Jesus in His Own Country

Mark 6
Jesus returned with His disciples to Galilee, His own country. He lived in Capernaum, not far from Galilee. Going to the synagogue on the sabbath, He taught and many of the hearers were astonished. They asked where He got His wisdom. The people where He grew up and lived were offended at Him and said, "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?"
Jesus told them that a prophet has no honor in His own country and house. Laying His hand on a few sick folk, He healed them. Marveling at their unbelief, He went into the villages teaching.
Jesus Sends His Disciples Forth to Preach
In chapter 3:14 the Lord ordained the twelve disciples to be with Him, and He sent them forth to preach. How important for a servant of the Lord, and all saints as well, to be in communion with Him before going out to present Him to others.
The disciples, in leaving on their journey, were to take only the immediate necessities. They were to lean on the Lord who always supplies His servants with what they need as they go. Entering a house, they were to abide there until their mission in that city was finished. They were not to go from house to house for food and rest.
If they were rejected, those who rejected them would be visited with a judgment far worse than what came on Sodom and Gomorrah, because they now had more light: 'That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." John 1:99That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (John 1:9). If rejected, on leaving they were to shake off the dust from their feet for a testimony against the rejecters.
The ministry of the disciples followed the pattern set by the Lord's ministry. They preached that men should repent; they cast out demons, and they healed the sick, anointing them with oil.
Oil is a figure of the Holy Spirit. The anointing of the sick with oil, while healing, showed that there was a power outside of themselves that did the healing. Jesus used no oil.
The Death of John the Baptist
King Herod heard of Jesus and said it was John the Baptist who had risen from the dead. Some time before, at Herod's birthday party, the daughter of Herodius, the unlawful wife of Herod, had danced before him. She pleased him and he asked her to make a request. At her mother's urging she asked for the head of John the Baptist. So John was slain by Herod and then buried by John's disciples.
All of this came back on Herod's conscience. Little did Herodius know that the terrible deed, which she had her daughter do, would remain on her conscience. "Where their worm [conscience] dieth not, and the fire [constant torment] is not quenched." Mark 9:4444Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (Mark 9:44). The executioner, Herodius, Herod and the daughter will have this deed on their consciences forever, unless they repented.
The king didn't want John the Baptist to die; he often heard him gladly. Being in bad company, he could not change what he had promised the dancing girl. How important to keep the right company, because it is our companions and our habits that ruin us.
Returning to Him, the Lord's disciples gather to tell Him what they had done and taught on their missionary journeys. Jesus took them in a ship to a desert place to be alone, to rest awhile outside of the city. The people outran their ship and were there when they arrived, so Jesus and His disciples had no rest.
We observe the constant, loving service of the Lord Jesus to the Father as He tirelessly waited on the people to whom the Father had sent Him. When Jesus saw the people, He was moved with compassion towards them, because they were as sheep without a shepherd, and He began to teach them many things, and so fulfilled His work as the Prophet and Servant of God.
That evening the disciples said to Jesus, "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." Jesus said, "Give ye them to eat." Without faith the disciples inquired, "Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread?" Jesus asked how many loaves they had. They answered, "Five, and tvvo fishes." Yet little is much if the Lord is in it. Is it not true that the servant will always have to con-fess that Jesus takes what little we have, if given to Him, and turns it into an abundant blessing?
All were told to sit down in companies of hundreds and fifties on the green grass. How much we learn here. It might have been a desert place, but where Jesus was, there was blessing-green grass. Having blessed the loaves, He broke them and gave to His disciples who set them before the people, and the fishes as well. They ate and were filled.
Break Thou the bread of life,
Dear Lord to me,
As Thou didst break the bread
Beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page
I see Thee Lord;
My spirit pants for Thee,
O Living Word.
About five thousand men ate of the loaves and fishes. There must have been as many women and children, or more. The gathering of twelve baskets full of the pieces that remained reminds us that the Lord was thinking of a remnant of a latter day-the millennium.
On a Turbulent Sea
Jesus constrained the disciples to enter a ship to go to the other side, to Bethsaida, and He sent the multitude away. Then He went up into a mountain to pray. This reminds us of our Great High Priest who is interceding for us before we find ourselves in trouble.
At evening, the ship being in the midst of the turbulent sea, Jesus was alone on the mountain. He saw them as they toiled in rowing. He came walking on the sea and would have passed them. Supposing Him to be a spirit, they cried out. He spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid."
This could be a dual picture. It reminds us of the remnant of Israel in a latter day, under the great tribulation, when the Lord's feet finally stand on the Mount of Olives and He delivers His own. This could also be a picture of the Church in the last days before His corning for us.
Three things are noted:
•"Be of good cheer"-the promise of the Lord's coming.
•"It is I"-the gathering place, where He has promised to be in the midst.
•"Be not afraid"-the enemy will do all that he can to discourage the Lord's people as they near the end of their stay here.
He walked up to them and entered the ship and the storm ceased; they were amazed and wondered. Then they went on to Gennesaret where he healed the sick. When Jesus returns, He will heal all who are sick. This is intimated by His going to Gennesaret, the place where the people told Him to depart from their coasts.
What a blessing followed. It was because the man, who had been possessed with a demon, obeyed when told to go home and to tell his friends what great things the Lord had done for Him. Surely this is a lesson for us. May we not give up or get discouraged. Blessings will come, and faith will be rewarded in that day.
What a blessing for many sick souls who will endure "to the end" of the great tribulation, after the Church has been taken home to the Father's house. On earth, the sick will be healed, the blind will see, and blessing will finally reach from one end of the earth to the other (Isa. 11:99They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9)). What a Savior!