Mark 6:14–29 (ESV)
The Death of John the Baptist
14 King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some said, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead. That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.” 15 But
others said, “He is Elijah.” And others said, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” 16 But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” 17 For
it was Herod who had sent and seized John and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because he had married her. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you
to have your brother’s wife.” 19 And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death. But she could not, 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous
and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly.
21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet
for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22 For when Herodias’s daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you
wish, and I will give it to you.” 23 And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.” 24 And she went out and said to her mother, “For
what should I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.” 25 And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist
on a platter.” 26 And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. 27 And immediately the king sent an executioner
with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison 28 and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples
heard of it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
Coming just after the story about Jesus’ rejection in Nazareth, the tragic story of John
gives an unmistakable foreshadowing of what awaits Jesus: rejection and even violent hostility. But rejection and violence cannot overcome the risen Lord. His victory over death and the grave shows how wonderfully He can turn such antagonism into life and
I pray: Lord, give us a faith like John’s, especially his integrity and trust. Help us to believe unquestioningly that faithfulness unto
death will receive the crown of eternal life. Amen.
Mark 6:7–13 (ESV)
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles
he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts—
9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. 10 And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. 11 And if
any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. 13 And
they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.
The disciples multiply Jesus’ healing and revealing ministry, building
on the foundation laid by John the Baptist and anticipating their own ministries, which will bear full fruit after Jesus’ ascension. Even as Jesus sends the Twelve, He anticipates that not everyone will welcome the Gospel, as is still true today. Nevertheless,
God unfailingly opens hearts and doors to their ministry, and He promises to do the same until the end of time.
I pray: Lord, give us courage to share
Your Word to a dying world in these uncertain times. Open hearts to repentance and faith in the Gospel. Amen.
Mark 6:1–6 (ESV)
Jesus Rejected at Nazareth
went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things?
What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And
they took offense at him. 4 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” 5 And he could do no
mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And he marveled because of their unbelief.
And he went about among the villages teaching.
Two very different astonishments stand side by side: Jesus’ teachings amaze His hometown neighbors; yet their close-minded hard-heartedness leaves Jesus amazed. We
see similar contrasts today as people experience so much goodness from God and yet remain unthankful and unbelieving. But Jesus did not retaliate or write people off, even when they scornfully dismissed Him. He took the world’s rejection and, through
His sacrificial death, reconciled all people to God.
I pray: Lord, give us eyes to recognize You, ears to receive Your Word, and hearts to believe its
promises. By Your grace, bring us to the fullness of Your glory in heaven. Amen.
Mark 5:24–34 (ESV)
24 And he went with him.
a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent
all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, “If I
touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself
that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who
touched me?’ ” 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told
him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
This miracle is sandwiched in the middle of yesterday’s miracle reading. Jesus is on his way to heal Jairus’s daughter when someone touches him. I find it fascinating that Jesus “perceiving in himself that power had gone
out from him.” It is also interesting that she was healed immediately. The woman was scared, but trusted Jesus. He was her only hope.
pray: O Lord, please help us to trust Jesus for all our concerns. Jesus works through many ways… through doctors, medicine, prayer, or even a healing touch. He heals according to His will, not ours. Amen.
Mark 5:21–43 (ESV)
Jesus Heals a Woman and Jairus’s Daughter
21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. 22 Then came one of the rulers of the
synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet 23 and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.”
24 And he went with him.
And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him.
35 While he was still
speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do
not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus
saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And
they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,”
which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And
he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
I removed verses 25-34 from the readings above because it is
a separate miracle that is sandwiched between the reading above. This is a miracle of Jesus raising Jairus’s daughter from the dead. Now Jairus is a ruler in the synagogue, and is well known. He is a Jewish ruler that puts everything
at stake by bowing down to him and begging… or praying for Jesus to heal his daughter. Jesus proceeds to Jairus’s house and raises his daughter back to life… and they were amazed! Jesus’s miracles attest to him being the
Son of God. Yet many will forget.
I pray: O Jesus, you truly are the Son of God. Your miracles attest to your divinity.