Mark 6: Feeding the Five Thousand

Why did people who knew Jesus well as he was growing up not believe in the person doing the miracles?

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Mark 6:1–3 Jesus left the Capernaum area and went with his followers to his home town, Nazareth. On the Sabbath, he taught in the synagogue, and many were amazed at his teaching, saying, “Where did he get such wisdom and the power to do miracles? “Isn’t he just a carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Do not his sisters live here in town?” They did not trust his actions or what he said.
King James
Mark 6:1–3 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

How did people’s unbelief hinder what Jesus could do in Nazareth?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 6:4–6 Jesus said to them, “A prophet has honor everywhere except in his own country, among his relatives, and in his own household.” He could not do many miracles there. He only healed a few sick people. He was amazed at their unbelief.
Then he went to teach in the towns nearby.
King James
Mark 6:4–6 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

How many pairs of disciples might Jesus have sent? Why didn’t he send individuals instead of pairs?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 6:7 He called the twelve disciples, gave them authority over evil spirits, and began to send them out in pairs.
King James
Mark 6:7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;

Why weren’t the disciples to take with them all the provisions that would be needed for a journey over many days?

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Mark 6:8–9 “Do not be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask. Pray like this: ‘Our Father in Heaven, may your name be honored.'”
King James
Mark 6:8–9 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

In each town, why were disciples to stay in only one house?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 6:10 “‘May your Kingdom come and your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.'”
King James
Mark 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Why would people be judged so severely if they didn’t receive the disciples and heed their message?

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Mark 6:11 “‘Give us the bread we need for today.'”
King James
Mark 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.

How effective do you think the disciples ministry was? What kinds of opposition might they have faced?

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Mark 6:12–13 So the disciples went out and preached that men should turn from their sins. They cast out many evil spirits and anointed with oil many who were sick, healing them.
King James
Mark 6:12–13 And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

Who brought news about Jesus to King Herod? Why did he associate that activity with John the Baptizer?

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Mark 6:14–16 King Herod heard about Jesus because news was spreading everywhere.
“The spirit of John the Baptizer has returned from the dead,” some said. “That is why he has the power to do such miracles.” Others said, “He is Elijah,” or, “He is like one of the great prophets who lived long ago.”
But when Herod heard all of this, he said, “It is John. The one I beheaded has come back from the dead.”
King James
Mark 6:14–16 And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets. But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.

How could people think Jesus was Elijah or some other great prophet from history?

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Mark 6:15 Others said, “He is Elijah,” or, “He is like one of the great prophets who lived long ago.”
King James
Mark 6:15 Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.

Why did Herod put John in prison? How much control did his wife have in that decision?

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Mark 6:17–20 Earlier, Herod had taken Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, to be his wife. He had John arrested, bound in chains, and put in prison for saying to him, “Under God’s law, you have no right to be married to her.”
Herodias was furious with John and wished she had the power to have him killed. She could not, because Herod respected John as a righteous and holy man. He found John’s words to be disturbing, yet he liked listening to him.
King James
Mark 6:17–20 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife. Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

Who were the people present at Herod’s birthday feast? How old was he?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 6:21 An opportunity came for Herodias during Herod’s birthday feast. Important government officials, military commanders, and prominent citizens of Galilee attended.
King James
Mark 6:21 And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee;

Why did Herod’s stepdaughter please him so much?

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Mark 6:22–23 Her daughter danced before Herod and his guests in a way that immensely pleased him.
“Ask me for anything you want,” he said, “and I will give it to you. “I swear, whatever you ask I will give, up to half my kingdom.”
King James
Mark 6:22–23 And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.

Why did the dancer ask her mother how to answer Herod?

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Mark 6:24 The dancer left and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?”
Her mother said, “The head of John the Baptizer.”
King James
Mark 6:24 And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.

What did Herod and his guests think when they heard the dancer’s request for John’s head on a platter?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 6:25–27 Immediately, she went before the king and said, “Bring me John the Baptizer’s head on a platter.”
This grieved the king, but because he had sworn an oath before his guests, he gave the order to the executioner to bring John’s head. So the executioner went to the prison and beheaded John.
King James
Mark 6:25–27 And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,

In what setting did the dancer receive John’s head on a platter? What happened to John’s head after that?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 6:28–29 He brought the head on a platter and gave it to the girl, who took it to her mother.
When John’s disciples heard what had happened, they claimed the body and buried him.
King James
Mark 6:28–29 And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother. And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.

If they weren’t present, how did John’s disciples learn what had happened at Herod’s birthday feast?

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Mark 6:29 When John’s disciples heard what had happened, they claimed the body and buried him.
King James
Mark 6:29 And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.

After the disciples had been away for so long, they couldn’t read a newspaper or make a phone call. How did they know where to find Jesus?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 6:30 After their tour of ministry, the disciples gathered around Jesus and told him all they had said and done.
King James
Mark 6:30 And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.

