Mark 7

Mark 7: False Traditions

                  The Scribes and Pharisees come from Jerusalem to criticize Jesus for feeding many, with having them wash their hands before eating, as it is customary for the elders to do. Jesus answers unto them; “…Well hat Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men…” (Mark 7:6-8) Jesus instructs them that just because it is tradition to do something, does not make it above the commandments or teachings of God. The people that were gathered with Jesus did nothing wrong, but simply failed to honor a tradition. Jesus explains that they were being hypocrites for saying they honored God, yet with their actions they were chastising His Only Begotten.

Jesus explains to those gathered, that only by what leaves man can defile him; “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, and evil eye, blasphemy, pride and foolishness.” (Mark 7:21-22) These are the things that can defile man, not what they partake.

From here, Jesus leaves to the borders of Tyre and Sidon where he meets a Greek woman, who had a daughter who was possessed of an evil spirit. Jesus tells the lady that she will come home to find her daughter cured and freed from the evil spirit. Jesus then departs the land and goes to the sea of Galilee, near the coasts of Decapolis. Jesus is met by a man who was not only deaf, but also dumb in his speech impediment, He takes the man and hold him; “…and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue.” (Mark 7:33) and instantly the man was able to hear and speak.

Mark 6

Mark 6: Sending of the Twelve

                   Jesus goes into the synagogue to teach and heal on the Sabbath Day, those who are in His presence ask themselves; “…From whence hath this man these things? And what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought with his hands? Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses… and Simon?” (Mark 6:2-3) The people marveled at this man who was just a simple carpenter. We learn from this statement that Jesus actually had siblings! Meaning, Mary and Joseph had children together after Jesus was born. Making them at least His half-siblings. For further evidence of this please read: Jude 1:1

Jesus marveled at their unbelief, after all He had already performed countless miracles and yet the people still did not believe. Jesus leaves to call His Twelve Apostles:

“And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; and commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey… no scrip [bag/luggage], no bread [food], no money in their purse.” (Mark 6:7-8) Jesus commanded the Apostles to go out by two’s [pairs] to preach His gospel. He tells His Apostles that they should leave with no bag, food or money. This goes to show that preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ should never be done for money or glory.

Jesus continues to instruct the Apostles; “…In what place soever ye enter into a house, there abide [stay/remain] till ye depart from that place. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them… they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and were anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.” (Mark 6:10-13) These same exact things are done today in the LDS church; Missionaries are sent two by two to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world. The LDS Church has a presence in every country that allows by law the preaching of religion. These full time missionaries for the church are currently at almost 90,000 strong, as of 2013. The missionaries are called “Elders” and do exactly what Jesus is instructing here, they preach repentance and heal the sick, among many other things, including service projects.

The fame of Jesus spread throughout the land, many questioned if this man was Elias or John the Baptist back from the dead. When King Herod heard of this fame of Jesus he wondered if this wasn’t the resurrected John the Baptist, who he had beheaded. King Herod had a quarrel with his brother, who was Phillip, because he had taken his wife, Herodias, to marry. John the Baptist instructed Herod that it was unlawful for him to marry his brother’s wife, and King Herod feared John the Baptist, because he knew that he was a just and holy man. On King Herod’s birthday, he had a huge feast and the daughter of Herodias came in to please and dance with King Herod. To commemorate this occasion he told the young lady that she could have any wish, up to half of King Herod’s kingdom. Herodias’s daughter was already instructed by her mother to ask for the head of John the Baptist. When King Herod heard of this he was saddened, but he wouldn’t go back on his word, so he commanded that the head of John the Baptist be brought to Herodias.

Jesus continues to instruct the Apostles and many others who were gathered. While Jesus taught, He commanded His Apostles to bring the people something to eat. The Apostles instruct Jesus that there were five loves of bread and two fishes. Jesus blessed the food and commanded the Apostles to divide the food among the 5,000 gathered there. When everyone was done eating, and full, they gathered up twelve baskets of fragments [leftovers]. Once Jesus was done teaching, He commanded His Apostles to leave by ship to Bethsaida. Jesus them departed His own way to go and pray in the mountain. Jesus meets up with them on the sea later, walking on water! When the Apostles see Him walking on the water, they become afraid and think it is a ghost, but Jesus comforts them: “…Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” (Mark 6:50) The Apostles were amazed at what they saw; “For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.” (Mark6:52) Even after seeing such an amazing miracle as feeding 5,000 men with 5 loaves of bread and two fishes, the Apostles are still amazed by the power Jesus has.

Jesus board the ship and departs to the land of Gennesaret, where he is met by a large number of people who all meet Him, to be healed of Him.

