Jesus Rejected in Nazareth
1Afterward, Jesus left Capernaum # 6:1 The healing of the woman and the resurrection of Jairus’ daughter were both done in Capernaum. and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown. 2On the Sabbath, he went to teach in the synagogue. Everyone who heard his teaching was overwhelmed with astonishment. They said among themselves, “What incredible wisdom has been given to him! Where did he receive such profound insights? # 6:2 Or “Where did he get these things” (or “insights,” “understanding,” “ideas,” “teachings”)? And what mighty miracles flow through his hands! 3Isn’t this Mary’s son, the carpenter, # 6:3 The Greek word tekton can be translated “carpenter,” “metal worker,” “sculptor,” “artisan,” “stone worker,” or “builder.” the brother of Jacob, Joseph, # 6:3 Or “Joses.” Judah, and Simon? And don’t his sisters all live here in Nazareth?” And they took offense at him.
4Jesus said to them, “A prophet is treated with honor everywhere except in his own hometown, among his relatives, and in his own house.” 5He was unable to do any great miracle in Nazareth, # 6:5 Nazareth was the only place recorded in the Gospels that Jesus was unable (because of their unbelief) to do great miracles. except to heal a few sick people by laying his hands upon them. 6He was amazed at the depth of their unbelief! # 6:6 This is one of two instances where Jesus was amazed. The other is found in Matt. 8:10. Both refer to the response of faith. Here it is the great unbelief of those who knew Jesus and lived in his hometown of Nazareth (Jews). The other is the great faith of the Roman military captain (a gentile). We have no record of Jesus ever returning to Nazareth. He made Capernaum his base of ministry while in the province of Galilee.
Then Jesus went out into the different villages and taught the people.
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles
7Jesus gathered his twelve disciples and imparted to them his authority to cast out demons. Then he sent them out in pairs with these instructions: 8-9“Take only your staff and the sandals on your feet—no bread, no knapsack, no extra garment, and no money. # 6:8–9 Or “copper coins inside your belt.” 10And whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave the area. 11Whatever community does not welcome you or receive your message, leave it behind. And as you go, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” # 6:11 The Aramaic and some Greek manuscripts add a sentence: “Truly, I tell you that it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.”
12So they went out and preached publicly that everyone should repent. 13They cast out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
Death of John the Baptizer
14King Herod soon heard about Jesus, for the name of Jesus was on everyone’s lips. Some were even saying about him, “John the Baptizer has been raised from the dead, and that’s why miraculous powers flow from him!” 15Others said, “No, he’s Elijah!” While others said, “He’s a prophet, like one of the prophets of old!”
16When Herod heard what the people were saying, he concluded, “I beheaded John, and now he’s raised from the dead!” 17-18For Herod had John arrested and thrown into prison for repeatedly rebuking him in public, saying, “You have no right to marry Herodias, the wife of your brother Philip! You are violating the law of God!” # 6:17–18 See Lev. 18:16; 20:21.
19This infuriated Herodias, and she held a bitter grudge against him and wanted John executed. 20But Herod both feared and stood in awe # 6:20 The Greek text can also mean “deep respect” or that Herod “feared” John. of John and kept him safely in custody, because he was convinced that he was a righteous and holy man. Every time Herod heard John speak, it disturbed his soul, but he was drawn to him and was intrigued by his words.
21But Herodias found her opportunity to have John killed—it was on the king’s birthday! Herod prepared a great banquet and invited all his officials, military commanders, and the leaders of the province of Galilee to celebrate with him on his birthday. 22On the day of the feast, his stepdaughter, the daughter of Herodias, # 6:22 Although unnamed, church history and tradition identifies her as Salome, not to be confused with the Salome who was a witness of the crucifixion (Mark 15:40). came to honor the king with a beautiful dance, and she flattered him. # 6:22 Or “she fascinated him.” Her dancing greatly pleased the king and his guests, so he said to the girl, “You can ask me for anything you want and I will give it to you!” 23And he repeated it in front of everyone, with a vow to complete his promise to her: “Anything you desire and it will be yours! I’ll even share my kingdom with you!”
24She immediately left the room and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?” Her mother answered, “The head of John the Baptizer on a platter!” 25So she hurried back to the king and made her request: “I want you to bring me the head of John the Baptizer on a platter—and I want it right now!”
26Deeply grieved, the king regretted # 6:26 The Aramaic is “The king was tied in a knot.” his promise to her, but since he had made his vow in front of all his honored guests, he couldn’t deny her request. 27So without delay the king ordered an executioner to bring John’s head, and he went and beheaded John in prison. 28He brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl brought it to her mother. 29When John’s followers heard what had happened, they came and removed his body and laid it in a tomb.
Jesus Multiplies Food to Feed Five Thousand
30The apostles returned from their mission # 6:30 Jesus had sent the apostles into the Galilean villages to preach and cast out demons (6:7–13), and they are now returning to report back to him. and gathered around Jesus and told him everything they had done and taught.
31There was such a swirl of activity around Jesus, with so many people coming and going, that they were unable to even eat a meal. So Jesus said to his disciples, “Come, let’s take a break and find a secluded place where you can rest a while.” 32They slipped away and left by sailboat for a deserted spot. 33But many of the people saw them leaving and realized where they were headed, so they took off running along the shore. Then people from the surrounding towns joined them in the chase, and a large crowd got there ahead of them.
