Devotional Readings

Mark 6 – A Chapter filled with Miracles

We read this chapter and see the broad range of Jesus’ miracles, not that everyone believed on him. He was not accepted and limited in his home town, and many had false ideas of who he was, even whole towns would be condemned since they did not accept his disciples when they came to preach.

Mar 6:12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

The best response was in the land of Gennesaret, v56.

Mar 6:1 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.
Mar 6:2 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?
Mar 6:3 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.
Mar 6:4 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.
Mar 6:5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.

Mar 6:6  And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

Mar 6:10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.
Mar 6:11 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. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Mar 6:12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
Mar 6:13 And they cast out

many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

Mark 6:11 John Gill

And, whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you,…. Who would neither take them into their houses, nor hear what they had to say to them:

when ye depart thence; from the house or the city, or town, in which it is,

shake off the dust under your feet, for a testimony against them; that they had been with them, and attempted to preach the Gospel to them, but they despised and rejected it; wherefore they departed from them as an unworthy people, against whom the dust of their feet would rise as a testimony, in the day of judgment; See Gill on Mat 10:14.

Verily, I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. This clause is omitted in some copies, and so it is in the Vulgate Latin version, and may perhaps be transcribed from Mat . 10:15; see Gill on Mat 10:15; though it is in most copies, and is read in the Syriac, Arabic, Persic, and Ethiopic versions. It is certain that there will be a day of judgment; it is fixed, God has appointed it, though it is not known by men or angels: this will be universal; all must appear in it before God, the judge of all, Jews and Gentiles; such who have lived in the earlier ages of time, as well as those that will live nearer that day; such who have only had the dim light of nature to guide them, and also who have been favoured with the Gospel revelation: the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrha, though they have had the judgments of God upon them in this world, they will not escape the righteous judgment of God hereafter; things are not over with them, there is still a reckoning to be made, an account to pass with them; their full punishment is not yet executed, even though they have been suffering the vengeance of eternal fire; their bodies must be raised, and they must receive for the things which they have done in them, and which they have so dreadfully and unnaturally abused; and yet, as vile sinners as they have been, and as sore a punishment as they are worthy of, their punishment will be milder and more tolerable, than that of the inhabitants of such places, where the Gospel has been preached, and they have despised and rejected it. May the inhabitants of our land, especially of some parts of it, as of London, and others, consider this!

Mat 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
Mat 10:15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

Matthew 10:14 Gill

And whosoever shall not receive you,…. Into their houses, and refuse to entertain them and provide for them in a friendly manner;

nor hear your words, slight their salutations, make no account of, but despise their good wishes for their welfare; and also treat with contempt the doctrines of the Gospel preached by them; and either would not attend on their ministry, or if they did, give no credit to what they should say, but deride and reject them.

When ye depart out of that house, or city; to another house, or to another city, being obliged to remove, through their contemptuous rejection of them:

shake off the dust of your feet. So Paul and Barnabas did at Antioch in Pisidia, when the Jews contradicted and blasphemed the Gospel preached by them, raised a persecution against them, and expelled them out of their coasts, Act 13:51 which ceremony was ordered by Christ to be observed even to the cities of Judea, that should despise and reject the ministry of his apostles; and that either to show that they did not come to them with worldly views, with any design to amass riches and wealth to themselves, for they would not so much as carry away with them the dust on their feet, but it was purely with a view to their welfare, both spiritual and temporal; or to testify that they had been among them, and that that very dust they shook off their feet would rise up in judgment against them, and declare that the Gospel had been preached among them, and they had rejected it, which will be an aggravation of their condemnation; or rather to observe to them, that such was their wickedness, that even the dust of their country was infected thereby, and therefore they shook it off, as though it defiled them, as the dust of an Heathen country was thought by the Jews to do; so that by this action they signified that they would have nothing more to do with them, or say to them, and that they looked upon them as impure and unholy, as any Heathen city or country. There seems to be an allusion to some maxims and customs of the Jews, with respect to the dust of Heathen countries.

“On account of six doubts, they say (u), they burn the first offering, for a doubt of a field in which a grave might be, and for a doubt עפר הבא מארץ העמים, “of the dust which comes from the land of the Gentiles”, &c.”

On which Bartenora has this note;

“all dust which comes from the land of the Gentiles, is reckoned by us as the rottenness of a dead carcass; and of these two, “the land of the Gentiles”, and a field in which is a grave, it is decreed that they “defile” by touching, and by carrying.”