Mark 5

Mark 5: Casting out Devils

                Jesus and His Apostles go into the country of Gardarenes where Jesus is immediately met by a met on the shore that had an evil spirit. The man was so possessed that he had to be placed in chains in a tomb, but no chains or any form of restraint would keep him locked up. We learn that the man was so tormented by this evil spirit that he cut “…himself with stones.” (Mark 5:5).

Jesus immediately blessed the man and cast the spirit out of him; we learn that the man’s name was ‘Legion’, and that there were many who were possessed.  Jesus casts all the evil spirits out, and allowed the evil spirits to enter into swine nearby. The evil spirits actually pleaded with Jesus to let them enter into the swine, which were 2,000 swine. Jesus knew that the evil spirits would never obtain bodies and therefore permitted them to enter into the swine. However, after being in a human host for so long, they soon realized that a pig’s body was not what they wanted and all of them (all 2,000) jumped off a cliff into the ocean, where they “…choked in the sea.” (Mark 5:13)

                Once the man Legion was free of his evil spirit, he asked to come on board with Jesus and follow him. Jesus however, told him to return to his friends and family and tell them the great this of the Lord. The man Legion followed this advice and returned to where he came, and published the great works of the Lord, and people did marvel.

Jesus returned to the ship and passed over to the other side, where He was met by Jairus, who was one of the rulers of the synagogue, who did ask for a blessing on his daughter. While Jesus was traveling to see the daughter, He was touched on the hem of His garment by an old lady. This lady had suffered a disease of the blood throughout her life and told herself; “…If I many touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.” (Mark 5:28), so she touched the garment of Jesus as He passed by her. Immediately after passing by, the woman felt that she was whole and that her disease was cured. Jesus stopped promptly, because He felt “…that virtue [power or strength] had gone out of him…” (Mark 5:30). The woman was now fearful and dropped at His feet and confessed to touching His garment. Jesus then told her that “…thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” (Mark 5:34)

                When Jesus finally arrived at the synagogue to attend to the daughter of Jarius a man from the synagogue yells; “…Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master…” (Mark 5:35) This man thought that the daughter was dead and nothing could be done. It is interesting that people had heard of the miraculous powers of Jesus or witnessed them first hand, yet people still did not believe that He could bring someone back from the dead? Jesus responds to the man; “…Be not afraid, only believe.” (Mark 5:36)

Jesus then commands Peter, James, and John to follow Him into the house. The people in the house are very skeptical of Jesus, so Jesus asks them; “…Why make ye this ado, and weep? The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.” (Mark 5:39) But, like most of His critics, He received laughing.

Jesus then sends everyone out, except the parents and His Apostles. He then took the daughter by the hand and said to her; “…Talitha cumi; which is… Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.” (Mark 5:41) The damsel did arise, she being only 12 years old.

Mark 4

Mark 4: Parable of the Sower

Jesus gives his Apostles the Parable of the Sower:

“…there went out a sower to sow: …as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up… some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth [dirt]… when the sun was up it was scorched… because it had no root… some fell among thorns…and choked it, and it yielded no fruit…other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.” (Mark 4:3-8)

After Jesus was done explaining the Parable, the Apostles asked Jesus why He speaks in Parables. Jesus explains to them; “…Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of God: but unto them that are without [the keys of the priesthood, or Gospel knowledge], all these things are done in Parables. That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear and not understand…” (Mark 4:11-12) Essentially those who are not in God’s presence or have priesthood keys or knowledge would need Parables to help them understand the things of God.

Jesus goes on to clarify what the Parable of the Sower meant:

For those who fall by the wayside and have little ground to root in, these are the same people that hear the word; “…but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.” (Mark 4:15) These are the people who hear the Gospel and accept it with gladness and “…so endure for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.” (Mark 4:17) Often times people will accept the truth, but when things get difficult or the trials that God has given to them are too much, they give up and blame all their bad on the church or on the Gospel of Jesus Christ without realizing that it is actually their own fault or their own unwillingness to accept the trials that God has so graciously and out of love put into our lives.

Those who fall into good soil, accept the Gospel and even live it for a while in their lives. But without care for what they have surrounding them, they slowly let the garden of thorns and snares grow and surround them. Eventually the thorns and snares of the world take hold of their foundation and being, slowly choking them; “…the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19)

Then there are those who fall into good soil, accept the Gospel and live it in their lives and do not let their garden be surrounded by thorns and snares. They stay clean and bring forth much fruit.

So what do we compare to the Kingdom of God? “It is like a grain of mustard seed, which when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: but when it is sown, it growth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out many branches…” (Mark 4:31-32)

After Jesus was done explaining His Parable of the Sower, they all depart and get on ship. But there arose a great storm…

“And he [Jesus] was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awaken him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the sear, Peace, be still, And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How it is that ye have no faith?” (Mark 4:38-40)

Again the Apostles failed to understand the great power and authority of Jesus and even ask amongst themselves; “…What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:41)

Mark 3

Mark 3: Healing on the Sabbath

                A man comes near Jesus with a deformed hand, and the scribes stand by waiting to see if Jesus will heal the man on the Sabbath. Jesus perceives their hearts and simply asks them: “…Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days. Or to do evil? To save a life, or to kill?” (Mark 3:4) Jesus heals the man and makes his hand whole. Immediately the scribes come together to charge Jesus!

