v1-6 - Right when Jesus' popularity begins to skyrocket, He checks back in at home.
The initial amazement the people have for Him quickly turns to anger when Jesus doesn't perform the miracles that they've heard He's performed elsewhere.
Yet Mark reports that Jesus "could not do any miracles there (v5)."
Amazingly, the one thing that limited His power was a lack of faith on the part of the people!
If you want to see God's power in your life, the best way to do so is to constantly discipline yourself to strengthen your faith.
v6b-33 - Jesus sent His twelve disciples out to "preach that people should repent (v12)."
The disciples go out preaching, healing and casting out demons.
Their efforts are so successful that even King Herod hears about it.
Everyone seems to be talking about Jesus, but nobody knows who He is.
They thought He was a prophet, perhaps even Elijah. Herod was one of the people who thought that Jesus was the ghost of John the Baptist.
In v17-29, Mark steps away from the main story to tell about the fate of John the Baptist.
Herod had put himself in a bad position that allowed him to be manipulated by his evil wife, and it cost John his head.
In v30 the disciples return from a successful trip.
Any marketing professional worth his salt would tell Jesus to pull out the stops at this point and take advantage of the momentum that's been built up to keep publicizing Himself.
Jesus doesn't do this. Instead, He once again withdraws with His disciples to a solitary place. See how important times of silence and solitude are!
v34-44 - Jesus' attempt to find silence and solitude were short lived, because the crowds keep multiplying.
We've just finished the Windsurfing Regatta in Worthington. It's estimated that about 2,500-3,000 people were at the concert Friday night.
Jesus has 5,000 men (plus women & children) on a hillside in the middle of nowhere, with no BBQ food trucks or beer tent to feed the massive crowd.
The disciples, ever mindful of food, tactfully report the problem to Jesus, but at least they also came with a solution: send these people back to town to eat.
Even after seeing all the miracles they've seen think that feeding this crowd would be too expensive.
Jesus sat them down in groups and miraculously feeds this massive crowd with five loaves of bread and two fish.
v45-52 - Once again, instead of seizing the moment to increase His popularity, Jesus takes off, going up on a mountainside to pray (v46).
The disciples had been sent off to cross the lake ahead of Jesus, but don't make much headway due to the wind.
Jesus famously walks out to them on the water.
Yet, these men who had seen so much divine power are still terrified at Jesus, who can impossibly walk on water and once again control the wind (v51).
v53-56 - Jesus is inundated with miracle seeking people wherever He goes, and all who touched Him (or even His clothes) were healed.
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
Read the final paragraph of the Old Testament, Malachi 4:5-6, to see why people were so eager for Elijah to return, and why they kept associating Jesus with Elijah.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: In the opening scene of this chapter, in which Jesus visits his hometown of Nazareth, we are told He was surprised by something here. What was it that caused Him to “marvel” or “wonder” or to be “amazed,” as various translations put it? (See verse 6.)
In what ways can you see Jesus demonstrating His authority in this chapter?
Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The One who leaves men stunned and astonished
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will be like Jesus and make time for silence and solitude in your life to bring you closer to God
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: