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MARK 6:1–6:56 ©

The Gospel of Mark 6

6Jesus left the city of Capernaum and went to the place of his birth, Nazareth. His apprentices went with him. 2On the Jewish day of rest, he entered the Jewish preaching place and taught the people. Many who were listening to him were amazed. They wondered where he gained all his wisdom and the power to perform miracles. 3They said, “He is just an ordinary carpenter! We know him and his family! We know Mary his mother! We know his younger brothers James, Joses, Judas, and Simon! And his younger sisters also live here with us!” So they were troubled by his teachings. 4Jesus said to them, “It is certainly true that people honor prophets in other places, but not in their hometowns! Even their relatives and the people who live in their own houses do not honor them!”

5Although he healed a few sick people there by the laying on of hands, he was not able to perform any other miracle. 6He was amazed that so few people believed in him, but he was going through their villages and teaching them.

7One day, Jesus called the Twelve Representatives together. He then told them that he was going to send them out two by two to teach people in various towns. He also gave them power to force evil spirits out of the people whom they controlled. 8-9 8-9He also instructed them to wear simple sandals and to take along a walking stick when they were traveling. He told them not to take food or a bag in which to put supplies or any money for their journey. He also did not allow them to take an extra tunic. 10He also instructed them, “If someone invites you to stay in his house, live in their house until you leave that town. 11Wherever the people do not welcome you and wherever the people do not listen to you, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that place. By doing that, you will be testifying that they did not welcome you or your message.” 12So after the apprentices went out to various towns, they were preaching in order that people might repent of their sins. 13They were also forcing many evil spirits out from people, and they were anointing many sick people with olive oil and healing them.

14Now King Herod Antipas heard about what Jesus was doing, because many people were talking about him. Some people were saying about Jesus, “He must be John the Baptizer! He has risen from the dead! That is why he has the power to perform these miracles!” 15Others were saying about Jesus, “He is the ancient prophet Elijah, whom God promised to send back again.” Others were saying about Jesus, “No, he is a different prophet, like one of the other prophets who lived long ago.” 16After hearing what the people were saying, King Herod Antipas himself said, “The man performing those miracles must be John the Baptizer! I commanded my soldiers to cut off his head, but he is alive again!” 17For previously, King Herod had arrested John and thrown him in prison. He did this because Herod married his brother Philip’s wife, Herodias. 18Herod put John in prison because he was saying to Herod, “God’s law does not allow you to marry the wife of your brother.” 19But because Herodias wanted to get further revenge on John, she wanted someone to execute him. But she could not do that, because while John was in prison, Herod kept John safe from her. 20Herod did this because he respected John, because he knew that he was a righteous man who devoted himself to God. Whenever Herod listened to John, Herod became very disturbed, but he liked to listen to John. 21The chance for Herodias to see John put to death came when they honored Herod on his birthday. He invited the most important government officials, the most important army leaders, and the most important men in the district of Galilee to eat and celebrate with him. 22While they were eating, Herodias’ daughter came into the room and danced for the king and his guests. She pleased King Herod and his guests so much that he said to her, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you!” 23He also promised to her, “Whatever you ask, I will give it to you! I will give you up to half of what I own and rule, if you ask for it.” 24After this, the daughter went to her mother, Herodias, and told her what King Herod had said. She asked her mother, “What should I ask for?” Her mother replied, “Ask the king to give you the head of John the Baptizer!” 25The girl hurried back to the room and went right to the king with her request. She said, “I want you to command someone to cut off the head of John the Baptizer and bring it to me right now on a serving plate!” 26The king became very distressed when he heard what she asked for because he knew John was a very righteous man. But he could not refuse what she requested, because he had promised that he would give her anything she asked for, and his guests had heard him promise. 27So the king at once ordered someone to go and cut off John’s head and bring it to the girl. Then that man went to the prison and cut off John’s head. 28He put it on a serving plate, brought it back, and gave it to the girl. The girl took it to her mother. 29After John’s apprentices heard what happened, they went to the prison and took John’s body; then they buried it.

30Those whom Jesus had chosen to represent him returned from the places to which he had sent them. They reported to him what they had done and what they had taught to people. 31He said to them, “Come with me to a place where no people are living, in order that we can be alone and rest a little while!” He said this because many people were continually coming to them and going away again, with the result that Jesus and his apprentices did not have time to eat or do anything else. 32So they went away by themselves in a boat to a place where no people were living. 33But many people saw them leaving. They also recognized that they were Jesus and the apprentices, and they saw where they were going. So they ran ahead on land from all the nearby towns to the place where Jesus and his apprentices were going. They actually arrived there before Jesus and the apprentices. 34As Jesus and his apprentices got out of the boat, Jesus saw this great crowd. He felt compassion for them because they were confused, like sheep that do not have a shepherd. So he taught them many things.

35Late in the afternoon the apprentices came to him and said, “This is a place where no one lives, and it is very late. 36So send the people away to the surrounding towns and villages so they can buy food for themselves!” 37But he replied to them, “No, you yourselves give them something to eat!” They replied to him, “We could not buy enough bread to feed this crowd, even if we had as much money as a man earns by working 200 days!” 38But he replied to them, “How many loaves of bread do you have? Go and find out!” They went and found out and then they told him, “We have only five flat loaves and two cooked fish!” 39He instructed the apprentices to tell all the people to sit down on the green grass. 40So the people sat in groups. There were 100 people in some groups and 50 people in other groups. 41Jesus took the five flat loaves and the two fish. He looked up toward heaven and thanked God for them. Then he broke the loaves and fish into pieces and kept giving them to the apprentices in order that they would distribute them to the people. 42Everyone ate this food until they all had enough to eat! 43The apprentices then collected twelve baskets full of pieces of bread and of the fish that were left over. 44There were about 5,000 men who ate the bread and fish. They did not even count the women and children.

45Right away, Jesus told his apprentices to get into the boat and then go ahead of him to a town called Bethsaida, which was further around the Sea of Galilee. He stayed and dismissed the many people who were there. 46After he said goodbye to the people, he went up into the hills in order to pray. 47When it was evening, the apprentices’ boat was in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was by himself on the land. 48He saw that the wind was blowing against them as they rowed. As a result, they were having great difficulty. He approached them early in the morning, when it was still dark, by walking on the water. He intended to walk by them. 49They saw him walking on the water, but they thought that he was a ghost. They screamed 50because they all were terrified when they saw him. But he spoke to them. He said to them, “Be calm! Do not be afraid, because it is I!” 51He got into the boat and sat down with them, and the wind stopped blowing. They were completely amazed about what he had done. 52Although they had seen Jesus multiply the bread and the fish, they did not grasp the meaning of it, as they should have.

53After they went further around the Sea of Galilee in a boat, they came to shore at the town of Gennesaret. Then they fastened the boat there. 54As soon as they got out of the boat, the people there recognized Jesus. 55So they ran throughout the whole district in order to tell others that Jesus was there. Then the people placed those who were sick on stretchers and carried them to any place where they heard people say that Jesus was. 56In whatever village, town, or place in the countryside where he went, they would bring to the marketplaces those who were sick. Then the sick people would beg Jesus to let them touch him or even the edge of his clothes in order that Jesus might heal them. All those who touched him or his robe were healed.

MARK 6:1–6:56 ©