Gospel of Mark:
Commentary on Chapter 6
- v. 1 – The town is Nazareth.
- v. 3 – That Jesus is referred to as “son of Mary” indicates that Joseph was already dead at this juncture.
- v. 7 – These are the twelve disciples he called in 3:13-19.
- vv. 8-9 – At this time travel was a prolonged venture. Most travel was accomplished by foot. It was normal for individuals to take food, extra clothes, and money with them when traveling.
- v. 10 – In the Ancient Near East hospitality was considered a sacred responsibility. When individuals entered a town it was the responsibility of the town to provide them with housing.
- The order not to depart likely indicates that they were not to move on from humble accommodations to more pleasant accommodations if they were offered within the same town.
- v. 11 – The Jews would shake the dust off their feet when returning from a foreign land, as they considered it unclean. Jesus is telling the disciples to do something which would communicate judgment and uncleanness to all those who saw it.
- v. 13 – Oil was a common medicinal treatment for those who were sick at this time – yet the disciples care went beyond simple medical attention to supernatural healing.
- v. 15 – Elijah was considered the greatest of the Old Testament prophets.
- v. 17 – Herod had gone to Rome where Philip lived and seduced Herodias away from Philip and she became Herod’s wife.
- v. 18 – It was adultery (Lev. 20:10) and it was also forbidden because of her former relationship with his brother (Lev. 18:16; 20:21).
- v. 22 – Dancing publicly in this manner was usually associated with prostitutes.
- v. 26 – Note how Herod bends to public pressure as Pilate will bend to public pressure.
- v. 29 – Note the similarities between John’s death and burial and Jesus’ death and burial.
- v. 34 – Sheep are utterly helpless without a shepherd. They will walk into dangerous areas and get their legs broken or otherwise maimed. They are unable to defend themselves, and so on.
- v. 37 – A denarii is the equivalent of a day’s wages.
- v. 44 – Elisha (an OT prophet) had performed a similar miracle recorded in 2 Kings 4:42-44, but this was taking twenty loaves and feeding one hundred people. Jesus thus indicates that he is someone much greater than Elisha.
- v. 48 – The fourth watch of the night as it is translated in some bible versions would be around 3 am.
- v. 52 – Note here that the disciples hearts are the one’s hardened, not that of Jesus’ enemies.
Author: David Mackey.
Revision: 1.0 4/21/13.