Jesus travels throughout Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, Jordan, Tyre and Sidon all while being followed by a group of people. When Jesus spoke he usually spoke from a boat or had a small boat nearby, for fear that people would essentially “tackle Him”. Everyone who wanted to be healed of Him would come near and want to touch Him. Unclean spirits would cause those possessed to fall to the ground and weep for seeing the Son of God.

Jesus travels up a mountain with the twelve Apostles so that He could ordain them as Apostles (Those called by Jesus and given His priesthood Authority and Power) and not just as Disciples (those who follow Jesus). He ordains all of them with the ability to preach, and the power to heal sicknesses and cast out devils. After He finishes ordaining them, they all go to have a feast. While there, some scribes come and accuse Jesus of casting out devils by the power of Beelzebub (the devil). So Jesus says; “…How can Satan cast out Satan?” (Mark 3:23) Jesus goes on to explain that if a house or nation is divided it cannot stand, therefore if Satan is against himself, he also cannot stand. Jesus goes on even further to explain that those who deny the Holy Ghost are in danger of eternal damnation. Therefore, don’t deny the Holy Ghost!

One thing we learn here is that Jesus says “…whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” (Mark 3:35) Some will use this verse to explain that Jesus never had any direct brothers or sisters, that he was essentially an only child. Is this true? He is the Only Begotten of the Father, but Jesus was born of Mary, so did Mary have any more children? Because if she did, then they would at least be blood related half-brothers to Jesus. In Mark 6:3, we read: “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? And are no his sisters here with us? …” (Mark 6:3) Therefore we learn that Jesus had siblings!

Mark 2

Mark 2: Jesus Forgives Sin

                Jesus goes to Capernaum and enters into a house, the word gets out that He is there and people show up in droves! So many that there was not enough room for them in the house, Jesus preaches to them from the house and evil heals a man with Palsy. When the people wanted to get closer to Jesus, they actually broke through the roof of the house and lowered a man sick with Palsy through the roof. When Jesus saw the faith of the people he tells the man who is sick that his sins are forgiven.

Some of the scribes who were there began questioning to themselves; “Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only? …immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves… said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether it is easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins…” (Mark 2:7-10) The man with Palsy is healed and takes his bed and leaves.

Jesus departs to the seaside and finds Levi, sitting idle outside of the tax office and Jesus tells him to follow him, and he does. Jesus goes in to eat with publicans and sinners, but the scribes were confused and ask why Jesus would eat with sinners. Jesus responds; “…They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mark 2:17)

                Jesus explains that while the Apostles are with Him, they have no need for fasting. Jesus also explains that “…The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” (Mark 2:27), in other words we need to honor the Sabbath day!

Mark 1

Mark 1: Jesus is Baptized

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, Jesus tells us; “…I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare the way before me…” (Mark 1:2) Jesus is speaking of John the Baptist, who was truly sent before Jesus to prepare the way for Him. All of the land of Judea and Jerusalem came to hear the words of John the Baptist, who spoke of repentance and baptism for the remission of sins.

John was so important that even Jesus Christ came to be baptized of him; “…Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.” (Mark 1:9) We learn that after Jesus was baptized that He came “…straightway…up out of the water…” (Mark 1:10), which clearly points to Jesus being baptized by FULL IMMERSION and no other means. This is important for baptism, a repentant heart, a baptism by full immersion by someone who is AUTHORIZED to do the baptism, in other words has the power given to them. After His baptism, the heavens opened and the Holy Ghost, like a dove came down to give Him the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Jesus is then pushed into the wilderness for 40 days, where He is tempted by Satan, but Jesus overcame Satan and angels administered unto Him. John continues to preach repentance to all those who will hear. Jesus goes to Galilee and finds Simon and Andrew by the shore; they were fishers who Jesus converted into fishers of men, meaning; that they would do the Lord’s work and fish for the men who would come unto Jesus. Jesus also finds James and John, who stop what they are doing and follow Jesus.

Jesus teaches His new disciples, and they “…were astonished at his doctrine; for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.” (Mark 1:22) This is important to know, that Jesus HAS the AUTHORITY, the disciples recognized this AUTHORITY, because the Holy Ghost testified of that to them. In order to administer in the gospel, you MUST have proper PRIESTHOOD AUTHORITY!

Jesus ends the chapter by casting out devils, healing the sick and cleansing a leper.