The Gospel of Mark

Mark - Lesson 6A

Chapter 6:1-6

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  • We have officially arrived at Chapter 6 of the Gospel of Mark.

    • In our previous teachings, Part 1 and Part 2 of Mark 5, we covered some very important matters regarding the Kingdom.

      • And it would be through the example of the woman with the issue of blood and Jairus’ daughter that we grasped how one enters the Kingdom.

    • We came to see in both stories that both individuals demonstrated faith in Jesus.

      • Both the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years and Jairus had to personally come to the end of themselves.

      • The woman had depleted her entire savings and had done all she could, humanly possible, to secure herself freedom from bondage of sickness and being unclean.

      • Jairus risked his entire career, piety, and reputation, everything humanly possible, for the sake of his daughter being made well.

    • Both stories bring the hearer to the realization that no one can be made spiritually clean apart from Divine intervention from Holy God.

      • It would be seen through both stories that Jesus Christ is the answer to their ailments – both physically and spiritually.

      • And we discovered towards the end of these stories that for one to be made whole spiritually and attain eternal life, that they must place faith in Jesus Christ.

    • Faith, ultimately, is trusting that God is telling the truth.

      • And in this case our faith as believers in Jesus Christ is found in a person and His work – and that person is Jesus Christ.

      • His work would be what only One who is both fully God and fully man could do – and that is to die on a cross for our sins, be buried, and be raised on the third day.

    • The promise that God made about a Savior for His people was to be fully realized in the Person that He sent from Heaven down to earth – Jesus Christ.

      • This friends is the message that we proclaim!

    • Tonight, our text now transitions back to a familiar territory, where our Lord and Savior was raised.

      • If I were to put a tag on tonight’s text, it would simply be: “A Prophet without honor”.

      • I now invite you to open your bibles with me to Chapter 6 of Mark’s gospel. We will read the first 6 verses together.

Mark 6:1 Jesus went out from there and *came into His hometown; and His disciples *followed Him. 
Mark 6:2 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? 
Mark 6:3 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. 
Mark 6:4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” 
Mark 6:5 And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.
Mark 6:6 And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.
  • Let’s Pray.

  • My wife is incredibly discerning when it comes down to people, and situations, but most importantly when the Lord opens her eyes to certain things we need to consider as a family.

    • And as the amazing wife she is, she submits those things to me as the head of our home.

      • However, the problem I run into regarding what she shares with me is, like a hard-headed man, I tend to receive the exact message more easily from others than I do her.

      • What I have now learned over the years with great familiarity, is that when my wife has something to say, it would behoove me to listen the first time because she has yet to be wrong.

      • And in the same way I have tended to dismiss the truth my wife presents me, the people in Nazareth reject the truth that Christ has presented to them.

    • In our text tonight, we find Jesus back in familiar territory, with familiar people, in a familiar setting, and without fail He is received in a familiar way – received with unbelief and with others needing Him to prove Himself.

      • As we open tonight’s text, here is the outline we will witness:

        • 1. An astonished crowd

        • 2. A familiar passage

        • 3. A familiar response

        • 4. A focused mission

    • So, with that outline in mind, let’s look at the first two verses together

Mark 6:1 Jesus went out from there and *came into His hometown; and His disciples *followed Him. 
Mark 6:2 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? 
  • Well our scene picks up right after the scene near the Sea of Galilee where Jesus encountered Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood.

    • In our last teaching in Mark 5, we witnessed Jesus having just raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead while in the company of Jesus’ inner circle and the little girl’s parents.

      • As one could imagine, word of what Jesus had done there would have travelled quickly especially the demonstration of raising the dead.

    • It would be after this series of events that Jesus and His disciples make their way to Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth.

      • We can surmise, according to verse 2 that some time has passed between the event near the sea and their travel to Nazareth.

      • That’s why the text states in verse 2, “When the Sabbath came..”

    • It will now be here at the synagogue on the Sabbath that Jesus would do what was of custom and that would be to teach.

