Now those who had eaten the loaves were five thousand men.
Walking on the Water
Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After he said good-bye to them, he went away to the mountain to pray. Well into the night, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and he was alone on the land.He saw them straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Very early in the morning he came toward them walking on the sea and wanted to pass by them. When they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke with them and said, “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. They were completely astounded, because they had not understood about the loaves. Instead, their hearts were hardened.
When they had crossed over, they came to shore at Gennesaret and anchored there.
As they got out of the boat, people immediately recognized him. They hurried throughout that region and began to carry the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. Wherever he went, into villages, towns, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch just the end of his robe. And everyone who touched it was healed.
Mark Chapter 7
The Traditions of the Elders
The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him. They observed that some of his disciples were eating bread with unclean — that is, unwashed — hands. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, keeping the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they have washed. And there are many other customs they have received and keep, like the washing of cups, pitchers, kettles, and dining couches.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders, instead of eating bread with ceremonially unclean hands?”
He answered them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written:
This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me.
They worship me in vain,
teaching as doctrines human commands.
Abandoning the command of God, you hold on to human tradition.” He also said to them, “You have a fine way of invalidating God’s command in order to set up your tradition! For Moses said: Honor your father and your mother; and Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death. But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or mother: Whatever benefit you might have received from me is corban’” (that is, an offering devoted to God), “you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. You nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many other similar things.”
Defiled by What Comes Out of the Heart
Summoning the crowd again, he told them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: Nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”
When he went into the house away from the crowd, his disciples asked him about the parable. He said to them, “Are you also as lacking in understanding? Don’t you realize that nothing going into a person from the outside can defile him? For it doesn’t go into his heart but into the stomach and is eliminated” (thus he declared all foods clean). And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, self-indulgence, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a person.”
A Gentile Mother’s Faith
He got up and departed from there to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it, but he could not escape notice. Instead, immediately after hearing about him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she was asking him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, because it isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
But she replied to him, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
Then he told her, “Because of this reply, you may go. The demon has left your daughter.”
When she went back to her home,she found her child lying on the bed, and the demon was gone.
Jesus Does Everything Well
Again, leaving the region of Tyre, he went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had difficulty speaking and begged Jesus to lay his hand on him. So he took him away from the crowd in private. After putting his fingers in the man’s ears and spitting, he touched his tongue. Looking up to heaven, he sighed deeply and said to him,“Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”). Immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak clearly. He ordered them to tell no one, but the more he ordered them, the more they proclaimed it.
They were extremely astonished and said, “He has done everything well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
So, why couldn’t Jesus do many miracles in Nazareth? And what should the disciples have understood about the loaves. Remember? Mark wrote in chapter 6, verse 52, that the disciples were astounded, because they had not understood about the loaves. Instead, their hearts were hardened. I went to my MacArthur study notes for both of these questions. Again, this goes back to their hardened, pre-conceived notion of what the coming Messiah-King would do for Israel. Because they were so blinded by that vision of military might and because they failed to understand the significance of Jesus feeding the 5000, they could not wrap their minds around Jesus walking on the water.
And then, back in 6:5, it says, He was not able to do a miracle there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. Now, we know that Jesus has the power to do anything He wants, so what’s up here? Maybe the people didn’t crowd around Him like in other towns or maybe He had the power but not the will because they rejected Him. But John MacArthur gives us something to chew on for this one. He says that perhaps it was “an act of mercy, so that the exposure to greater light would not result in a worse hardening that would only subject them to greater condemnation, and a judgement on their unbelief.” Hmmm…interesting…
Let’s pray. Oh, Jesus, I pray You will not find us with hardened hearts toward You when You come! Help us, Lord, come to You with the faith of a little child – expectant and trusting. It’s so hard to be a grownup in this world. We are surrounded by circumstances that tempt us to build walls, to become cynical, and to harden our hearts. Draw us to You continually, Holy Spirit, thru Your word and in prayer and by communion with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen.
Don’t forget to share your thoughts with me at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will be changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
Bible Study Resources
- CSB Study Bible – Hardcover or Kindle!
- The Bible Project’s Bible Basics – Free!
- Every Bible You Could Ever Want!
- The Bible Hub – Free!
- Bible Study Tools – Free!
- The Bible Project– Free!
- Want to use your tablet for Bible reading? Consider Kindle .
- I love Audible! Try it for free!
- Want it? FaithGear has it!
- Wear your faith! Christian Strong
- Bet Hannon Business Websites designed and maintains my website.
- Title of song used in the podcast is 3 Joys & the Truth, by Daniel O’Connor
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you purchase anything, I may get a small commission. This does not cost you anything and it helps offset the costs of the podcast. Thank you in advance.
View my Broadcast License.