Jesus is Rejected at Nazareth
Verse 1 – Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him.
This visit to Nazareth, His own country, is only recorded in Matthew and Mark.
Verse 2 – And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands!
Verse 3 – “Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother James, Jose, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?”
Does this not remind you of people who “knew you when,” before you were a Christian? That’s why it’s harder for family and friends to see the truth. They have let people’s past blind them to Jesus saving power. These people only thought of Jesus as a “carpenter’s son,” nothing more.
Verse 4 – But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.”
Respect sometimes is not given by those closest to the Christian in a family. Plain and simple, it’s because of their unbelief.
Verse 5 – Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid hands on a few sick people and healed them.
Verse 6 – And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.
Verse 7 – And He called the twelve to Him, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.
Two by two confirms what the Old Testament says was needed for a witness. The twelve were called “apostles” after they returned (Mark 6:30).
Verse 8 – He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts –
Verse 9 – but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics.
They were to leave immediately, depending on God for everything they needed.
Verse 10 – Also He said to them, “In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place.
Verse 11 – “And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet, as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgement than for that city!”
Jesus made it clear that the listeners were responsible for what they did with the gospel.
Verse 12 – So they went out and preached that people should repent.
Verse 13 – And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.
There was evidence, manifestations, of what was being preached, as there should be today when the “True Gospel” is revealed.
John the Baptist is Murdered
Verse 14 – Now King Herod heard of Him, for His name had become well-known. And he said, “John the Baptist is risen form the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.”
Verse 15 – Others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is the Prophet, or like one of the prophets.”
What people think of Jesus or who He is does not change the fact that He is the Son of God. People think that if they just call Him prophet or teacher, it weakens His power, not so. Just as people today when they say the Bible is not true, doesn’t make it so.
Verse 16 – But when Herod heard, he said, “This is John, whom I beheaded; he has been raised from the dead!”
Verse 17 – For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, for he had married her.
Verse 18 – For John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
People don’t like it when you confront their sin. They will lash out. John the Baptist had no problem condemning what Herod had done. But Herod had a problem with it, so he threw John in prison.
Verse 19 – Therefore Herodias held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not;
Verse 20 – for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.
Herod reminds me of people who will gladly receive the gospel, but they never change. Herod wasn’t willing to give up his illegal wife, just as people aren’t willing to separate with their live-in mates after they know its wrong to be doing it without being married. It’s only a pretense of listening.
Verse 21 – Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee.
Verse 22 – And when Herodias’ daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, “Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you.”
Verse 23 – He also swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.”
That must have been some dance. Al those people attending were as wicked as Herod, himself. Herod shot off at the mouth before he thought, and offered this girl anything.
Verse 24 – So she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist!”
Verse 25 – Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”
Verse 26 – And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her.
This shows you how disgusting this whole ordeal was. Did you notice the girl had to go out from where she danced. That means her mother was not in the room, only sick wicked men. Herod had the authority to stop this request, but because of the others that had heard it, he wouldn’t do it. How often people won’t do the right thing because of who they associate with. People who are in leadership and those who hold high offices in government, know exactly what is right or wrong. They just choose to sin, willfully and openly.
Verse 27 – And immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison,
Verse 28 – brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.
Verse 29 – And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took away his corps and laid it in the tomb.
John the Baptist defended his faith till the end. He knew by faith what was right and would not back down, even before a king. Will we be that bold and courageous in defending our faith when persecution comes?
Verse 30 – Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught.
Verse 31 – And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.
Five Thousand Are Fed
Verse 32 – So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.
Verse 33 – But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him.
Some think that pastors and leaders should always be available to them. Pastor’s get tired too. Many times, it won’t do for an elder or someone else to show up at a hospital, the person wants the pastor.
The multitudes that constantly followed Jesus and His disciples, were always wanting more. However, the majority of them only wanted His healing’s. That is proven by what happened later on, to all the disciples and to Jesus by losing their lives. Their hearts were never truly changed.
Verse 34 – And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.
Verse 35 – And when the day was far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late.
Verse 36 – “Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.”
Verse 37 – But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to Him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?”
How many times would Jesus have to prove Himself to His disciples? Had they not just come back from healing the sick and casting out demons themselves? How many times do we expect God to prove Himself to us? Is it every time there is a new crises in our lives?
Each crises or each new trial in our lives should build our faith and confidante in who our God is, not cause us to doubt every time a new situation arises.
Verse 38 – But He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.”
When we have a need, Jesus wants us to look at what we already have. It doesn’t matter how small. Wisdom from the All Mighty, will show us what to do with the little we have to multiply it. Don’t focus on what you lack.
Verse 39 – Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass.
Verse 40 – So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties.
Verse 41 – And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all.
Verse 42 – So they all ate and were filled –
Verse 43 – And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish.
What I find so amazing from this is, our God will and does multiply what is blessed. He also gives more than enough to be shared with others. God doesn’t bless us so that we keep whatever He blesses us with for ourselves. It’s to be a blessing to others also! We are blessed to be a blessing. Selfishness and stinginess is not supposed to be any part of a Christian character.
Verse 44 – Now those who had eaten the loaves were about five thousand men.
Jesus Walks On Water
Verse 45 – Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away.
Mark doesn’t say why Jesus rushed His disciples away, but John 6:14-16, says the men were going to take Jesus by force and make Him kings.
Verse 46 – And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.
Verse 47 – Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land.
Verse 48 – Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.
Verse 49 – But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out;
Verse 50 – for they all saw Him and were troubled. And immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
The event where Peter goes to Jesus on the water, is only recorded in Matthew. Again, different eye-witness versions.
Have you ever been in a situation where there is no possible way out, but you’ve prayed and waited for help? Jesus is greater than any storm in our lives. He will either strengthen you to get through it, or someone you least expected will show up for your deliverance, but you are never alone.
Verse 51 – Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure and marveled.
Jesus not only walked on water before their eyes, but when He got in the boat the winds ceased. When the presence of Jesus is in our midst there will be a calmness that is also present. He not only can calm the storms that rage inside of us, but our surroundings too.
Verse 52 – For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.
The disciples disbelief was their misunderstanding. They marveled at Jesus, because they still couldn’t believe this Man was the Messiah. Even after watching 5 thousand fed with so little, they still were in doubt.
Verse 53 – When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there.
Verse 54 – And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him,
Verse 55 – ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was.
Verse 56 – Wherever He entered into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the border of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.
Story after story of all the healing’s in the New Testament, should convince anyone that “Jesus wants you well!”so why is it He gets blamed today when someone is not healed? I hate to hear people say, “Jesus doesn’t heal everyone,” like some have a special privileged when they are healed and others do not. How about saying, “Not everyone gets healed,” instead. Unbelief is a major blocker of faith in someone’s healing. The fault is not with the One that heals and healed all who came to Him.