<i>Jesus and the Twelve</i> - Mark 6:7-13

Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Mark 6:7-8:26

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Jesus and the Twelve - Mark 6:7-13

This major section of the Gospel opened in 3:7-19 with Jesus calling the twelve. It concludes here with Jesus sending out the twelve. Jesus was extending his ministry through them. He had called them to be with him (3:14) so they could learn from him. Then he sent them out like he would send them out after his resurrection.

Instructions to his disciples- Mark 6:8-9

There have been many different attempts to explain the differences between the three reports of Jesus' instructions to his disciples in Matt 10:9, 10; Mark 6:8, 9; and Luke 10:4. No explanation that has been suggested is fully satisfactory. Most likely is the view that Jesus encouraged the disciples to wear the tunic and sandals they had on, carry the staff they already had, but to take no extras or other supplies. Instead they were to trust God and God's people for provision. The instructions, with the absence of commands to prepare for the trip, stress the urgency of their mission to proclaim the gospel and their true need to depend completely on God for their needs.

Shake dust off - Mark 6:11

To shake the dust off their feet was a prophetic act of condemnation. Refusal to accept the gospel message brought judgment.

Trained in his authority - Mark 6:12-13

The disciples both preached and healed many people, just like Jesus who trained and sent them in his authority.

Ministry Beyond Galilee - Mark 6:14-8:26

Influence and Ministry Beyond Galilee. In this section of Mark's Gospel there is a continuing emphasis on Jesus' powerful ministry, his growing popularity with the crowds, and the opposition of the Jewish leaders. There is also a growing focus on the misunderstandings of Jesus' disciples and on how Jesus was training them.

Beheading of John the Baptist - Mark 6:14-29

This paragraph is a parenthesis that reports what happened while the disciples were away on their mission.

They could not truly identify Jesus. - Mark 6:14-15

John the Baptist... Elijah ... a prophet. People continued to be in awe of Jesus, but could not understand who he really was. He did not fit any of their categories. These are some of the suggestions that were made. The drama of Mark's Gospel continues to build. The person and work of Jesus demand a response, but no one was able to truly identify him.

Herod Antipas - Mark 6:14

This King Herod was Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great. He ruled Galilee and Perea as a tetrarch under the power of Rome. He was not really a king. Rome would not have allowed that, but he seems to have been regarded as a king by those under his rule. The gospel writers call him both king and tetrarch (Luke 3:19).

Condemned Herod Antipas for divorcing - Mark 6:18

John the Baptist had condemned Herod Antipas for divorcing his own wife and convincing Herodias to leave her husband (Herod Philip, the half-brother Herod Antipas) and marry him (Lev. 18:16; 20:21). See WCF 24.4; WLC 139.

Foolish oath - Mark 6:21

Herod took his foolish oath in front of his own officials, his military commanders and the most prominent leaders of Galilee. He gave in to this public pressure and had John killed against his own better judgment.

The girl's name - Mark 6:22

Mark's account did not mention the girl's name, nor did Matthew in his parallel account (Matt. 14:1-12). The Jewish historian Josephus identified her as Salome.

A strong warning - Mark 6:27

The beheading of John must have been a strong warning to the disciples and to the Christians in Rome who first read this Gospel. Following Jesus brought them into great danger. The role of John the Baptist receives further explanation in 9:9-13.

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