February 17: Mark 6
Jesus Rejected in Nazareth
6 Afterward, Jesus left Capernaum[a] and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown. 2 On 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?[b] And what mighty miracles flow through his hands! 3 Isn’t this Mary’s son, the carpenter,[c] the brother of Jacob, Joseph,[d] Judah, and Simon? And don’t his sisters all live here in Nazareth?” And they took offense at him.
4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is treated with honor everywhere except in his own hometown, among his relatives, and in his own house.” 5 He was unable to do any great miracle in Nazareth,[e] except to heal a few sick people by laying his hands upon them. 6 He was amazed at the depth of their unbelief![f]
Then Jesus went out into the different villages and taught the people.
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles
7 Jesus 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.[g] 10 And whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave the area. 11 Whatever 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.”[h]
12 So they went out and preached publicly that everyone should repent. 13 They cast out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
Death of John the Baptizer
14 King 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!” 15 Others said, “No, he’s Elijah!” While others said, “He’s a prophet, like one of the prophets of old!”
16 When Herod heard what the people were saying, he concluded, “I beheaded John, and now he’s raised from the dead!” 17–18 For 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!”[i]
19 This infuriated Herodias, and she held a bitter grudge against him and wanted John executed. 20 But Herod both feared and stood in awe[j] 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 enjoyed listening to his words.
21 But 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. 22 On the day of the feast, his stepdaughter, the daughter of Herodias,[k] came to honor the king with a beautiful dance, and she flattered him.[l] 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!” 23 And 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!”
24 She 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!” 25 So 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!”
26 Deeply grieved, the king regretted[m] his promise to her, but since he had made his vow in front of all his honored guests, he couldn’t deny her request. 27 So without delay the king ordered an executioner to bring John’s head, and he went and beheaded John in prison. 28 He brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl brought it to her mother. 29 When 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
30 The apostles returned from their mission[n] and gathered around Jesus and told him everything they had done and taught.
31 There 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.” 32 They slipped away and left by sailboat for a deserted spot. 33 But 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.
34 By the time Jesus came ashore, a massive crowd was waiting. At the sight of them, his heart was filled with compassion,[o] because they seemed like wandering sheep who had no shepherd.[p] So he taught them many things.
35 Late that afternoon, his disciples said, “It’s getting really late and we’re here in this remote place with nothing to eat. 36 You should send the crowds away so they can go into the surrounding villages and buy food for themselves.”
37 But 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[q] 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.”
39 Then he instructed them to organize the crowd and have them sit down in groups on the grass. 40 So they had them sit down in groups[r] of hundreds and fifties. 41 Then 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! 42 Everyone had plenty to eat and was fully satisfied. 43 Then the twelve disciples picked up what remained, and each of them ended up with a basket full of leftovers! 44 Altogether, five thousand families[s] were fed that day!
Jesus Walks on Water
45 After 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.[t] 46 So he dispersed the crowd, said good-bye to his disciples, then slipped away to pray on the mountain.
47 As night fell, the boat was in the middle of the lake and Jesus was alone on land. 48 The wind was against the disciples and he could see[u] that they were straining at the oars, trying to make headway.
When it was almost morning,[v] Jesus came to them, walking on the surface of the water, and he started to pass by them.[w] 49–50 When 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!”[x]
51 Then 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 52 because they failed to learn the lesson of the miracle[y] of the loaves, and their hearts were unwilling to learn the lesson.[z]
Jesus the Healer
53 They made landfall at Gennesaret and anchored there.[aa] 54 The moment they got out of the boat, everyone recognized that it was Jesus, the healer! 55 So they ran throughout the region, telling the people, “Bring all the sick—even those too sick to walk and bring them on mats!” 56 Wherever he went, in the countryside, villages, or towns, they placed the sick on mats in the streets or in public places[ab] and begged him, saying, “Just let us touch the tassel of your prayer shawl!”[ac] And all who touched him were instantly healed!
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