Notes Mark 6 A
I want to begin this lesson by looking at where Jesus is and what it is like in Nazareth. First I said last week when we saw Jairus coming to Jesus that many commentators believe that at this point Jesus was no longer accepted as a teach in the synagogue, but what you need to see is that Jesus is in a completely different area. Jesus has left the area around the Sea of Galilee and is now in the upper portion of Israel in Nazareth.
And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.
Now there was a great physical as well as spiritual split in the tribes of Israel many years before when King David’s grandson Rehoboam took the throne. I am not going to go into all the story but the two tribes Judah and Benjamin which were located around Jerusalem stayed loyal to the house of David while the other 10 tribes split and followed after Jeroboam.
I Kings 12:25-31
Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill-country of Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and he went out from thence, and built Penuel. And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now will the kingdom return to the house of David: if this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of Jehovah at Jerusalem, then will the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me, and return to Rehoboam king of Judah. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold; and he said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in Dan. And this thing became a sin; for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. And he made houses of high places, and made priests from among all the people, that were not of the sons of Levi.
In fact this region of the country was so spiritually cold that when Philip came and told Nathaniel that they found the Messiah his comment was:
Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
So as you can see we are talking about a completely different region.
Nazareth was more than just a little town where Jesus grew up. As we have already seen Nazareth had long ago been overran by pagan religions. Now Nazareth lies just above the caravan route between Jerusalem and Tyre and Sidon. It was a city of about 15,000 people with hostels full of pilgrims and merchants and to top it off during the time of Jesus the city was under Roman domination bring with it all the idolatry and barbarism of the Roman soldiers.
It was out of this mess that “Great light sprang.” And they were astonished at His wisdom.
And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
We went over wisdom in our questions already but I want to look at the questions these people asked.
1. Where did this man get these things?
2. What is the wisdom given to him?
3. What mighty works are wrought by his hands
4. Is not this the carpenter
We are going to look at each of these question but first I want to point out that the Luke version tells us that on this visit they try to kill Jesus so we can only imagine that these questions were cynical and full of scorn.
1. From whence hath this man these things?
Where did this wisdom come from? Once again they thought they knew Jesus. They knew he did not sit at the feet of one of their great teachers. In fact he had taken on a trade.
Matthew Henry says:
"Not that they were taken with his preaching, or admired his doctrine in itself, but only that it should be his; looking upon him as unlikely to be such a teacher."
There are many 'things" in Christ which if we look at them through the natural eye we want to dismiss them.
We must give to receive, die to live, humble ourselves to be exalted. These "things" do not make sense in the natural but the things of God do not spring out of the natural but out of the Spirit.
2. and what wisdom is this which is given unto him,
We need to see that wisdom does not come from knowledge or out of a book. Knowledge helps but true wisdom is actually the ability to appropriate knowledge.
So were did this wisdom come from?
For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
1 Corinthians 1:30
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God...
If you are born again, if the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you; you have the source of true wisdom. We just need to learn to draw from the well within.
The height of folly is continuing to do the same things over and over and expecting different results.
Sometimes we need to seek advise for others who have walked through what we are going through and HAVE BEEN VICTORIOUS.
Proverbs 11: 14
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
So ask for wisdom, seek Christ for He is our wisdom and receive wise counsel.
Not only were Jesus words full of wisdom but they were also seasoned with grace.
And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?
3. What mighty works are wrought by his hands
The Luke version of this story tells us that they had only heard of the mighty things done by His hands which agrees with Mark 6:5
Any time we do not look past the surface of things we miss out on the blessings God has for us. They could not see beyond the natural. Even though they had heard about the miracles they could not receive because they could not get past what they knew and saw in the natural.
4. Is not this the carpenter the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us?
Instead of pondering on Jesus words they were more concerned about how he had gotten such wisdom. How could a carpenter have more wisdom than they had. In fact the Luke version says: Is not this Joseph's son. Joseph was only a carpenter himself, surely the wisdom could not have come from him. He does not even come from a linage of "wise men".
Yet His linage was where all wisdom dwells.
They go on to put down his mother....he is the son of Mary...Mary isn't anyone...
Often jealous men inquire more about a man's degrees than the wisdom the have.
Many a schoular has rejected teaching becasue the one with the wisdom and knowledge had less education than them.
They were looking at only what they saw in the natural and could not figure Jesus out. We will always fall short when we look at the things of the flesh and try to understand the Lord. And unfortunately we often fall into the same trap of being offended with God when we are looking at things in the flesh.
This was their stumbling stone spoken about in Isaiah 8:14
And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
The old saying of: Familiarity breeds contempt can be applied here. Be careful when God begins to raise someone up out of your midst; that you do not become cynical because you think you know them.
And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
We can sum up this whole account in just a few words: limited views mean limited lives
You need to be finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.
You are who the Word of God says you are and you can have what the Word of Gods says you can have and you can be all that the Word of God says you can be.
You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
You are more than a conqueror through him that loved you.
