Mark 6:1-13

Sunday Morning Bible Study

November 21, 2004

:1-6 Faithless in Nazareth

:1 …came into his own country…

He’s gone home to Nazareth.

This isn’t the first time Jesus has done any ministry in Nazareth. Luke records that the first time Jesus spoke publicly after having been baptized and having been tested in the wilderness was at Nazareth (Luke 4:16-30). It went about as good then as it will this time. This time He’s not alone, He’s got His disciples with Him.

:2 …many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? …even such mighty works …

were astonishedekplesso – to strike out, totally shocked, flabbergasted.

This makes me think that when Jesus grew up in Nazareth, He had not taught or performed miracles because now the people are so shocked at what Jesus is doing. It seems out of place for Jesus to be doing these things.

:3 Is not this the carpenter…the brother of James…and of Juda

the carpentertekton – a worker in wood, craftsman, or workman

Mat. 13:55 tells us that Jesus was the son of a carpenter (Joseph). Now we are told that Jesus was also a carpenter.

Justin Martyr, who lived about a hundred years after Jesus, writes about ploughs and yokes that Jesus made as a carpenter.

Mary’s husband Joseph isn’t mentioned. Perhaps he’s dead by this time.

We don’t know much about Joses, Simon, or the sisters, but we do know about James and Jude.

James was the brother that wrote the epistle of James and was a leader, perhaps considered the “pastor” of the church Jerusalem (Acts 15).

Jude is the brother that wrote the little epistle of Jude.

:4 A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country…

without honoratimos – without value

If you’ve ever felt like the people closest to you didn’t understand what God has done in your life, you’re not alone. Jesus wasn’t understood by those in His hometown and in his own family. We believe that at this time His family didn’t believe in Him (except possibly Mary).

:5 And he could there do no mighty work…

Faith is an important part of our relationship with God.

(Heb 11:6 KJV) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

It’s not that Jesus was somehow stripped of His power because of their unbelief, but that He was grieved because of their unbelief and would not do any miracles there.

:6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief.

he marvelledthaumazo – to wonder, marvel, to be amazed. Imperfect tense.

The Scripture only records two times when Jesus “marvelled” (there’s lots of times that everybody marvels at Jesus). I guess there aren’t a lot of things that cause Jesus to be surprised.

The first time was with a Gentile centurion:

(Mat 8:5-13 KJV) And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, {6} And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. {7} And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. {8} The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. {9} For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. {10} When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. {11} And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. {12} But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. {13} And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
It reminds me of some of the stories we looked at last week. The woman with the hemorrhage believed enough to push her way through the crowd.
Jairus needed to keep believing in Jesus, even though the folks at home had nothing but bad news for him.

The second time Jesus marvels is here in Nazareth, His home town. Jesus is marveling at unbelief

People who had been strangers to Him were able to believe.
But those that ought to have known Him best struggled. But perhaps He was just too “ordinary” for them.
Has Jesus become to “ordinary” for you? Do you expect Him to work for you? Do you expect Him to answer your prayers? Can you push through to believe?
God is looking for those who are going to trust Him.

:7-13 Training Mission for Twelve

:7 …began to send them forth by two and two

to sendapostello –this is where the word “apostle” comes from.


Teamwork in ministry

Ministry is best when you aren’t alone.
We see it in the New Testament with Peter and John, Paul and Barnabas, Paul and Silas
It makes for a better testimony –
Having two or more witnesses was a principle established by God as a way of getting at the truth:

(Deu 19:15 KJV) One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

The truth comes through clearer from two people than just coming from one.

It’s simply easier when you’re not alone.
(Eccl 4:9-12 KJV) Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. {10} For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. {11} Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? {12} And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Encouragement. Support. Warfare.

Years ago when I was a part of Campus Crusade for Christ, we were taught to go witnessing on campus on twos. While one person shared, the other person prayed.

Who’s on your team?

:8 … take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:

a staffrhabdos – a walking stick

scrippera – a leather sack, almost like a backpack.

This word was also used to describe a “beggar’s collecting bag”. There were “beggar priests” who would travel around collecting money for their “gods”. Perhaps Jesus is saying that He doesn’t want the fellows going around begging for money either to support Jesus or for themselves.

pursezone – a girdle, it not only functioned as a belt to keep your robes tied up, but since it was hollow, it was used to carry money.

moneychalkos – brass; coins of brass. It’s interesting that Jesus doesn’t say to take gold or silver. That was probably a given because the only money the disciples would have on them was the cheap brass stuff.