      • Jesus was now among His own countrymen, in familiar territory, teaching the scriptures.

    • Mark mentions that as Jesus is teaching and the crowd is listening, that the large group was astonished at what Jesus was teaching.

      • This reaction was typical from all the places Jesus had taught prior.

    • This word “astonished” in the Greek is ekplesso. It means the people were marveling and amazed at what they heard.

      • The text further expounds on the amazement of the people in part b of verse 2.

      • Mark states that the people, in their amazement, began to ask the following questions in response to what they were hearing.

        • 1. Where did this man get these things?

        • 2. What is this wisdom given to Him?

        • 3. How are such miracles performed by His hands?

      • All of these questions we will answer in tonight’s teaching.

    • It is clear that whatever Jesus was teaching, it was profound and the people were in awe of His teaching.

      • But isn’t that the question that begs to be asked of the text?

      • What was Jesus teaching about, but more specifically what scriptures was He reciting from that spoke so poignantly to the people?

    • Well in order for us to know what Jesus said and what scroll He was reading from, we must look to Luke’s gospel for the details.

      • Turn with me to Luke 4:17-21

Luke 4:17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
Luke 4:19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
Luke 4:20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 
Luke 4:21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
  • So what Luke shows us in his account is that Jesus has just read the scroll of the prophet Isaiah – more specifically Isaiah 61:1-2a.

    • In order for us to truly grasp what Jesus was saying and why the people marveled, let’s turn quickly to Isaiah 61:1-2a.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
Isaiah 61:2 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord
  • There are several things we must observe from this Messianic text.

    • First, what stands out in Isaiah 61:1 is the fact that we witness a very clear expression of the Trinity.

    • Verse 1 states, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me..”

    • The word “Spirit” in Hebrew is Ruach, which refers to the Holy Spirit.

      • We then see the “Lord GOD”. That spelling speaks to Adonai YHWH which refers to God the Father.

    • And lastly, we see the pronoun “Me”, which is capitalized in Luke 4:18. And this refers to “the Servant of God” who is the Son of God – Jesus Christ.

      • Interestingly enough, the very first line of which Jesus read in the synagogue spoke directly to His identity.

      • We also see in the beginning of Mark’s Gospel John the Baptist, having received a sign from the Lord regarding the Spirit of God resting upon the One who has been sent from God in Isaiah 11:2.

Isaiah 11:2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
  • What Jesus was reading before the people, in Isaiah 61:1-2a, was the very reality of His first coming and this was happening in real time, before their eyes.

    • The very promise and truth of God’s word is before them, wrapped in flesh.

    • What follows is 5 things that Messiah would come to do upon His arrival as Messiah. Check these out really quickly:

      • 1. He would first be “anointed” which the Hebrew root of the word could be rendered “Messiahed”

        • Thereby the Messiah would be anointed to preach the good news of the Gospel to His people.

      • 2. He was anointed to bind up the broken hearted.

        • In other words, Messiah would come to deal with the inward issues of sin.

        • This is what Isaiah 57:15 says regarding the binding up of the broken hearted.

Isaiah 57:15 For this is what the high and exalted One says—
    he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
    but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
    and to revive the heart of the contrite.
    • 3. He would be anointed to “proclaim liberty to the captive”

      • The captivity refers to the outward manifestation or bondage of sin therefore allowing people to no longer be slaves to sin.

      • 4. He was anointed to free the prisoners from the prison of which they were bound.

        • For men and women enslaved to sin, the world, and the devil, Messiah would provide complete freedom.

      • 5. Lastly, He is anointed for the reason of “proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor.”

        • This detail here is important for us to observe closely.

    • The word proclaim in Hebrew is qr (ka-ra). It means “to call” or “to read”.

      • In other words, this announcement from the mouth of Jesus Himself, began the introduction to the outworking of the Mystery Kingdom regarding the dispensation of grace to those outside His covenant people, more specifically, the Church Age.

    • So in one way the people are marveling at His teaching with such power but yet there is a disconnect from what they have just heard to what they have before their eyes.

