Mark 6

Mark 6:3

“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him.

(a) Mary the mother of Jesus is one of six women named Mary in the New Testament. The others are Mary Magdalene (see entry for Luke 8:2), Mary of Bethany (see entry for Luke 10:39), Mary the mother of James and Joseph who was probably also the wife of Clopas (see entry for Matt. 27:56), Mary the mother of John Mark (Acts 12:12), and Mary of Rome (Rom. 16:6).

(b) James. There are five men named James in the New Testament and two of them had brothers called Joses (or Joseph) and mothers called Mary. Jesus had brothers called James and Joses, and he also had cousins called James and Joses (see entry for Mark 15:40).

(c) Joses or Joseph. There were at least two men called Joses in the New Testament. This one was a brother of Jesus, the other one was a cousin of Jesus (Mark 15:40).

(d) Judas may have been the author of the epistle we know as Jude; see entry for Jude 1:1.

(e) Simon. There are nine men named Simon in the New Testament; see entry for Matt. 4:18.

Mark 6:12

They went out and preached that men should repent.

(a) Preached. The original word (kerusso) means to herald as a public crier. This is one of three words that are commonly translated as “preached” or “preaching” in the New Testament. See entry for Acts 5:42.

(b) Repent. To repent means to change your mind. In context, it means changing your mind about Christ and the goodness of God (Rom. 2:4). “Change your unbelieving mind and believe the glad tidings of God’s grace and forgiveness” (Mark 1:15).

See entry for Repentance.

Mark 6:14

And King Herod heard of it, for His name had become well known; and people were saying, “John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why these miraculous powers are at work in Him.”

(a) King Herod was Herod Antipas, or Herod the tetrarch (4BC–39AD). When Herod the Great died, his kingdom was divided among three sons, Archelaus, Philip, and Antipas. Herod Antipas was given control of Galilee (Luke 3:1). Antipas is the Herod who is mentioned most frequently in the Gospels. Antipas was responsible for the murder of John the Baptist (Matt 14:10). He also tried to kill Jesus (Luke 13:31).

(b) John the Baptist; see entry for Mark 1:4.

Mark 6:16

But when Herod heard of it, he kept saying, “John, whom I beheaded, has risen!”

Herod Antipas the tetrarch; see entry for Mark 6:14.

Mark 6:17

For Herod himself had sent and had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, because he had married her.

(a) Herod Antipas had taken the wife of his half-brother Philip. When John the Baptist spoke out against this immorality (see next verse), Herod had him imprisoned.

(b) Herodias was the daughter of Aristobulus and the granddaughter of Herod the Great. She was married to her half-uncle Herod Philip before she divorced him and married her other half-brother Antipas (Mark 6:17). Because John opposed their union, Herodias held a grudge against him and looked for reasons to have him killed (Mark 6:19).

(c) Philip the husband of Herodias was Herod II, a.k.a. Herod Philip, yet another son of Herod the Great. He was not Philip the tetrarch (see entry for Luke 3:1).

Mark 6:18

For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”

Herod Antipas the tetrarch; see entry for Mark 6:14.

Mark 6:19

Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death and could not do so;

Herodias; see entry for Mark 6:17.

Mark 6:20

for Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. And when he heard him, he was very perplexed; but he used to enjoy listening to him.

(a) Herod; see entry for Mark 6:14.

(b) A righteous and holy man. Before the cross, no one could be made righteous. The gift of righteousness had not been given and the “one act of righteousness” had not be done (Rom. 5:18). This is why Old Testament saints such as Abraham were credited with righteousness on account of their faith in God (see entry for Rom. 4:3).

Herod considered John a righteous man because he was a prophet. But in God’s eyes, John was righteous because he believed in Jesus the Righteous One.

Mark 6:22

and 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.”

(a) The daughter of Herodias is not named in the Bible but was identified by Josephus as Salome. Salome’s father was Herod Philip (see entry for Matt. 14:3) which meant she was both the granddaughter (through her father) and great-granddaughter (through her mother) of Herod the Great. Salome married her uncle Philip the tetrarch.

(b) Herod Antipas the tetrarch; see entry for Mark 6:14.

Mark 6:24

And she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.”

(a) Her mother was Herodias; see entry for Mark 6:17.

(b) John the Baptist; see entry for Mark 1:4.

Mark 6:34

When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.

Compassion. The original word for compassion (splagchnizomai) appears a dozen times in the New Testament and in every case it is associated with the divine compassion revealed in Jesus Christ. See entry for Compassion.

Mark 6:56

Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured.

Cured can be translated made whole. The original word (sozo) is usually translated as save (e.g., Matt. 1:21), but also implies healing. When Jesus healed the sick, he sozo ed them; he healed them (Mark 5:23), delivered them (Luke 8:36) and made them whole (Matt. 9:21). See entry for Salvation.

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