Mark 6- 11
- Verse 3 – ‘…so they were offended at Him.’ Wow? ‘offended at Him.’ It’s shocking but it shouldn’t be shocking, since we have studied Jesus’ life before, but why were these people offended by what Jesus did?! What bothered them about His heavenly wisdom and His mighty works? Jealousy? Is it because they knew Him from the past and couldn’t comprehended what He is doing now. It’s just a weird reaction to the whole situation, to be offended because a person didn’t turn out the way you thought they would. It even applies to today, many people wish for people’s downfall and can even say things purposely to ensure that someone will not rise from their situations and yet they are astonished that someone has ignored everything that they have proclaimed and paved a new destiny for themselves. This is why you can’t take what people say against you seriously, because you don’t know how God sees you and you don’t know what plans, He has for you. – ‘But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light;’ – 1st Peter 2:9
- Verse 7 – ‘He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.’ ‘He commanded them to take nothing…’ – Verse 8. Jesus gave His disciples power and He gave them His Word. He had taught them and He continued to teach them. Are we not disciples of Jesus? We call ourselves ambassadors for Christ. He has already given us the power aka tapping into the Holy Spirit. We already have the Word aka the bible and we have someone who can constantly teach us about the Word, aka the Holy Spirit – ‘But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.’ – John 14:26. Therefore, we don’t really have any excuses not to be able to do the miracles that were done in the Word. (I’ll admit, as I write this, I question myself and call myself a hypocrite – you haven’t done anything like this. Well, I will just work my towards this.) We shouldn’t need anything else outside this. Aah! Just remembered, He sent them out in twos, so we require companionship, someone who we can rely on. Someone who we can pray with, discuss with and sharpen each other spiritually.
- Verse 22 – ‘Herodias’ daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him,’ do you know what I imagine when I read this? I imagine a scantily clad woman, belly dancing/shimmy shimmying about, while old men lustfully stare at her, drinking excessively and pigging out on a variety of meat. Of course this is my own wild imagination, exaggerating a situation, but I am assume it was lust that clouded Herod’s thought process, because if he was in the right state of mind, he would have known that his wife would try to plan on how to kill John.
- We continue and in Verse 26 it says, ‘because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him…’ Herod has been trying to keep John alive, even if John rebuked his marriage to his brother’s wife. It says that Herod knew that John was a just and holy man. The fact that he now had to kill him, upset him. Even if he knew the right thing was to set John free, he wouldn’t, because he was first tricked into an oath and secondly, because of his pride. He didn’t want to embarrass himself in front of the people that surrounded him. Two factors here, lust and pride, prevented Herod from doing the right thing, even when he knew what was right and what was wrong.
- ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’ – Verse 31, this is what Jesus told His disciples. This is what He may be telling you. Now, I don’t do amazing things like the disciples did and even Christians of today, but I do yearn to do it, reminding the Lord almost every day; but sometimes, the Lord wants you to rest, because this could be the period where you need to relax and take ‘time to eat.’ Soak up the Word, because when God gives you want you think you want or what you think you want now, you just may not be able to handle it.
- How many lost sheep are out there? Without no shepherd guiding them? Lost to the wilderness and wolves?
- Verse 37 – ‘You give them something to eat.’ Jesus told His disciples. Now follow my irrational thinking. If you get lost in my rambling words, you can switch off and jump to the next bullet point. So… Jesus had given the disciples the power to remove unclean spirits, right? And Jesus had been teaching them, right? They had already seen all the miracles He had already done, right? So, the disciples should have been able to give the people food to eat. You know, you imitate what your parents, siblings and even your friends do, so I would assume that the disciples would imitate what Jesus would have done. I feel like they should have attempted what Jesus did. Since this is the case of the ‘Five loaves of bread and two fishes,’ when the opportunity to practice what Jesus did with the ‘Seven loaves of bread and one fish,’ scenario came, one of the disciples should have at least attempted it. I hope I haven’t lost you.