      • We can surmise this reality based upon what the text tells us in verses 3 and 4 of Mark 6. Check out the text.

Mark 6:3 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. 
Mark 6:4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” 
  • The people in the synagogue, rather than seeing Jesus for who He is and declared Himself to be with full authority, rejected His person and boiled it down to Him being the “kid from Nazareth”

    • They could not separate the Jesus they were familiar with from the God-man in whom Jesus was according to His works and the very word of God.

      • What I find most interesting is although Luke’s gospel states that Jesus was Joseph’s son, Mark’s gospel omits this detail.

      • And I believe this is the case because he wanted to distinguish the fact that who is standing before them is beyond familial comforts.

      • To take it a step further, Jesus’ father was not Joseph, but rather, God the Father.

    • What we should ask ourselves within the latter half of verse 3 is: “Why are the people moved to take offense towards Jesus?”

      • Well, Luke’s gospel presents us with the cause of the offense. Check out Luke 4:22-28.

Luke 4:22 And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” 
Luke 4:23 And He said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’” 
Luke 4:24 And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown. 
Luke 4:25 But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; 
Luke 4:26 and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 
Luke 4:27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 
Luke 4:28 And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things;
  • We ultimately know that the only way people get offended is when they hear the truth.

    • Truth has the tendency to cause opposition against our flesh.

    • And what we can tell from Luke’s account is that the people are not convinced that Jesus is who the scriptures say that He is because they still see Him as “Joseph’s son” and not the promised Messiah.

      • Jesus responds to their unbelief by responding to their insult with a proverb. Look at verse 23:

      • “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’”

    • In other words, they would rather Jesus demonstrate, once again, His power so that He may prove to them who He is.

      • However, as Darrell Bock states in His commentary on Luke: “People must be willing to hear the word of God and receive it before they can see anything as God’s work”

    • Friends, isn’t this what the woman with the issue of blood and Jairus had to do? Simply believe and have faith based upon who Jesus said He was?

      • It is belief upon the person of Jesus, who He is, and what He has done that those men and women are saved.

    • Jesus reinforces His point by providing 2 historical examples from the Hebrew scriptures.

      • However, in providing these 2 examples, Jesus contrasts the unbelief of the Israelites with that of the belief of 2 Gentile individuals.

      • Our examples will be found in the Kings, more specifically, the first in 1 Kings 17 and the other in 2 Kings 5:1-14.

    • Jesus’ first example is with a widow in Zarephath, which falls in the region of Sidon, which we previously identified as a Gentile region.

      • And it is here that God tells Elijah to go to the widow for “God had commanded her to feed Elijah”.

      • Now the backdrop here is that the land is in a drought and it had not rained for some time.

    • In obedience to the God of Israel, Elijah goes and meets the widow at the gate of the city where she is gathering sticks to cook her and her child’s last meal.

    • However, Elijah tells her to first give him a drink and to bake him a morsel of bread with her remaining ingredients.

      • She lets Elijah know that she only has enough for her and her child in which Elijah responds in 1 Kings 17:13-16. Check out the text:

1 Kings 17:13 Then Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. 
1 Kings 17:14  For thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth.’” 
1 Kings 17:15  So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days. 
1 Kings 17:16  The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke through Elijah
  • So the widow responds in faith, believing that what God said through the man of God was indeed true.

    • She eventually concludes, after having seen God respond to a desperate need in her life, once again, through the prophet of God, that the word of the Lord is true!

    • Check out the text in 1 Kings 17:24:

1 Kings 17:24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.”
  • There are two words that we should observe in light of this text and context.

    • The first word is “know” and the second word is “truth”

    • The Hebrew word for “know” in this text is yd’ (ya-da). It means to be cognizant or aware of a fact or a specific piece of information, or possess knowledge or information about something.

      • In other words, something has been revealed based upon the information (truth) received.

    • The next word we must look at is the word “truth”.

      • The Hebrew word is emet which translated means trustworthy and faithful that the word of the Lord is true.

