Good morning, Siblings!
Today’s readings are Mark 6-7
Notes about Mark 6:1-6
I love this passage and it is very encouraging for me, personally. Messiah is in the synagogue teaching on the Sabbath and it is obvious that His knowledge and wisdom regarding Scripture is throwing these folks for a loop. Keep in mind, rabbis at the time went through serious formal training to be able to speak with the authority that came naturally for Messiah, and we can be certain that His wisdom far outshone any they had ever heard before. On top of this, it is clear from the text that knowledge of His miracles had been making the rounds as well.
Here they are trying to figure Him out and reasoning among themselves. Who IS He? How does he know so much? How is He so wise? At this point, they could have opened their minds up to the possibility of YHWH’s hand being in this, of the miracle of their long awaited Messiah being present, but they turned from the spiritual possibilities and went right back to their earthly understanding. Isn’t this Joseph’s and Mary’s boy? He’s just a carpenter! We know His family!
Messiah recognizes this. They cannot let go of the box they put Him in. He is so much more, but they refuse to see it. He responds with:
“A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching. Mark 6:4-6
A prophet is not honored in his hometown. It’s usually those who have known us the longest who refuse to allow us to change in their eyes. They’ve put us in a box, decided who we are, and we will always be that in their eyes. It is often for this reason that we must leave home once we are grown, sometimes we have to move on from friendships, or even distance ourselves from some relationships in order to become who we desire to be. Sometimes, in matters of faith, this may even mean leaving a particular church.
Learning from this lesson, we must also resist the temptation to put YHWH in a box. There are varying theologies that have sought to understand and explain YHWH to the point that they have done just that. We can seek to know Him, to know His word, and to live in daily relationship with Him, but we must try not to cross that fine line of putting Him in a box, be it in our own minds or with our doctrine.
Always leave room for miracles, for the unexpected, and for the unfathomable greatness that is our God. He will never fit in a box and subsequently, when we follow Him, neither will we.
And He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. He marveled because of their unbelief. And He went about among the villages teaching. Mark 6:5-6
Now, when the text says that He could do no mighty work there, it does not mean that Messiah was incapable. This is simply a reference to the fact that these people, in their summing up of Him, refused to give Him the honor due. They refused to see Him as anything other than the carpenter from down the street and so, He held onto His pearls and would share them with those who would accept them. He effectively shook His head and walked off, continuing to do all that they believed He could not do. A wonderful example for us.
He did not get into a shouting match with them.
He did not spend precious time trying to convince them of the error of their thinking.
He recognized that their minds were made up and went on to teach those who desired to hear His teaching and to heal those who desired healing.
“And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.”
Mark 6:7 ESV
Here we see a preview of the Holy Spirit that will come upon the disciples after Messiah is crucified. Not since YHWH put his spirit upon the 70 elders in Numbers 11:25 have we seen such an event.
Our precious Savior…
“When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.” Mark 6:34 ESV
Our messiah has such love for his people. This verse just made me smile.
In Mark 7:11 we revisit the story of the Pharisees permitting folks to declare that their extra income is “Corbin”. Corbin (or Korban) is the English derivative of a Hebrew term meaning “devoted to YHWH”. In this case, the people state that they have promised any extra money they may have to the temple and as a result, they don’t offer support to their parents. They use the excuse of “Well, I gave all of my extra money to the priests or synagogue.” Messiah rebukes the priests not only for allowing but for actually encouraging such a thing.
This is a situation where these actions may actually seemed noble and even honorable but we see that (as always) YHWH’s wisdom is far greater than our own. When we veer away from His ways, regardless of whether or not we think our actions are honorable, we are bringing shame upon our own soul by sinning against Him. Remember, in this society, there was no retirement or government system that helped the elderly. Children were expected to care for their parents as the parents had once cared for them. Greater than that, though, is the fact that honoring ones parents is a commandment from YHWH.
The crazy thing is, for some people who were encouraged to do this, this action may have come from a desire to honor the very Father they found themselves sinning against! Let me explain.
Many of us find ourselves, from time to time, wanting to find more ways to honor Him.
