Mark 6: Bible Study

Written by Iain Greensheilds   


Our studies at the moment are exploring the Gospel of Mark – most probably dictated to Mark by the apostle Peter. Each week a chapter will be chosen as we systematically work our way through the gospel. The minister will take a section of that chapter to preach on but over 5 of the 7 days in that week you will have the opportunity to read that chapter for yourselves as we explore together the life of Jesus. If you have any questions as you study please do not hesitate to either email the minister or contact him by phone – he will be delighted to help.


Day 1 Read Mark chapter 6

This chapter is packed full of incident – the rejection of Jesus by his town, the sending out of the 12, the death of John the Baptist, the feeding of the 5,000 and Jesus walking on the water – do you see a connection? Maybe it is in verse 52. Perhaps it is the inability of most people, and even the disciples, to grasp and understand the significance of who Jesus was and is, that lies at the heart of their lives and our own. Pray, as you go through these passages, that you will grasp something of the life-changing uniqueness of Jesus.


Day 2 Read Mark 6:1-13

In my version [NLT] there are three words that stand out to describe how people in Nazareth felt about Jesus – astonished[verse 2], offended[verse 4] and refusal to believe[verse 4]. Why? Why does this describe so many people today who have never encountered Him? Interestingly He was only able to “heal a few sick people” – what Mark considers a failure we would consider an incredible success – are our sights set too low?

Notice too that the disciples were involved in seasons of going out! I wonder whether we fail to grasp that there should always be seasons of reaching out by the church.


Day 3 Read Mark 6:14-29

This is a sad story of a man who exercised considerable power but was weak. What does it tell us about Herod’s relationship with John in verse 20? Is Herod the “almost man?” Herod has a complicated family life – he murdered at least 4 of his sons. Herodias, whom we meet in the story, was the wife of his half-brother and his niece. He seduced and married her and so he is married to someone who is at the same time his sister-in-law and his niece!! In this story we see a sexually provocative dance designed to appeal to the weakness of Herod by a young woman and the terrible consequences – how does this fit in with powerful figures today?


Day 4 Read Mark 6: 30-44

There is no doubt that this is a miracle but it is driven by the compassion of both the disciples and Jesus. One of the challenges laid down here by Jesus is that he expected his disciples to do something where there was a situation of need and want – how does that challenge us, the way we spend or store money in the face of a needy world? The second thing we do see is a miracle – a miracle that points to the Divine Nature of Jesus. If He is thus divine it does not just point to his power but his authority – his command to let his Kingdom come by obedience to His will.


Day 5 Read Mark 6:45-56

He walks on the water – see verse 52 – this is designed to emphasise his power and divine glory – but they have still [like us] not grasped it. I want just to emphasise one part of this story for us to think about. The disciples were struggling along – coping with their adversity. They were not expecting Jesus. When He does appear, they were more uncomfortable with his presence than his absence!! Is that true of us? Are we quite happy to muddle on through with life, with a nominal faith that would not really know what to do if Jesus showed up in person – quite a thought – quite a challenge!