:9 …and not put on two coats.

coatschiton – a tunic, an undergarment, usually worn next to the skin

In other words, they went with just the clothes on their back.

The beginnings of ministry.

This is the first time Jesus is going to send these guys out to do ministry by themselves.

Later when Jesus would send out a group of seventy for the first time, and He’d give them much the same kind of instruction (Luke 10:1-7).

Yet at the end of His ministry, Jesus’ instructions would change a bit:

(Luke 22:35-38 KJV) And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. {36} Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one…

For now, it’s sort of a training mission. I think that some of the instructions are about learning the basics about what ministry is all about.

The point is not that these are hard fast rules that always need to be followed, but these perhaps the lessons that need to be learned at the beginning of ministry.


Travel light.

Ministry doesn’t really need lots of whizbang gadgets. It’s not wrong to have things like sound systems, cool instruments, and guitar amps, but it’s good to learn first that ministry is dependant on God being at work, not our gadgets.
A local business was looking for office help. They put a sign in the window, stating the following: “HELP WANTED. Must be able to type, must be good with a computer and must be bilingual. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.” A short time afterwards, a dog trotted up to the window, saw the sign and went inside. He looked at the receptionist and wagged his tail, then walked over to the sign, looked at it and whined. Getting the idea, the receptionist got the office manager. The office manager looked at the dog and was surprised, to say the least. However, the dog looked determined, so he led him into the office. Inside, the dog jumped up on the chair and stared at the manager. The manager said “I can’t hire you. The sign says you have to be able to type.” The dog jumped down, went to the typewriter and proceeded to type out a perfect letter. He took out the page and trotted over to the manager and gave it to him, then jumped back on the chair. The manager was stunned, but then told the dog “the sign says you have to be good with a computer.” The dog jumped down again and went to the computer. The dog proceeded to enter and execute a perfect program, that worked flawlessly the first time. By this time the manager was totally dumb- founded! He looked at the dog and said “I realize that you are a very intelligent dog and have some interesting abilities. However, I still can’t give you the job.” The dog jumped down and went to a copy of the sign and put his paw on the sentences that told about being an Equal Opportunity Employer. The manager said “yes, but the sign also says that you have to be bilingual”. The dog looked at the manager calmly and said “Meow”.

When we go to Russia, we have a weight limit of forty-five pounds. That means that everything you take for two weeks has to be under forty-five pounds. That’s tough! Before you leave, you’re panicking about how you’re going to survive without all the things you want to take.

But when you get there, you find out that it doesn’t take a lot to go out and be used by the Lord.

:10 …In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide …

Accept the hospitality of the first place that invites you to stay. Don’t go shopping around for a better deal.

:11 shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them…

shake off – The Jews hated Gentiles so much that when they walked through Gentile territory, they would shake the dust off their feet lest they take it into Jewish territory. If the apostles were mistreated by a host or hostess, they were to be treated as if they were Gentiles.


Sometimes you need to drop it and move on.

The apostles Paul and Barnabas give us an example of doing this when they visited Antioch in Pisidia. Paul had preached a wonderful message on the first Sabbath day after they had just arrived …
(Acts 13:44-52 KJV) And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. {45} But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. {46} Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. {47} For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. {48} And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. {49} And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. {50} But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. {51} But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. {52} And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
We need to be sure to hear from God about this.
Sometimes God wants you to keep doing what you’re doing.
But sometimes you need to let go.
A little old lady answered a knock on the door one day, only to be confronted by a well-dressed young man carrying a vacuum cleaner. “Good morning,” said the young man. “If I could take a couple of minutes of your time, I would like to demonstrate the very latest in high-powered vacuum cleaners. “Go away!” said the old lady. “I haven’t got any money!” and she proceeded to close the door. Quick as a flash, the young man wedged his foot in the door and pushed it wide open. “Don’t be too hasty!” he said. “Not until you have at least seen my demonstration.” And with that, he emptied a bucket of horse manure onto her hallway carpet. “If this vacuum cleaner does not remove all traces of this horse manure from your carpet, Madam, I will personally eat the remainder.” The old lady stepped back and said, “Well I hope you’ve got a very good appetite, because the electricity was cut off this morning.”
There can be a place where a person simply is not open to what God wants to do in their life, you and the gospel, and you shake off whatever dirt they've splattered you with, and move on.
Let God handle it from there.

:12 …preached that men should repent.

men should repentmetanoeo – to change one’s mind about one’s previous life and course of action.

It means that you realize that your life has been going in the wrong direction and you make a choice to turn around.

Is this what you need to do?