For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ
And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
I truly think Jesus still marveled at our unbelief.
All things are possible with God...Only believe...we what to lay the blame of God but the buck stops here!
Can God work miracles without us believing. Of course but God has chosen to partner with man. We are co-labors with Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:9
For we are labourers together with God ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
There is power in unity. Ministry is never to be a one man show. The only “One Man” that is to be exalted is Jesus.
Remember Matthew 18:19
Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father who is in heaven.
A husband and wife team that will pray together in unity is a force to be reckoned with or for that matter any team of two or three. This is why we keep expressing a need for a prayer team for this group. We need teams that will take time to learn how to work together and storm the gates of hell.
Second Jesus gave them power.
The Matthew version tells us Jesus said:
And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Gifts are given they are not earned. However to the extent you use the gifts the Lord has given you; will determine the strength and growth of that gift.
The key to operating in the gifts God has given you is to stay in the balance. Our first pastor used to tell us; the Devil will always come at you two different way; he will either tell you, you are the best and try to puff you up so God can’t use you, or he will tell you, watch out you are going to abuse God’s Gifts…until we are afraid to allow them to operate.
Your job is to stay in the balance. Don’t think to highly of yourself but do not allow fear to enter in a rob you of God’s best.
You too have been given a gift have you sought the Lord so you might use what He has given you.
You have the Spirit of the Living God dwelling inside of you. He does not live in you to sleep.
And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.
Jesus made clear they were to go without any provision for their journey. He said, in effect, "Now, don't even go home and get ready; go just as you are. Don't think about any preparations. Take no food, take no money to buy food -- not even some hidden provision for emergencies in the secret compartment of your wallet. Just go trusting God all the way, and God will make provision for you." He deliberately sent them out in this way to teach them lessons in faith, to teach them that God was able to provide, that everywhere they went they would find provision made.
We also need to recognize, however, that this was in line with the general practice of that time. That is, hospitality was considered very important in these Eastern villages. Any stranger coming to town could expect to be taken care of and entertained. So when they went, Jesus told them to expect hospitality. Many villages would not have had inns so it was common custom to take visitors in.
However this dependency on others was changed before Jesus left them because Luke 22:35-34
And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them.
Note, too, that they were not to go out as beggars. They were not to solicit hospitality and funds. They were going to give, not to get. They were clothed with authority, with power to bless and strengthen and heal, and they were to share their power and their peace whenever they came into a house. Whenever they came to a house, they were commanded to let their peace come upon that household, and were to be a blessing to the family where they stayed. Furthermore, they were to exercise the power of their ministry in that household, to heal the sick and to leave blessing behind. So, as they went, they were giving far more than they got. This, again, is an abiding principle of ministry. Ministry which is worthy of support is ministry that gives more than it gets.
And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.
Result of successful ministry.
1. The name of Jesus was magnified. These men were not exalting themselves it was
not who are these men but "Who is this Jesus, by whose name these men are
2. Fear fell on the guilty. Hopefully it will be a fear unto repentance.
I also want you to note that his own countrymen could believe nothing great concerning him, because they thought they knew him. Now these people are willing to believe he was one of the Old Testament prophets raised from the dead or believe it was John the Baptist but surely he is not the Son of God the Messiah.
People will believe in angels or in spirits but they do not want to consider the Son of God because then they might be held responsible.
But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead. For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:
John the Baptist evidently had publicly rebuked the king for seducing his brother's wife and marrying her. Herod did not seem to be greatly offended by John's rebuke, but Herodias was.
For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.
We see that Herod already feared the righteous, how much more now that the guilt of having the righteous killed laid heavy on his heart?
And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother. And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.
We see here the result of a woman’s hatred and a man’s weakness, a deadly combination. We saw the same results in the lives of Ahab and Jezebel who were king and queen many years before this.
When looking at Herod I am certain if Herodias had asked for half of the kingdom he would have found a way out of his oath.
Some commentators believe that Herod was privy to the plot because he would have never made such an extravagant offer if he had not known what the request would be. They believe this was a convenient scapegoat for Herod who did not know what to do with John. Look at the facts:
1. A ruler offers half of his kingdom to a damsel who dances for him.
2. Maybe he was sorry, sorry he was caught in such a dilemma and had to do what he felt he had to do. Sometimes we are sorry but not sorry enough to stop the wrong we are about to engage in.
3. This was a birthday celebration, why did someone have to die during his celebration.
Finally, I know we talked about this in our questions but I want to say that there are times we make foolish oaths that are not in line with God's will. We need to see that there is always room for repentance. For repentance is the undoing of what we have done amiss,
In closing I want to go over the opposites we have looked at in this lesson. We have seen:
1. How looking at things in the natural can tie God’s hands. Opposed to the fact that God has made us Co-laborers with HIM! He has given us gifts and He will provide and make a way for us.
2. How weakness leads to destruction. Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Free yourself from foolish oaths, foolish discussions that hold you in condemnation….for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh…the senses what they see, what they feel but after the Spirit.