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Mark chapter 6

English Standard Version

30The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. 33Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. 35And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. 36Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” 38And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. 41And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. 42And they all ate and were satisfied. 43And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.
New International Version

New American Standard Bible

17For Herod himself had sent men and had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, because he had married her. 18For John had been saying to Herod, 'It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.' 19And Herodias held a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death, and could not do so; 20for Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he had been protecting him. And when he heard him, he was very perplexed; and yet he used to enjoy listening to him. 21An opportune day came when Herod, on his birthday, held a banquet for his nobles and military commanders, and the leading people of Galilee; 22and when the daughter of Herodias herself came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests; and the king said to the girl, 'Ask me for whatever you want, and I will give it to you.' 23And he swore to her, 'Whatever you ask of me, I will give it to you, up to half of my kingdom.' 24And she went out and said to her mother, 'What shall I ask for?' And she said, 'The head of John the Baptist.' 25Immediately she came in a hurry to the king and asked, saying, 'I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.' 26And although the king was very sorry, because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he was unwilling to refuse her. 27Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded him to bring back his head. And he went and beheaded him in the prison, 28and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. 29When his disciples heard about this, they came and carried away his body, and laid it in a tomb.
Christian Standard Bible

New Living Translation

King James Version

14And 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. 15Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets. 16But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead. 17For 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. 18For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. 19Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: 20For 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. 21And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; 22And 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. 23And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. 24And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. 25And 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. 26And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. 27And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, 28And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother. 29And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.
30And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. 31And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. 32And they departed into a desert place by ship privately. 33And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him. 34And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. 35And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: 36Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat. 37He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat? 38He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes. 39And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. 40And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties. 41And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. 42And they did all eat, and were filled. 43And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. 44And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

What does Mark chapter 6 mean?

After ramping up the scope of His miracles by calming a storm, exorcising a legion of demons, healing a woman without intent, and raising a dead girl (Mark 4:35—5:43), Jesus takes the Twelve to His hometown of Nazareth. Jesus sees several different reactions to His ministry. The Gentile people of the Decapolis are afraid and beg Him to leave (Mark 5:17). His family are ashamed and beg Him to come home (Mark 3:21, 31–32). The Pharisees from Jerusalem and the Herodians are jealous and arrogant, and plot to destroy Him (Mark 3:6). But many people beg for His healing touch, crowding Him to the point that He has to worry about His own safety (Mark 4:1).

Nazareth greets Jesus with dismissive cynicism. Neighbors and family members He has known His whole life recognize the wisdom of His teaching, but reject the home-grown boy who teaches. These reactions embody the adage of "familiarity breeds contempt." Ironically, the attitude of those closest to Jesus seems to agree with the assumption of Nathanael (John 1:46) that "nothing good comes from Nazareth." Jesus has just left a woman so filled with faith that she was healed simply by touching His cloak. Now, the people who should know Him best have so little faith He can do little to help them. Christ's intent for using miracles is to perform them as a response to faith: when there is no faith, miracles would contradict His purpose (Mark 6:1–6).

On the heels of this rejection, Jesus commissions the Twelve to begin their own ministries in His name. He sends them off with the command to rely on those they teach for support, and gives them authority to heal, exorcise demons, and even raise the dead (Matthew 10:8). These efforts will prove successful, but not without consequences (Mark 6:7–13).

Mark underscores that times of victory will make the Twelve vulnerable to great danger. He recounts the death of John the Baptist who had condemned Herod Antipas' marriage, thereby earning the wrath of Antipas' wife, Herodias. While Antipas moves to protect John, Herodias waits for an opportunity to strike. Her daughter earns the favor of Antipas, and in a foolish moment, Antipas promises her a favor. Herodias coaches her daughter to ask for John's head, and Antipas must deliver (Mark 6:14–29).

Back in the present time, the Twelve return exhausted and hungry but filled with stories of success. Jesus plans a retreat, and they board the boat, intending to find a secluded place to rest. Here, the Twelve fall victim to their own success. The people recognize them as well as Jesus and follow so quickly that some reach their destination before the boat lands. Feeling compassion for the "sheep without a shepherd," Jesus spends the day teaching and healing. At night, when the Twelve wish to dismiss the crowd to find food, Jesus challenges them to provide the food themselves. Despite their recent experiences performing miracles, the Twelve are stymied, and it is Jesus who must use a boy's lunch to feed thousands (Mark 6:30–44).

After dinner, the people are even more convinced that Jesus is the promised Messiah, come to rescue them from the clutches of Rome (John 6:14–15). Although the Twelve concur, they are still too confused by Jesus' behavior to act. Jesus hurries them back to Capernaum while He quiets the nationalistic fervor. With the crowd dispersed, He retreats to a mountain to pray. Whether by moonlight or the breaking dawn, Jesus notices that despite rowing all night, the wind has allowed the Twelve to travel only three or four miles. He walks across the water to them, intending to reassure them by revealing His glorious presence, but their ignorance drives them to fear. Perhaps resolving they need comfort more than epiphanies, He joins them in the boat, and they arrive in Gennesaret, south of Capernaum (Mark 6:45–52).

In Gennesaret, things are back to normal—or, at least, to the familiar pattern of Jesus' earthly ministry. The sick and injured mob Jesus as He and the Twelve travel the countryside. Faith in Jesus' ability to heal has grown, however, and many are healed merely by touching the fringe on His cloak (Mark 6:53–56).
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