    • So when we see these two Hebrew words in light of the context, there is information that is revealed and illuminates our reality to something we did not once perceive.

      • And upon receiving that knowledge and truth, we respond to that truth because it is absolute truth.

    • It is after this first example that Jesus provides us with another example from the Hebrew scriptures. This example regards Naaman, the commander of the Syrian army.

      • Naaman was a valiant warrior and the Lord used him mightily in disciplining Israel.

      • Another fact worth mentioning is that Naaman was a leper.

    • Within one of Naaman’s conquests upon Israel, he took captive a little girl to become his wife’s servant.

      • One day while working, the little girl mentioned to her mistress that the God of Israel could heal Naaman of his leprosy.

    • Naaman’s wife informs him and Naaman brings word before the King of Syria that the God of Israel could heal him of his physical ailment.

      • In response to this reality, the King of Syria writes a letter to the King of Israel at that time to meet with Israel’s prophet in Samaria.

    • Elisha receives word from the King of Israel, and tells the King this is an opportunity to make known the God of Israel in our midst.

      • This would be an opportunity for the Glory of God to be made known to Israel’s enemy and those around them.

    • So with that in mind, turn with me to 2 Kings 5:10-14 to see the exchange between Naaman and the Prophet Elisha:

2 Kings 5:10 Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you and you will be clean.” 
2 Kings 5:11 But Naaman was furious and went away and said, “Behold, I thought, ‘He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.’ 
2 Kings 5:12 Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. 
2 Kings 5:13 Then his servants came near and spoke to him and said, “My father, had the prophet told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 
2 Kings 5:14 So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child and he was clean.
  • So Elisha sends the word from the Lord by way of a messenger to tell Naaman what he needs to do.

    • However, notice Naaman’s response to this word – he’s furious.

    • Naaman is expecting the pomp and circumstances. He wants to see elaborate demonstrations of the power of God.

    • He even makes mention that there were better rivers that he could have gotten into besides being in the Jordan.

    • Isn’t this quite revealing as to the hearts of the people in the synagogue? “How about you show us Jesus with more of your miracles, signs, and wonders?”

      • We will only believe you if you show us first – but inwardly knowing they never would.

      • This method of being cleansed for Naaman seemed foolish and quite mundane so he walks away in frustration.

    • Notice the text: Who did it take to get Naaman to reconsider the reality of the truth that was right before him? His servants.

      • It wasn’t another King or anyone of high status. It was the very ones who received commands from the commander that shared with him the truth just as Jesus did with Jairus: “Commander, Only Believe!”

    • Convinced of what was shared and having a changed mind on the matter, Naaman goes into the Jordan as the word was sent to him.

      • He responded and obeyed the word in truth and the text tells us that after the 7th dip in the Jordan, Naaman’s skin was restored as that of a child and that he was cleansed.

      • I pray that you are seeing the parallels between these two stories in the Kings and our 2 previous teachings on the woman with the issue of blood and Jairus’ daughter.

    • Both stories center around a similar theme of faith and trust in the word of God.

      • The widow had a need yet is required to give up all of her resources for the sake of trusting in the word of God through the prophet and believing that word despite the great potential loss.

      • This is similarly connected, in a way, to the woman with the issue of blood, yet this widow in the Kings is a Gentile woman.

    • On the other hand we have Naaman, a great and mighty warrior with an even greater affliction.

      • However, it is the little slave girl’s faith who provides the hope that he needs to believe that her God in Israel, could cure him of his disease.

      • And although he was prideful and unwilling to dip himself in the Jordan seven times, by way of the faith of the servants, Naaman himself responded in obedience to the word of truth!

    • Isn’t this familiar to how Jairus was also encouraged by the faith of the woman with the issue of blood after having received word that his daughter had died.

      • However, what does the great Servant of God, Jesus Christ, tell him, “Do not fear, Only Believe!”

    • Friends, this is Jesus’ point in using these two historical examples from the Hebrew scriptures!

      • Belief and faith go hand in hand and it requires you putting full trust in God’s word knowing that He tells the truth and that He sent His Son, Jesus to save the lost!

