MARK 6 : 1 - 29
New International Version (NIV)
A Prophet Without Honor
6 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples.2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.
“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t 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 own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.
8 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt.10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”
12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
John the Baptist Beheaded
14 King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”
15 Others said, “He is Elijah.”
And still others claimed, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.”
16 But when Herod heard this, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!”
17 For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, 20 because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him.
21 Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22 When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.
The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.”23 And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”
24 She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?”
“The head of John the Baptist,” she answered.
25 At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”
26 The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27 So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, 28 and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 29 On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
This chapter begins with Jesus teaching in the synagogue in His hometown. The people were amazed at His wisdom and the miracles, until they recognized Him as Mary’s son. They knew the family. They were offended.
“A prophet is honored every where except in his own hometown and among His relatives.” - Jesus
Jesus sent out His disciples two by two, with instructions to take nothing with them except a walking stick. He also told them to stay with those who welcomed them and listened to their message, and to shake the dust off their feet as a testimony against anyone who rejected them.
John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus; just a few months older. King Herod respected John and listened to his message. He knew that John was a just and holy man. John told the king that it was not lawful for him to marry his brother’s wife. On the king’s birthday, the king invited important guests to celebrate with him. During the celebration, Herodias’ daughter entertained the guests with her dancing. The king was so pleased with her that he proclaimed to her with an oath saying, “Ask what you will and I will give it to you.” In reply, her mother instructed her to ask for the head of John the Baptist. On hearing this, the king was grieved and he regretted the oath he made in front of his guests, but felt he must keep his word.
Think of the times you have experienced rejection. Was it because of your faith? Pray and ask the Lord to heal those wounds of rejection and forgive those responsible.
Why do you think Jesus instructed His disciples to take nothing with them when He sent them out? Why two by two?
Recall a time you had been influenced to do or say something you later regretted. Acknowledge to the Lord that you want to be the salt of the earth, to make others thirsty for the Living Water; and that you want to be the light which shines brightly through the darkness in others’ lives. Pray that the Lord would help you influence this world for the good.
We want to have 0% unemployment, live debt free, and be radically generous in all ways possible.