- I don’t think Jesus is a smug guy (sorry, I’m continuing from the last bullet point) that he would tell the disciples to feed the public, knowing that they would fail. I mean parents don’t tell their kids to walk to ‘mama’ knowing that they will fail and fall. They have genuine faith, that their child will walk, they may stumble, but they will get up again and maybe even do that weird walk/jog/wobble thing that toddlers do. So, I feel like Jesus believed that they could do it, if they took in everything that He had done, the disciples would have fed the five thousand, not Him.
- Even with signs and miracles surrounding us, we may not see it for what it is or dismiss it as an anomaly, since our hearts are hardened
- Verse 8 – ‘For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men…’ What have you replaced God with instead? Do you pray three times a day, repeating the same callous prayer, just tick it off your list and claim that you are Christian, because you have done what your church has told you is required of a Christian? What do you religiously do, that prevents you from building an intimate relationship with God?
- Sometimes what you believe should go to the church, might actually need to be given to that homeless person, who hasn’t eaten today. I’ve learnt over time, not to hand out money, but use the money to buy a meal for someone or even a snack (sweets!). Of course, some people may argue, that what belongs to the church, belongs to the church. However, when God tells you to do something for someone, there is a reason, because your action can instigate a chain reaction. Just giving them a packet of sweets and talking to them about how God is watching out for them, can turn a homeless person’s situation around, if their hearts truly receives the message. Remember, the church isn’t just here for us Christians alone, it is for everyone, the non-believers, the lost. Jesus didn’t come for those that are well in body, did He? – ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’ – Mark 2:17
- I don’t know if this correct, but this feels like the first time Jesus didn’t complete something on the first try. No insult, but from Verse 22 to Verse 26, we see Jesus returns sight to a blind man. We then learn that the sight returned is not perfect, he is still blurry eyed (like me) and then Jesus once more spits (eww) on his eye again and the man receives full vision. Now we know that Jesus is a man of miracles, I mean He is God. So why would the man’s eye not restore fully in the first place. To me, anything that is placed in the bible is for either historical proof or for interpretation/studying/learning. I think this just showed us that Jesus was a man and sometimes we forget that, and note man never gets everything right/fully the first try, but if we follow Jesus’ examples and continue to try again, we will succeed and achieve perfect results.
- Jesus should be ashamed of a generation that rejects Him, because if you think about it, He died on the cross for them. He intercedes on our behalf everyday. Begging the Father for grace and mercy to be bestowed unto us. He even gave us the Holy Spirit to help us along. The fact that we must confess with our hearts and our lips that Jesus is Lord and truly believe it, means that we have salvation, unlike those in the Old Testament who were bound by law. We are truly blessed and yet we throw that away for sinful pleasure that won’t last for eternity, but hellfire does.
- I have been looking forward to this chapter, this story, this part! Because, I was able to gain a new insight into this situation, by just attending a bible study group! See how important it is, to join a bible study group or a fellowship, where you know that you will be able to sharpen each other and move towards building a deeper relationship with Christ.
- I shall be paraphrasing Jono – who blew my mind with this insight. If you already knew this, still act shocked. So in this situation, we have Jesus, who is transfigured and then we Elijah and Moses, and they al begin to talk. Now… Jono said that Elijah represented the prophets and Moses represented the law?! Are you following my lead? So they represented the old things, whilst Jesus, represented the new things. Then eventually, the Father declares Jesus, as His ‘beloved Son’ and that we should ‘hear Him!’ Jesus is the only one around and Elijah and Moses are gone. Basically, since Jesus is around, there is no need for the ‘law’ or the ‘prophets,’ as Jesus would take over from them and do what the two things (law and prophets) could not do, and that is to reconcile man’s heart to God.
