The Gospel According to St Mark: Mark Chapter Six: Read here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/mark/6?lang=eng
‘And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. 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? 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.
‘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.”
‘And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching’ (Mark 6:1-6).
Because they knew Jesus as a boy, and because they knew Joseph and Mary and all of their children, they would not accept that Jesus could be doing the miracles they witnessed. They wouldn’t believe that He was God’s Anointed. So Jesus couldn’t share much with the people there, but taught and healed more in the surrounding villages.
Do we sometimes not accept people because we know their background? Do we sometimes reject leaders because they are familiar to us? Would we also not have accepted prophets who grew up among us? Would we not have accepted the Christ? It’s hard to say. But are we humble enough to ask God about those He has called to lead us, so that we know for ourselves. Are we humble enough to ask God if Jesus Christ is His Son and our Redeemer?
Jesus Sent out the Twelve Apostles, two by two, to serve missions: Read Mark 6:7-13:
‘And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. And he said unto them,
“In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. 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.”
‘And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.’
Jesus established the order for missionary work, wherein the apostles went out two by two to teach the gospel, administer in the ordinances thereof, and offer relief, healing, and salvation to the people. The Apostles had the authority to do these works in Jesus’s name.
Herod Mistakes Jesus for John the Baptist, thinking he’s risen from the dead: Read Mark 6:14-29.
Herod had John beheaded. When he hears the works that Jesus is doing, he thinks John has been brought back to life. Others think that Jesus is Elias, or another prophet, or as one of the prophets.
The Apostles Report on their Assignments: Read Mark 6:30-32:
‘And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. And he said unto them,
“Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while”:
‘for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.’
The Lord new the value of having solitary time, down time, a time to rest and regroup, a time for prayer and rejuvenation, a time to be fed by the Spirit.
When ‘the people saw them departing, and many knew him, [they] ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him. And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.
‘And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said,
“This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.”
‘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?”
‘He saith unto them,
“How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.”
‘And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.
‘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.
‘And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men (vs. 33-44).
It is amazing to think of the crowds of people running over the land to get to the place where the ship would dock. Jesus had compassion on them, and He taught them all day. They were such a willing congregation; quite a contrast from His own village. Then He again miraculously fed the multitude, because He didn’t want to send them away weak and hungry to faint on their way home.
How can we feed others both spiritually and physically? Do physical needs need to be met before people can grasp spiritual things? Is eating together itself an act of communion that binds us?
The apostles departed by ship while Jesus sent the multitude away. Then ‘He departed into a mountain to pray’ (vs. 45-46).
‘And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. 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.
‘But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: 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.”
‘And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened’ (vs. 47-52).
Even with all the miracles the disciples witnessed daily, they still were in awe and wondered. Wouldn’t you? Here was a man walking on water, who not only told them not to fear, but also calmed the storm. If their hearts were hardened, would the storm have humbled them?
I love the last few verses, because the people of Gennesaret see the ship approaching, and right away they know it’s Jesus, And they ‘ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was.
‘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’ (vs. 53-56).
Are we looking for Jesus? These verses say they knew Him. (And so did the people He’d fed earlier.) Do we know Him? Do we know He can heal us? Are we bringing others unto Christ so they can be healed as well?