How can people be too busy to eat?

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Mark 6:31 People constantly came and went, so much so that they did not even have an opportunity to eat. Jesus said, “Let’s go to a desolate place where we can rest for a while.”
King James
Mark 6:31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

After Jesus and his disciples left by boat, how could people know where he would dock?

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Mark 6:32–33 So they left by boat to an isolated place. Many people saw them leave and the direction they were heading. Out of all the nearby towns, they hurried on foot and were already at the shore when the boat arrived.
King James
Mark 6:32–33 And they departed into a desert place by ship privately. And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.

Why did Jesus have such great compassion for the people? What were the main points that he taught?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 6:34 Jesus saw the huge crowd waiting for him. He was moved with compassion because he saw them as helpless and confused, like sheep without a shepherd. He taught them many things.
King James
Mark 6:34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

Why was the crowd without out food and needing to be fed? How did the disciples know that condition existed?

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Mark 6:35–36 Late in the afternoon, the disciples said to Jesus, “We are far from town, and it is getting late. Send the people away so they can go to the farms and towns nearby and buy food.”
King James
Mark 6:35–36 And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.

How thoroughly did the disciples look when they found five loaves and two fish?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 6:38 “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”
After checking, they said, “All we have are five loaves and two fish.”
King James
Mark 6:38 He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.

How many groups of fifty or more were waiting to see what would happen?

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Mark 6:39–40 “Have the people sit down in groups on the green grass.”
So they sat in groups of fifty to a hundred.
King James
Mark 6:39–40 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.

When and how did the multiplication of loaves and fish take place?

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Mark 6:41–43 Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked toward the sky, and gave thanks. He broke the loaves and fish and handed them to his disciples, who distributed the pieces to the people.
They all ate as much as they wanted and the disciples gathered twelve baskets full of leftover bread and fish.
King James
Mark 6:41–43 And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.

Where did the disciples get twelve baskets for distribution of the food and for gathering leftovers?

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Mark 6:42–43 They all ate as much as they wanted and the disciples gathered twelve baskets full of leftover bread and fish.
King James
Mark 6:42–43 And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.

How many people were fed? To what extent were they aware of the miracle?

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Mark 6:44 Besides the women and children, about five thousand men were fed.
King James
Mark 6:44 And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

After the disciples were gone, what did Jesus say to the crowd?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 6:45 After the five thousand had been fed, Jesus told his disciples to get into their boat and go from Bethsaida to the other side while he dismissed the crowd.
King James
Mark 6:45 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.

When Jesus was alone, what did he pray?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 6:46–47 When the people had gone, he went up the mountain to pray. In the evening, he was there alone and the boat was well out to sea.
King James
Mark 6:46–47 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.

Where was Jesus looking from when he saw the disciples making little headway against a strong headwind?

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Mark 6:48 He watched them strain at the oars as they tried to push into a strong headwind.
In the fourth watch of the night, between three and six o’clock in the morning, Jesus walked toward them on the water and was about to pass by.
King James
Mark 6:48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.

Why did Jesus walk on water toward the far shore and not take the land route where he could meet the disciples when they arrived?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 6:48 He watched them strain at the oars as they tried to push into a strong headwind.
In the fourth watch of the night, between three and six o’clock in the morning, Jesus walked toward them on the water and was about to pass by.
King James
Mark 6:48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.

Why didn’t the disciples recognize Jesus as he walked on the water?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 6:49–50 When the disciples saw him, they screamed because they thought he was a ghost. They were terrified at what they saw, but Jesus said, “It’s all right. I am Jesus. You do not need to be afraid.”
King James
Mark 6:49–50 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.

How comforting were Jesus’ words when he identified himself? Why doesn’t Mark describe Peter walking with Jesus on the water, like Matthew does?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 6:50–51 They were terrified at what they saw, but Jesus said, “It’s all right. I am Jesus. You do not need to be afraid.”
When Jesus climbed into the boat, the wind calmed.
The disciples were completely amazed.
King James
Mark 6:50–51 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.

Why did the wind calm when Jesus got into the boat?

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Mark 6:51 When Jesus climbed into the boat, the wind calmed. The disciples were completely amazed.
King James
Mark 6:51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.

What limits exist in what God can do?

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Mark 6:52 Even after the miracle of the loaves, they had not learned what God could do.
King James
Mark 6:52 For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

Why might we be surprised that a large crowd greeted Jesus at the shore near Gennesaret?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 6:53–56 After crossing the lake, Jesus and the disciples came to shore near Gennesaret. As soon as they stepped out of the boat, people recognized him. News of his arrival spread throughout the region. People carried the sick on pallets to wherever he stayed.
Whenever Jesus entered a town or small community, he passed the sick in the roadway. Some of them begged to touch the fringe of his robe. Those who touched his robe were healed.
King James
Mark 6:53–56 And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore. And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him, and ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was. And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.