34By the time Jesus came ashore, a massive crowd was waiting. At the sight of them, his heart was filled with compassion, # 6:34 The Aramaic is “nurturing love toward them.” because they seemed like wandering sheep who had no shepherd. # 6:34 See Num. 27:17; Ezek. 34:5. So he taught them many wonderful things.
35Late that afternoon, his disciples said, “It’s getting really late and we’re here in this remote place with nothing to eat. 36You should send the crowds away so they can go into the surrounding villages and buy food.”
37But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.”
“Are you sure?” they replied. “You really want us to go buy them supper? It would cost a small fortune # 6:37 Or “two hundred denarii” (silver coins). A denarius was the going rate for a day’s wage. This would equal nearly eight months’ wages. to feed all these thousands of hungry people.”
38“How many loaves of bread do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.” After they had looked around, they came back and said, “Five—plus a couple of fish.”
39Then he instructed them to organize the crowd and have them sit down in groups on the grass. 40So they had them sit down in groups # 6:40 There are two Greek words used for groups in this context. In v. 39 it is the Greek word symposion, which is used most frequently for drinking parties (rows of guests). The word prasai found in v. 40 can also mean “garden plots” or “flower beds.” Spread out over the hillside the people would have looked like flower beds, planted in green pastures, drinking in the miracle power of Jesus. See Ps. 23:2. of hundreds and fifties. 41Then Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, gazed into heaven, and gave thanks to God. He broke the bread and the two fish and distributed them to his disciples to serve the people—and the food was multiplied in front of their eyes! 42Everyone had plenty to eat and was fully satisfied. 43Then the twelve disciples picked up what remained, and each of them ended up with a basket full of leftovers! 44Altogether, five thousand families # 6:44 Or “five thousand men.” There were women and children present as well, but it would have not been common for women and children to come by themselves. These five thousand men represented their households. This miracle is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels. were fed that day!
Jesus Walks on Water
45After everyone had their meal, Jesus instructed his disciples to get back into the boat and go on ahead of him and sail to the other side to Bethsaida. # 6:45 This is Beit-Tside, which in Aramaic and Hebrew is “the fishing place.” 46So he dispersed the crowd, said good-bye to his disciples, then slipped away to pray on the mountain.
47As night fell, the boat was in the middle of the lake and Jesus was alone on land. 48The wind was against the disciples and he could see # 6:48 Seeing them from land in the dark was an obvious miracle, for evening had come and Jesus was a great distance from them while they were in the middle of the lake. Jesus sees and knows the struggles each of us go through. that they were straining at the oars, trying to make headway.
When it was almost morning, # 6:48 Or “about the fourth watch of the night.” Jesus came to them, walking on the surface of the water, and he started to pass by them. # 6:48 To pass by them is somewhat similar to God “passing by Moses” when he was on Sinai. See Ex. 33:19, 22. 49-50When they all saw him walking on the waves, they thought he was a ghost and screamed out in terror. But he said to them at once, “Don’t yield to fear. Have courage. It’s really me—I Am!” # 6:49–50 In both Greek and Aramaic, this reads, “I Am” (the living God), an obvious statement that Jesus is “the great I AM” and there is nothing to be afraid of. This is the same statement God made to Moses in front of the burning bush. See also Matt. 14:27; John 8:58.
51Then he came closer and climbed into the boat with them, and immediately the stormy wind became still. They were completely and utterly overwhelmed with astonishment. 52Their doubting hearts # 6:52 Or “their minds were dull [or “unwilling to learn”]” or “their hearts had been hardened.” The implication is that they were unwilling to accept new information. Every miracle carries a message. had not grasped his authority and power over all things in spite of just having witnessed the miraculous feeding. # 6:52 Or “They didn’t understand about the loaves.” That is, they didn’t understand the lesson that the miracle was meant to teach them—that God has the power to deliver us, no matter what the limitation. Also, the miracle was that the bread multiplied in their hands, so they likewise had the power to rebuke the stormy wind and sail through to the other side, even if Jesus were to pass them. He wanted them to see things in a new light and know the authority that they now carried. The two lessons of the multiplied loaves were the following: (1) that Jesus had all power to meet every need, and (2) that the disciples carried this power with them, for the bread multiplied in their hands. They were also a part of the miracle. See also Mark 8:14–21. The two great miracles of Israel were also duplicated here: the crossing of the sea and the bread (or “manna”) that fell from heaven.
Jesus the Healer
53They made landfall at Gennesaret and anchored there. # 6:53 Apparently, they were blown off course, since they were headed for Bethsaida. Gennesaret is a plain not far from Capernaum on the northwest side of the lake. 54The moment they got out of the boat, everyone recognized that it was Jesus, the healer! 55So they ran throughout the region, telling the people, “Bring all the sick—even those too sick to walk and bring them on mats!” 56Wherever he went, in the countryside, villages, or towns, they placed the sick on mats in the streets or in public places # 6:56 Or “marketplace.” and begged him, saying, “Just let us touch the tassel of your prayer shawl!” # 6:56 The blue tassel on the corner of the prayer shawl was said to symbolize all the commandments and promises of God. See Num. 15:38–40. The Hebrew word for “fringe” or “border” (of a garment) can also mean “wing.” Some have interpreted Mal. 4:2 (“healing in his wings”) as a reference to the tassels of the prayer shawl. And all who touched him were instantly healed!
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