What does Mark 5:37 mean?
ESV: And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.
NIV: He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James.
NASB: And He allowed no one to accompany Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James.
CSB: He did not let anyone accompany him except Peter, James, and John, James's brother.
NLT: Then Jesus stopped the crowd and wouldn’t let anyone go with him except Peter, James, and John (the brother of James).
KJV: And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.
NKJV: And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James.
Verse Commentary:
Peter, James, and John are three of Jesus' first four disciples, along with Peter's brother Andrew. These three men are also the followers Jesus spends the most time with. They are the only disciples to see Jesus' transfiguration (Mark 9:2–9). They are the ones whom Jesus called to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32–42). And they are the only disciples with nicknames (Mark 3:16–17).

James, the brother of John, is the only one of the Twelve to have his death recorded in the Bible. Acts 12:1–2 says that King Herod had him killed with a sword. This Herod is Herod Agrippa I who ruled a reunited territory once divided into four by the Tetrarchs. He was king in AD 41—44. He was the grandson of Herod the Great, noted for killing the baby boys in Bethlehem after Jesus' birth. Agrippa I was also the brother of Herodias, who demanded John the Baptist's head on a platter in Mark 6:21–29. God later struck Herod Agrippa I, who was eaten by worms (Acts 12:23). The Agrippa who met with Paul (Acts 25:13) was Agrippa I's son.

James had a very short career as an apostle. He died about ten years after Jesus' death, and there's no indication he ever left Jerusalem for a missions trip; although some claim he traveled to Spain, there is no hard evidence. Other references to "James" in Acts refer to Jesus' half-brother, the pastor of the church in Jerusalem and author of the book of James.

Peter and John went on to become two of the most significant figures in the early church. Where once Peter had denied Christ (Matthew 26:70–74), after Jesus' ascension Peter became a powerful preacher at Pentecost (Acts 2:14–41), later on the temple mount (Acts 3:11–26), and also in front of the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:1–22). He both performed miracles (Acts 3:1–10; 9:36–43) and benefited from them (Acts 5:17–42; 12:6–19). Peter also wrote the letters of 1 and 2 Peter in the New Testament and is believed to be the source for the Gospel of Mark. Peter did struggle in accepting that Gentiles could be saved. Despite receiving both an object lesson and a personal example (Acts 10—11), Paul still had to scold him for clinging to Jewish traditions over Christian brotherhood (Galatians 2:11–14). Even so, Peter is a pillar of the church (Galatians 2:9). Jesus suggested he would die a martyr (John 21:18–19) and church tradition claims he was crucified upside-down, next to his wife.

The apostle John was a prolific New Testament writer, surpassed only by Paul and Luke. He is often confused with Jesus' cousin, John the Baptist, and the author of the Gospel of Mark, John-Mark. During his time with Jesus, John was known for being somewhat possessive. He criticized a man for casting out demons in Jesus' name (Mark 9:38–41) and, with his brother James, asked for places of honor in Jesus' kingdom (Matthew 20:20–24). His Gospel is the most theological of the four. His epistles are a mix of theology and very practical instruction. And his book of Revelation gives detail and context to Daniel's seventieth week. He was the longest-lived of the apostles. After discipling the early church leader Polycarp, John died of old age in modern-day Turkey.

Jesus allowed only these three and the girl's parents to see the miraculous healing. Although the quantity may have been limited by the size of the room, Jesus chose the people very specifically. Jesus could have performed the healing with just the parents, but He wanted His future leaders to see. Jesus' relationship with Peter, James, and John led to the Christian leadership philosophy of teaching many, discipling a few, and mentoring a handful.
Verse Context:
Mark 5:35–43 returns to Jesus' encounter with a synagogue leader and his ailing daughter, after pausing to describe Jesus healing a woman who had suffered for years with a debilitating hemorrhage. The scope of Jesus' power and authority has built to this moment. He controlled a fierce storm (Mark 4:35–41), expelled a legion of demons (Mark 5:1–13), and healed a chronically ill woman without even trying (Mark 5:25–34). Now He will raise the dead. This is the first of three times Jesus is recorded as raising the dead (John 11:1–44; Luke 7:11–17). Despite this display, Jesus will soon go to His hometown of Nazareth where He will be rejected by the people who have known Him longest. This account can also be found in Matthew 9:23–26 and Luke 8:49–56.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus arrives on the other side of the Sea of Galilee and heals a man afflicted by a ''legion'' of demons. In the aftermath of this event, Jesus once again crosses the waters within this region, known as the Decapolis. There, He is approached by a synagogue leader, begging Him to come and save a dying girl. In the midst of this trip, Jesus stops the crowd to identify a woman who attempted to covertly touch his robes; her faithful act results in healing. Jesus then continues on to the home of the synagogue leader and resurrects his recently-deceased child.
Chapter Context:
Mark 4:35—5:43 sees an increase in the scope of Jesus' miracles. He has just calmed a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee. Now, He expels a legion of demons, heals a woman without overtly acting, and brings a girl back to life. All three situations—related to tombs, blood, and death—show Jesus bringing healing to unclean circumstances. In chapter 6, the tone of His ministry will develop. He will be rejected by those who should know Him best, He will send out His followers to do His work, and His direct link to the Old Testament prophets will be explained.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 5/24/2024 9:19:22 PM
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