Whenever I contemplate His love, think on His majesty, or just spend time in the Word I find my gratitude growing so much that I often enjoy thinking of more ways that I can honor Him in all that I do. The desire to honor the Father is a wonderful thing! We may even come up with personal things we do to honor him, like the Nazarite’s did with their vow (which, has nothing to do with being from Nazareth or being a Nazarene https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazirite
But when we ignore how he specifically instructs us to honor him and honor him in our own way instead – then we have a problem. We have to remember that YHWH’s love language is obedience. Honoring Him is as simple as following His instructions. I don’t know about y’all, but I always have room for improvement there!
After reading the foundational Scriptures, a lot of people see that line in Mark 7:19 “And thus He declared all things clean.” and are kinda thrown by it because it doesn’t seem to line up with what we have been taught up until this point. By now we know that Messiah never contradicted the Father or His Word and so this feels notably out of place. There is good reason for that.
The main thing to remember is that all foods are clean, but YHWH defines what is considered “food”. Therefore, what the western mind considers food contains things that the Hebrew mindset would never consider eating. Just as some countries may eat animals that we keep as beloved pets (cats, dogs), while we would never consider them to be food.
So basically, there are actually no unclean foods because unclean things, according to the Father, are simply not food. Can we eat things that are not considered food by the Father? Yes, we have free will. But would there have been anything not deemed food on the table of a Jewish person in Messiah’s time? Absolutely not. And that is the case for most of our practicing Jewish brethren today as well. (see Lev 11)
Now, back to that line that seems out of place: And thus He declared all foods clean.
There is a good reason that it feels out of place: It was not in the original manuscripts. This line was not found in Aramaic or Greek manuscripts.
Let’s take a look.
Visit the link below and you can see the many translations lined up together. Check out how many include that statement. Some of them have it in parenthesis, some have it right in line with the text. Some don’t have it at all.
Now, let’s click interlinear and read the original text, translated word for word or phrase for phrase, depending on what is necessary to bring it from one language to another
We can see that addition is missing from the original text. It was added at a later time. Why would someone add this? Keep in mind the perilous times our Bible has been through by those who sought to alter, remove, or add to its text in order to support and advance their own doctrines. We will, unfortunately, see more of this as we move forward in our reading.
So what is Messiah condemning here if it isn’t about food?
In Mark 7: 1-9 we see that the scribes and the Pharisees asked Yeshua specifically why his disciples do not walk in the “tradition of the elders”. They were condemning them for not washing their hands in this ceremonial way. This was a man made tradition set forth in the Jewish Mishna writings. Essentially, one could touch ceremonially impure things in the marketplace but they then considered that impurity removed by ceremonially washing their hands up to the wrist. This has nothing to do with hygiene.
This is from their own “law”, which was established by man and then held up as more important than YHWH’s commandments, as we discussed in my Matthew notes, here
. These men’s hearts are far from the Father and yet, they consider themselves “clean” because they followed these traditions. The Father, however, looks at the state of ones heart.
Just as the story was told in Matthew, Yeshua takes exception to situations where Pharisaic traditions are held above YHWH’s commands.
In the next few lines we read:
And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” Mark 7:20-23
The Hebrew word for intention is kavanah. The kavanah of our heart shows the very nature of our soul. If our thoughts are perpetually unclean and set on evil, that makes us, then, unclean. It will become evident in our behavior. When we purpose our heart to follow wholeheartedly after Him, this will manifest itself in our thoughts and our actions.
Mark 7:24-30 Were you surprised by Messiah’s response to the Gentile woman? Most of us, the first time reading this through, are. I admit, it can be a little off-putting seeing a person who could easily represent us (Gentile) being likened to a dog by our Savior. Recall, though, that in Matthew 15:24 Messiah was clear in saying that He came only for the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Even so, when she humbles herself, acknowledging that she is not Israel but she is still looking to Him for salvation, and He shows her compassion. This model of humbling ourselves feels very intentionally placed here. I’m not saying we should consider ourselves to be dogs compared to our Jewish brethren and I don’t think that is what Messiah was saying, either. After all, He healed Gentiles and likely even chose a Gentile as one of His apostles. However, I do wonder if this wasn’t put here as a caution to help us to guard against the doctrine of Christian supremacy/Anti-Semitism that has knitted itself into the body of Believers today.
I’m going to start with the end of Mark 7 in my notes tomorrow so I’ll stop here for today.
I hope you are enjoying the readings! I’m excited to be able to read along with you.
Tomorrow, I’m going to share some exciting insight into Messiah’s spit!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!
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