    • What the text alludes to us here in Luke 4 is that the anger of the people stemmed from the reality that the Gentiles responded to faith in Yahweh!

      • Jesus had come to His own with the good news of salvation, yet Jesus’ own people did not want to receive the message – they rejected it.

      • However, the people in whom the Jews could not stand and were diabolically opposed to, responded to the invitation by faith!

    • Their rejection of Messiah cost them the opportunity to personally respond to the good news of God having sent His Son to redeem humanity from the power of sin.

      • And their rejection of Christ as Messiah was rooted in the fact that they were not willing to change their minds as to who Christ was.

      • They could only see Him for what they saw Him as, “The carpenter”, Mary’s boy, the little kid that was always at the synagogue.

    • And isn’t this quite indicative of the response of the unbelieving world?

      • They’ll say, “The message of the gospel is way too simple!”

      • They’ll say, “How can salvation come from a man who is born of a virgin?”

    • Oftentimes, we overlook the mundane for the miraculous, or as Naaman’s servants said, “The great things” despite the simple things.

      • However, that is not how God saw fit to make known His glorious Gospel.

      • Check out what Paul said to the Corinthian church regarding the wisdom of God – 1 Corinthians 1:18-25:

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 
1 Corinthians 1:19 For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.”
1 Corinthians 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 
1 Corinthians 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 
1 Corinthians 1:22  For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 
1 Corinthians 1:23  but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 
1 Corinthians 1:24   but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 
1 Corinthians 1:25   Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
  • So it is after verse 28 of Luke 4, that Luke tells us that upon the people hearing Jesus’ exposition, they became enraged.

    • So much so that they wanted to throw him off of the cliff.

    • Here’s our last 2 verses – verses 5-6:

Mark 6:5 And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.
Mark 6:6 And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.
  • Mark tells us here that Jesus could not fully demonstrate the full work of His power there simply because of the fact that it required faith to be at work so that they may see His true identity as the God-Man.

    • The text simply mentions that Jesus was only able to heal a few sick people in the midst.

      • Beyond that there was no demonstration of faith found among the people.

    • It’s almost as if to say: “Jesus, we know you can do miracles here and there, but beyond that we do not believe your claims as Messiah.”

      • And this is the spiritual reality of many.

    • The very definition of unbelief is that the hearts of men and women are naturally calloused and closed to the truth of who Jesus is.

      • The unbelief of the people was so great that verse 6 tells us that Jesus “wondered” at their unbelief.

    • The Greek word for unbelief here is thau-mazo which means to be astonished, however this word is in the imperfect, active, third person singular.

      • Simply meaning, Jesus was astonished at the habitual unbelief of His people, not just in this day but since the very beginning of time.

    • It’s almost as if to say, “You have been told long ago that I would come and tabernacle with you and yet you still refuse to believe.”

      • I could imagine Jesus at this moment is both greatly saddened yet immensely hopeful. Why?

      • Because as Jesus’ illustration from earlier in Luke’s gospel mentioned, there would be another group of people who would receive and believe this message of the gospel.

    • This group would be the Gentiles within the dispensation of grace.

      • Here is where the preparation for the Apostles would take place as the start of the Church Age would soon be approaching, after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.

  • Lastly, you must be greatly encouraged by what we see in part b of verse 6.

    • The text tells us “And He was going around the villages teaching”

      • Despite the unbelief that is present among the people, God still displays amazing grace to all who are willing to hear the gospel preached.

      • Why do I mention this?

      • Because the message of salvation would still be proclaimed and the mission of Jesus to seek and save the lost would continue forward.

    • The only way in which one comes to this realization is through divine illumination of one’s depraved condition before Holy God.

      • So, in the meantime, Jesus continued to proclaim the good news of the Gospel of God.

      • That men and women would see that the salvation was found in the very person of Jesus Christ – the long-awaited promise from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

    • Those who had drawn hearts would receive this glorious news and would see the salvation of the Lord.

      • Let’s Pray.