Return, Repentance, Revenge, Report
5:21-24a Jairus, one of the synagogue officials, an important and respected man in the community came to Jesus with an attitude of selflessness, humility, and belief that Jesus could heal his daughter. Jesus left with him and a large crowd pressing about them.
5:24b-34 There was an interruption as they hurried to Jairus’ for Jesus to his daughter. An unclean woman touched Jesus’ garment in faith and immediately she was healed of her 12 year disease constant menstruation. She had been unclean for 12 years, yet He called her His daughter and said she was healed by her faith. Jesus did not become unclean by her touch, instead He made her clean just as He does for us.
5:35-43 While Jesus was finishing with the woman He called His daughter, the woman He had made clean, people told Jairus his daughter was dead. Jesus had one direction and one command for Jairus – Don’t be afraid and just believe. Don’t listen to them – the mourners – and in effect says “You came to me expecting and believing I could heal your daughter. Ignore what you have heard and are hearing and trust Me.” The contrasts between the two daughters is important for us to be aware of, one is unclean and on the verge of poverty while the other has been alive as long as the other has been ill. Both are saved by Jesus, by faith in Jesus.
Chapter six is the longest chapter in the book of Mark 56 verses, but we will only cover 30 of them today.
6:1-6 The Return Jesus leaves Capernaum traveling some 20 miles to Nazareth, His hometown. Unlike His visit in Luke where He arrived alone, here He arrives as a rabbi with His disciples. The verb translated as were amazed or were astonished has the tense showing they were in the process of being amazed. The meaning has the idea of being struck with sudden and startling alarm as Jesus’ words did not lead them to faith, but revealed their unbelief. Their questions revealed a contempt for Jesus, but they could not refute His teachings so they attacked Him personally. Calling Him a carpenter removes His role as a teacher and a rabbi. Calling Him the son of Mary is a strong insult for Jewish men were never identified with his mother, but with their father even if the father was dead. They were implying He was illegitimate. They took offense, from the Greek scandalizo where we get our word scandal. The people in Nazareth were trapped by their own small mindedness and prejudices. Jesus replies as a prophet. Jesus could have done any number of miracles there as by definition God’s omnipotence cannot be limited, but He can limit Himself based on His own principles and volition. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
6:7-13 Repentance There is a pattern of discipleship here that is still true today. We come to Jesus, we are equipped by Him, and then we become His representatives. He gave them authority over impure or unclean spirits. This authority and power over demons would serve to authenticate their message to the people. They were to take nothing with them as Jesus intended the mission He sent them on to be a lesson in trust for them. They were to learn in His service their needs would be met. In Matthew 10:5-8 we learn Jesus gave them additional instructions. They were to mirror the works of Jesus, their Master. From verses 12-13 we learn the primary purpose of the 12 was to teach repentance when proclaiming the message, The kingdom of heaven has come near. The Greek word for repent means to change one’s life, based on a complete change of attitude and thought concerning sin and righteousness. The disciples were first to preach and then works were to follow. Repentance was key.
6:14-29 John the Baptist Beheaded This likely occurred 2-3 months earlier. John did a simple and fairly straightforward thing, he said It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife. Herod’s marriage to Herodias was a sham – not real. For this Herodias wanted him dead. Through her daughter she was able to have John beheaded. This did not change the fact her marriage to Herod was a sham as John had said.
6:30 The Twelve Report Finally we learn how the disciples did when they went out to preach the message of Jesus (1:15) that the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news. In Luke 10:20 Jesus cautioned them do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Jesus was concerned they were in danger of being overcome by pride at the work they had done. Sadly, we see this in many ministries today. We even see it in our own lives as we live in our safe cocoons.
Will we conform to the pattern of this world? Or will we tell the world around us the good news that the kingdom of God has come near? Will we give our own personal testimony and talk about the need to repent? Or will we be quiet as the souls of those around us remain lost? Do we care about the lost souls around us?
Or are we merely listening to the Word, but not putting it into practice as those in Ezekiel 33:30-32 “As for you, son of man, your people are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the Lord.’ My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.