ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Religion and Philosophy»
  • Christianity, the Bible & Jesus

Bible: What Does Mark 6-7 Teach Us About the Signs of the Divine Messiah?

Updated on September 8, 2016



Nazareth: No Time for Jesus

Jesus returns to Nazareth with His disciples (v. 1).

While teaching in its synagogue, He first causes astonishment and then offense among its members (vv. 2-3).

Something about His words, His “mighty works,” or His familiar heritage keeps them from believing in Him.

[Here is another prominent passage that clearly shows that Mary had other children.]

Jesus laments the lack of spiritual receptivity of His hometown folks.

Elsewhere, He received wonderful responses; Nazareth, however, does not honor Him at all (v. 4).

Consequently, Christ heals only a few people there, leaving town amazed at their unbelief, and He continues His “circuit teaching” elsewhere (vv. 5-6).

Verses 7-13 provide a truncated record of the apostles’ first solo mission.

[See Matthew 10 for complete details and commentary.]

Herod Antipas


Herod's Belief About Jesus

view quiz statistics

Herod, John, and Jesus

Whereas Matthew relates the story of Herod and John the Baptist, Mark adds several notable points.

First, Herod, ridden with guilt over his implication in John’s murder, adheres to his belief about Jesus’ identity—that is, He is John resurrected—despite the testimony of other worthies (vv. 14-16).

Second, whereas Matthew writes that Herod did not arrest John because the ruler feared the people, Mark notes that this usurper respected John as “a just and holy man,” that he protected him, and that he listened to him with joy (v. 20).

Herod’s “moment of truth” came when his “wife” Herodias and her daughter Salome backed him into a corner before “those who sat with him” (v. 26)—“his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee”—at his birthday feast (v. 21).

Promising Salome “up to half my kingdom,” Herod never envisioned her dastardly request (v. 23).

No substantive difference from Matthew remains in the rest of Mark’s account.

After hearing about John’s execution, Jesus tries to withdraw with His weary, hungry disciples to a retreat of sorts.

Despite His attempt to spend some “down time” alone with them, “the multitudes” track them down (vv. 30-33).

What most normal human beings would have done—that is, show annoyance with their self-centered persistence—does not pertain to the Lord; instead, He compassionately spends time teaching His sheep (v. 34).

Mark’s account of the feeding of the five thousand plus differs in only a few minor details from Matthew’s.

From Mark, we learn that the bread would have cost two hundred denarii (v. 37), that the crowd “sat down in ranks, in hundreds and fifties” (v. 40), and that five thousand men attended—he makes no mention of women and children (v. 44).

[Mark seems partial to numbers.]

A Late Night Stroll


Jesus Walks on the Water

Again, Mark’s next episode—the one featuring Jesus’ walk on the water—diverges from Matthew’s.

For example, when Jesus was alone on the land, He saw them straining as they rowed (v. 48a).

He also mentions that the Lord “would have passed them by” (v. 48b).

[Unless Jesus had extraordinary human eyesight, He probably could not have seen their struggle; therefore, Mark seems to communicate Christ’s omnipresence here.

Secondly, Mark’s reference to Jesus’ seeming indifference to the disciples’ plight presents an enigma.

Did He intend to let them struggle until they noticed Him on the water?]

What Mark omits—Peter’s walk on the water—also puzzles the one familiar with Matthew’s account (cf. Mt. 15:28-31).

While Matthew later mentions the fact of the disciples’ hardened hearts (cf. 16:7: a statement recorded after the feeding of the four thousand), Mark reveals it at this juncture (v. 52).

The final verses of this chapter (vv. 53-56) Matthew’s comments answer sufficiently.

The Tradition of the Elders


Pharisaical Hypocrisy

Mark 7

Mark’s parenthetical observations detailing the Pharisees’ traditional cleansing procedures constitute one way his account differs from Matthew’s (vv. 2-4).

This “special way” (lit. with the fist) [v. 3] of washing their hands the disciples of Jesus do not practice, so the Jewish leaders carp at their Leader (v. 2).

To follow the “tradition of the elders,” these fellows believe that they must fastidiously cleanse many other items as well (v. 4).

Mark’s record of Jesus’ response highlights Isaiah’s prophecy of hypocritical worship (vv. 6-7); Matthew mentions the Mosaic passages first, then the Isaianic (cf. 15:4-6).

The former also inserts the transliteration of a Hebrew word meaning a “gift” for the benefit of his Gentile audience; Matthew, writing to Jews, does not need to elucidate the meaning with this detail (v. 11).

Except for these small changes written for emphasis’ sake, the passages convey the same message (vv. 5-13).

[Recording Jesus’ exact words does not seem of paramount importance at times.]

Spiritually attuned “ears” will understand that moral defilement originates in man’s heart (the core of his being), not in his food (vv. 14-16).

Still spiritual babes, the disciples need more instruction on this matter to strengthen their understanding; thus, Jesus lists thirteen evidences of man’s depraved nature (vv. 20-23).

The Syro-Phoenician Woman

Jesus Syrophoen
Jesus Syrophoen

Healing the Demonized Girl

From Gennesaret, Jesus travels northwest to the region of Tyre; the text does not say whether His disciples accompanied Him, but they did (v. 24; cf. Matt. 15:23).

He had apparently arranged to stay at someone’s private home there, and wanted to visit without alerting the public eye (v. 24b).

Nevertheless, word travels to a Gentile—a Syro-Phoenician woman and the mother of a demonized daughter—who pleads for Him to cast out the spirit terrorizing the child (vv. 25-26).

Again, the textual divergences provide fascinating insight into how someone writing to Gentiles approaches the story.

Mark does not say (as Matthew does) that Jesus “answered her not a word” (cf. 15: 23a).

He does write, however, a statement that mollifies the Jewish attitude a little: “Let the children be filled first” (v. 27).

The faith inherent in her response to Him qualifies her as a worthy Gentile (vv. 28-29); her daughter soon lies in bed released from the demon, having been cast out from afar (v. 30).

[Is it seemly that Matthew should come across as harsher and more jingoistic?]

A Proof of the Messiah

view quiz statistics

The Deaf Hear Again

Apparently having completed His mission in Tyre, Jesus travels through Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee where he encounters people bringing Him a deaf-mute to heal (vv. 31-32).

Mark provides specific details of the Lord’s method of curing this man:

(1) He dealt with him alone (v. 33a);

(2) He put His fingers in his ears (v. 33b);

(3) He took His spit and touched the man’s tongue with it (v. 33c);

(4) He looked to heaven with a sigh (v. 34a);

(5) He spoke, “Be opened” (v. 34b).

With his hearing restored and his tongue unbound, the man speaks with no residual effects from his prior condition (v. 35).

Again, overjoyed witnesses disobey Jesus’ explicit commands not to spread this news abroad by widely proclaiming the excellence of His works (vv. 36-37).

© 2014 glynch1


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)