Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mark Chapter 6, Part 2

We begin the second half of Mark 6 today with the story of John the Baptist’s death. John the Baptist is a fascinating character because of how humble he is. In a way, he shares many similar qualities to Jesus, but obviously is not on the same level because of his humanity. He knew this as well, and accepted it as part of his calling. In this section of Scripture, we see this humility come through as John continues to spread the good news even though he is in prison facing death. This even had an effect on Herod, as he believed that Jesus was the resurrection of John the Baptist.

14King Herod heard about this, for Jesus' name had become well known. Some were saying,[c] "John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him."
15Others said, "He is Elijah."
And still others claimed, "He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago."

16But when Herod heard this, he said, "John, the man I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!" – Mark 6:14-16

This is merely another way that John the Baptist prepared the way. He was, in a way, working in tandem with Jesus. His ministry was much longer than the three years that Jesus had a public ministry. It also began long before Jesus’s public ministry. Through his ministry, people became ready for when Jesus came on the season. This gave Jesus’s message more power in the sense that He amplified some of the teachings John had made.

The rest of this chapter deals with the miracles of feeding the five thousand and walking on water. We touched on these miracles when I wrote about the book of Matthew, so this is really nothing new. It is merely a different account of these stories in more of a digest form, as the book of Mark is written. This does not take away from the significance of the stories. Instead, it provides a different perspective and therefore gives them credence. It is another way that we can know the Bible is true - because of multiple eyewitness accounts. The life of Jesus is one of the few places where we get multiple accounts of the same stories, but considering Jesus’s importance it is certainly merited.

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