Again (w),

“the dust of a field in which is a grave, and the dust without the land (of Israel) which comes along with an herb, are unclean.”

Upon which Maimonides makes this remark,

“that the dust of a field that has a grave in it, and the dust which is without the land of Israel, defile by touching and carrying; or if, when it hangs at the end of an herb, when they root it out of the dust of such a field, it is unclean.”

Hence they would not suffer herbs to be brought out of an Heathen country into the land of Israel, lest dust should be brought along with them.

“A Misnic doctor teaches (x), that they do not bring herbs from without the land (of Israel into it), but our Rabbins permit it; what difference is there between them? Says R. Jeremiah, they take care of their dust; that is the difference between them.”

On that clause, “they take care of their dust”, the gloss is,

“lest there should be brought with it מגוש ארץ העמים, “any of the dust of the land of the Gentiles”, which defiles in the tent, and pollutes the purity of the land of Israel.”

(u) Misn. Taharot, c. 4. sect. 5. Vid. c. 5. 1. & Maimon & Bartenora in ib. (w) Misn. Oholot. c. 17. sect. 5. (x) T. Bab. Sanhedrim, fol. 12. 1.

Matthew 10:15 Gill

Verily, I say unto you,…. This was not all the punishment that should be inflicted on such despisers of the Gospel of Christ, and the ministers of it; as not to enjoy that peace and prosperity wished for by the apostles, and to be declared to be on an equal foot with Heathen cities and countries: but they were to suffer everlasting punishment in the world to come; which is here asserted by Christ in the strongest manner, saying:

it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha, in the day of judgment, than for that city. The inhabitants of the land of Sodom and Gomorrha are the rather mentioned, because, as they were very notorious and abominable sinners, so their temporal punishment was well known, exemplary and awful, though not that, but their future damnation is here regarded, of which the Jews made no doubt; for they say (y),

“the men of Sodom have no part in the world to come; as it is said, Gen 13:13 “the men of Sodom were wicked, and sinners, before the Lord exceedingly”: they were “wicked” in this world, and “sinners” in the world to come;”

meaning, that by this passage is designed their double punishment in this, and the other world. But though their punishment was very tremendous, and they will suffer also “the vengeance of eternal fire”, as Jude says; yet, their punishment will be milder, and more tolerable, than that of the inhabitants of such a city, that rejects the Gospel of the grace of God: as there are degrees in sinning, for all sins are not alike, as the Stoics say; so there will be degrees in suffering; the sins of those that are favoured with the Gospel, are greater than those who only have had the light of nature, and so their torments will be greater. The inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrha, though they sinned against the light of nature, despised the advice and admonitions of Lot, and ill treated the angels, yet will be more mildly punished than the wicked Jews, who rejected Christ, and his Gospel, and despised his apostles, and ministers; because they sinned not against so much light, and such means of grace, and knowledge, as these did; see Lam 4:6 which is thus paraphrased by the Targumist, and may be aptly applied to the Jews in Christ’s time:

“the sin of the congregation of my people is greater than the sin of Sodom, which was overturned in a moment; and there dwelt no prophets in it to prophesy, and turn it to repentance.”

The time referred to, signified by “the day of judgment”, respects not the destruction of Jerusalem, which was a very severe judgment on that people, but the general judgment, at the end of the world, which is appointed and fixed by God, though unknown to angels and men. The phrase is Jewish, and often to be met with in their writings, who use it in the same sense; particularly in the book of Zohar (z), mention is made of יומא דדינא, “the day of judgment”, when there will be no pollution in the sanctuary.

(y) Misn. Sanhedrim, c. 11. sect. 3. Hieros. Sanhedrim, fol. 29. 3. (z) In Gen. fol 13. 3. & 16. 1.

Mar 6:37 He 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?
Mar 6:38 He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.
Mar 6:39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.
Mar 6:40 And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.
Mar 6:41 And 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.
Mar 6:42 And they did all eat, and were filled.
Mar 6:43 And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.

Mar 6:44  And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

Mar 6:48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.

Mar 6:49  But when they saw him walking upon the sea,
they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:

Mar 6:50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.

Mar 6:51  And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.
Mar 6:52  For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

Mar 6:53 And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore.
Mar 6:54 And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him,
Mar 6:55 And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was.

Mar 6:56  And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.

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