Time to pray alone - Mark 6:45-46

Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Mark 6:45-7:23

<< Previous Note(s)Mark Main PageNext Note(s) >>

Time to pray alone - Mark 6:45-46

The Greek word translated made is a strong word that can also be translated compelled. In Mark's narrative the reason Jesus forced them to leave seems to be his desire to be alone for time to pray. The Gospel of John (6:14, 15) adds the fact that the crowd was convinced by the miracle that Jesus was the expected messianic prophet of Deut. 18:15. They did not, however, understand what kind of a Messiah he was and they tried to make him king by force.

Romans divided the night - Mark 6:48

The Romans divided the night (6:00pm till 6:00am) into four periods. The fourth watch was from 3:00am until 6:00am. He wanted to pass by them is a very difficult clause. Jesus was not attempting to sneak past the disciples. If he had wanted to avoid them he could have. He came to them because he saw them in trouble. Mark meant that Jesus wanted to pass in front of the disciples walking on the water so he could demonstrate that he was indeed God himself. Note the parallels with Job 9:8 and 11 which describe God. He alone...treads on the waves of the sea… When he passes by I cannot see him. See also Exod.33:18, 22.

Jesus identified himself - Mark 6:49-51

The disciples mistook him for some kind of a spirit or a ghost. That terrified them. Then Jesus identified himself with the words, It is I. These words are the translation of the Greek which in John 8:53 is translated I am. Jesus identified himself by walking on the sea and then using the divine name of Exod. 3:14. The disciples were completely amazed. This is the same pattern that Mark reported earlier. The disciples were terrified. Jesus calmed their fear. Then they feared Jesus and stood in awe at the revelation of his divine power.

Disciples' amazement - Mark 6:52

Mark explained the disciples' amazement. It was because their hearts were hardened. They had not understood the full significance of the feeding of the 5,000 and then they had not understood Jesus' revelation of his divine glory on the Sea. Both times it was because of the hardness of their hearts. At times like this they did not seem to be much further along in their understanding than Jesus' enemies and the crowds.

Healing in Gennesaret - Mark 6:53-56

Ministry of Healing in Gennesaret. In this short paragraph Mark summarized this period of Jesus' ministry. The crowds swarmed around him seeking healing. It does not seem that they were hunting for him because of his preaching of the gospel of God's kingdom. They did not understand who he really was. In spite of that lack of understanding, Jesus responded with compassion and healed many.

The storm had blown them that far off course - Mark 6:53

In 6:45 Mark had said that Jesus sent the disciples toward Bethsaida. Gennesaret is on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, about 6 miles from Bethsaida. It seems that the storm had blown them that far off course.

Mark 7:1-23

Opposition of the Pharisees.

Scribes and Pharisees - Mark 7:1

A delegation of scribes and Pharisees had been sent from Jerusalem to gather information on Jesus because of his growing popularity. (See notes at 2:5-7 and 16 and the article on Pharisees and Saducees.) The trip would have been at least 65 miles, several days of walking. Jesus ministry had begun to stir up great concern among the Jewish leaders.

Ritual washings - Mark 7:2

The concern was not about health issues. It was about ritual washings.

Related Resources

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

<< Previous Note(s)Mark Main PageNext Note(s) >>