- The interesting thing about Verses 17 – 24, is here we see the link between miracles and belief/faith. Jesus has mentioned a lot of things about having faith and being able to save someone. ‘And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.’ – Mark 10:52, ‘And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”’ – Mark 5:34, ‘Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment.’ – Matthew 9:22. Here, we have a father who comes to Jesus, to receive healing for his son, who has been suffering from a mute spirit since birth. Jesus tells him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” The father responds and says, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” He believed Jesus and knew that He was capable of doing wonders, but still there was disbelief, that anything could be changed in ‘his’ situation. Think about this… your son/daughter/someone who you know, has been suffering from a serious illness since birth and nobody has been able to help. Not the doctors, scientist, medicine, pastors or whatever. Nobody has been able to help your situation. Then you hear about this mysterious person called ‘Jesus,’ who has been able to do all these amazing miracles. However, since your son/etc. has been going through this illness for years, you don’t want to have any hope, just in case the situation is the same, and this ‘Jesus’ can’t help you. I think the amazing thing about this man, is that he knew what was wrong and he asked for help, the moment he recognised it.
- When the opportunity comes and Jesus is standing in front of you, saying that ‘He is willing to help you,’ don’t just run and hide your issues and insecurities, but head straight to Him, because He probably knows more of your problems that you do.
- Verse 25 – ‘Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you come out of him and enter him no more!’ – I’m highlighting ‘enter him no more,’ because I don’t think I’ve heard Jesus say this before (if you have, let me know). This means that just because an unclean spirit has been ‘exorcised’ (what’s the right word for it?) doesn’t mean that it can’t come back. Here, Jesus makes it clear to the unclean spirit, to never come back to the child. That means that you may be free from unclean spirits, fruits of the flesh, but if you are not careful, it can come back. If you harbour something in your heart or mind, or your actions are not representative of the Holy Spirit, then you are opening the door to unclean spirits.
- Verse 28 – when Jesus comes into your life, you actually become alive!
- Random, but test the spirit that does miracles, any miracle that happens, make sure that they are doing it according to God’s will. How you test? I can’t give you the answer, but it does say in Verse 39 – ‘…for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterwards speak evil of Me.’
- Children are important. They seriously are, because they are impressionable. They are not clouded by ‘logic’. They are still young enough to not put God in a box, to not limit what God can do. I think that’s why Jesus says ‘For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.’ – Matthew 19:14
- Side note, didn’t Jesus feel like an African parent. He said it three times, ‘Their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ – Mark 9:44, 46, 48. Parents usually call your name three times or say something three times, to warn you, that either you are in trouble or as a warning not to mess up.
- I don’t know if I’m exaggerating or making a scene out of situation, but the way the Pharisees said, ‘Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.’ I feel like my inner feminist came out. It’s like a woman can be discarded, as though she is material, that once there was no use for her, she can be thrown away. But Jesus comes to the rescue, telling them about their hard hearts aka wickedness and Jesus says ‘made them male and female. For this reason shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh,’ – I feel like Jesus is saying that a woman isn’t a second class citizen, that she is at the same footing as a man, in this sense. Of course, in those times, they probably thought Jesus was a radical man, and even here, it seems that He is preaching about how a woman has rights. Like, in those times, woman weren’t seen as nothing more than an accessory for men, but here, Jesus is, admonishing men for their wickedness to their wives.
- Just because you are a Christian doesn’t mean you shall only inherit your blessing in heaven, but also here, on earth.
- As we continue to move in fellowship with the Holy Spirit, let not pride get in the way of things, because even with Jesus around, the disciples still fought about who would be greater in heaven, who would get to sit next to Jesus and share His glory. We must always humble ourselves and keep our personality in check.
- No offence at first I thought that Jesus was having tantrum. Like Mark it says, ‘He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.’ – but Jesus expected fruit to be there. So of course, I wondered what could I learn from this situation, rather than moving on. Maybe… we aren’t working according to our own season/time, we are working according to God’s. If we are not where are supposed to be or not doing what we are supposed to be doing, then we have missed our mark. We can no longer be used as vessels for God and we can no longer produce fruits.
- Why is it, that the people could see John for who he was, but the elders and the scribes could not? Aren’t they the ones who should have spotted him straight away if they truly served the living God with their hearts? We can’t just be following those that are at the ‘top,’ if they are unable to see what God has presented for the world to see.