Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Mark
Book: Mark
Chapter: 6

Christ despised in his own country. (1-6) The apostles sent
forth. (7-13) John the Baptist Put to Death. (14-29) The
apostles return, Five thousand fed By a Miracle. (30-44) Christ
walks On The Sea, He heals those that touch him. (45-56)

1-6 Our Lord's countrymen tried to prejudice the minds of
people against him. Is not this the Carpenter? Our Lord Jesus
probably had worked in that business with his Father. He thus
Put honour upon mechanics, and encouraged all persons who eat By
the labour of their hands. It becomes the followers of Christ to
content themselves with the satisfaction of doing good, although
they are denied the praise of it. How much did these Nazarenes
lose By obstinate prejudices against Jesus! May Divine Grace
deliver us from that unbelief, which renders Christ a savour of
Death, rather than of Life to the soul. Let us, like our Master,
go and teach cottages and peasants the way of Salvation.

7-13 Though the apostles were conscious to themselves of great
weakness, and expected No worldly advantage, yet, in obedience to
their Master, and in dependence upon his strength, they went
out. They did not amuse people with curious matters, but told
them they must repent of their sins, and turn to God. The
servants of Christ may Hope to turn many from Darkness unto God,
and to heal souls By the power of the Holy Ghost.

14-29 Herod feared John while he lived, and feared him still
more when he was dead. Herod did many of those things which John
in his preaching taught him; but it is not enough to do many
things, we must have respect to all the Commandments. Herod
respected John, till he touched him in his Herodias. Thus many
Love good preaching, if it keep far away from their beloved Sin.
But it is better that sinners persecute ministers now for
faithfulness, than Curse them eternally for unfaithfulness. The
ways of God are unsearchable; but we may be sure he never can be
at a loss to repay his servants for what they endure or lose for
his sake. Death could not come So as to surprise this holy Man;
and the triumph of the wicked was short.

30-44 Let not ministers do any thing or teach any thing, but
what they are willing should be told to their Lord. Christ
notices the frights of some, and the toils of others of his
disciples, and provides Rest for those that are tired, and
Refuge for those that are terrified. The people sought the
spiritual Food of Christ's Word, and then he took care that they
should not want bodily Food. If Christ and his disciples Put up
with mean things, surely we may. And this Miracle shows that
Christ came into the world, not only to restore, but to preserve
and nourish spiritual Life; in him there is enough for all that
come. None are sent empty away from Christ but those who come to
him full of themselves. Though Christ had Bread enough at
command, he teaches us not to waste any of God's bounties,
remembering how many are in want. We may, some time, need the
fragments that we now throw away.

45-56 The Church is often like a ship at Sea, tossed with
tempests, and not comforted: we may have Christ for us, yet wind
and tide against us; but it is a comfort to Christ's disciples
in a storm, that their Master is in the heavenly Mount,
interceding for them. And No difficulties can hinder Christ's
appearance for his people, when the set time is come. He
silenced their fears, By making himself known to them. Our fears
are soon satisfied, if our mistakes are set right, especially
our mistakes as to Christ. Let the disciples have their Master
with them, and all is Well. It is for want of rightly
understanding Christ's former Works, that we view his present
Works as if there never were the like before. If Christ's
ministers now could cure people's bodily diseases, what
multitudes would flock after them! It is sad to think how much
more most care about their bodies than about their souls.