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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO

MARK
TITLE

ark, for whom this gospel is named, was a close companion of the Apostle Peter and a recurring character in the book of Acts, where he is known as John who was also called Mark (Ac 12:12,25;
15:37,39). It was to John Marks mothers home in Jerusalem that Peter went when released from prison
(Ac 12:12).
John Mark was a cousin of Barnabas (Col 4:10), who accompanied Paul and Barnabas on Pauls first
missionary journey (Ac 12:25; 13:5). But he deserted them along the way in Perga and returned to
Jerusalem (Ac 13:13). When Barnabas wanted Paul to take John Mark on the second missionary journey,
Paul refused. The friction which resulted between Paul and Barnabas led to their separation (Ac 15:38-40).
But John Marks earlier vacillation evidently gave way to great strength and maturity, and in time he
proved himself even to the Apostle Paul. When Paul wrote the Colossians, he instructed them that if John
Mark came, they were to welcome him (Col 4:10). Paul even listed Mark as a fellow worker (Phm 24). Later,
Paul told Timothy to Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service (2Ti 4:11).
John Marks restoration to useful ministry may have been, in part, due to the ministry of Peter. Peters
close relationship with Mark is evident from his description of him as my son, Mark (1Pe 5:13). Peter,
of course, was no stranger to failure himself, and his influence on the younger man was no doubt instrumental in helping him out of the instability of his youth and into the strength and maturity he would need
for the work to which God had called him.

A UTHOR AND D ATE

nlike the epistles, the gospels do not name their authors. The early church fathers, however, unanimously affirm that Mark wrote this second gospel. Papias, bishop of Hieropolis, writing about A.D.
140, noted:
And the presbyter [the Apostle John] said this: Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote
down accurately whatsoever he remembered. It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied Him. But afterwards, as I said, he
accompanied Peter, who accommodated his instructions to the necessities [of his hearers], but with no intention of giving a regular narrative of the Lords sayings. Wherefore Mark made no mistake in thus writing some things as he remembered them. For of one thing he took especial care, not to omit anything he
had heard, and not to put anything fictitious into the statements. [From the Exposition of the Oracles of the
Lord (6)]
Justin Martyr, writing about A.D. 150, referred to the Gospel of Mark as the memoirs of Peter, and
suggested that Mark committed his gospel to writing while in Italy. This agrees with the uniform voice of
early tradition, which regarded this gospel as having been written in Rome, for the benefit of Roman Christians. Irenaeus, writing about A.D. 185, called Mark the disciple and interpreter of Peter, and recorded
that the second gospel consisted of what Peter preached about Christ. The testimony of the church fathers
differs as to whether this gospel was written before or after Peters death (ca. A.D. 6768).
Evangelical scholars have suggested dates for the writing of Marks gospel ranging from A.D. 50 to
70. A date before the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70 is required by the comment of Jesus
in 13:2. Lukes gospel was clearly written before Acts (Ac 1:1-3). The date of the writing of Acts can probably be fixed at about A.D. 63, because that is shortly after the narrative ends (see Introduction to Acts: Author and Date). It is therefore likely, though not certain, that Mark was written at an early date, probably
sometime in the 50s.

BACKGROUND AND SETTING

hereas Matthew was written to a Jewish audience, Mark seems to have targeted Roman believers,
particularly Gentiles. When employing Aramaic terms, Mark translated them for his readers (3:17;
5:41; 7:11,34; 10:46; 14:36; 15:22,34). On the other hand, in some places he used Latin expressions instead
of their Greek equivalents (5:9; 6:27; 12:15,42; 15:16,39). He also reckoned time according to the Roman system (6:48; 13:35) and carefully explained Jewish customs (7:3,4; 14:12; 15:42). Mark omitted Jewish elements, such as the genealogies found in Matthew and Luke. This gospel also makes fewer references to
the OT, and includes less material that would be of particular interest to Jewish readerssuch as that

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MARK

which is critical of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Sadducees are mentioned only once, in 12:18). When mentioning Simon of Cyrene (15:21), Mark identifies him as the father of Rufus, a prominent member of the
church at Rome (Ro 16:13). All of this supports the traditional view that Mark was written for a Gentile
audience initially at Rome.

HISTORICAL AND THEOLOGICAL THEMES

ark presents Jesus as the suffering Servant of the Lord (10:45). His focus is on the deeds of Jesus more
than His teaching, particularly emphasizing service and sacrifice. Mark omits the lengthy discourses
found in the other gospels, often relating only brief excerpts to give the gist of Jesus teaching. Mark also
omits any account of Jesus ancestry and birth, beginning where Jesus public ministry began, with His
baptism by John in the wilderness.
Mark demonstrated the humanity of Christ more clearly than any of the other evangelists, emphasizing Christs human emotions (1:41; 3:5; 6:34; 8:12; 9:36), His human limitations (4:38; 11:12; 13:32), and
other small details that highlight the human side of the Son of God (e.g., 7:33,34; 8:12; 9:36; 10:13-16).

INTERPRETIVE CHALLENGES

hree significant questions confront the interpreter of Mark: 1) What is the relationship of Mark to Luke
and Matthew? (see below, The Synoptic Problem); 2) How should one interpret the eschatological passages? (see notes on chaps. 4,13); and 3) Were the last 12 verses of chap. 16 originally part of Marks gospel?
(see note on 16:9-20).

THE SYNOPTIC PROBLEM

ven a cursory reading of Matthew, Mark, and Luke reveals both striking similarities (cf. 2:3-12; Mt 9:28; Lk 5:18-26) and significant differences, as each views the life, ministry, and teaching of Jesus. The
question of how to explain those similarities and differences is known as the Synoptic Problem (syn
means together; optic means seeing).
The modern solutioneven among evangelicalshas been to assume that some form of literary dependence exists between the synoptic gospels. The most commonly accepted theory to explain such an alleged literary dependence is known as the Two-Source theory. According to that hypothesis, Mark was
the first gospel written, and Matthew and Luke then used Mark as a source in writing their gospels. Proponents of this view imagine a non-existent, second source, labeled Q (from the German word Quelle,
source), and argue that this allegedly is the source of the material in Matthew and Luke that does not
appear in Mark. They advance several lines of evidence to support their scenario.
First, most of Mark is paralleled in Matthew and Luke. Since it is much shorter than Matthew and
Luke, the latter must be expansions of Mark. Second, the 3 gospels follow the same general chronological
outline, but when either Matthew or Luke departs from Marks chronology, the other agrees with Mark.
Put another way, Matthew and Luke do not both depart from Marks chronology in the same places.
That, it is argued, shows that Matthew and Luke used Mark for their historical framework. Third, in passages common to all 3 gospels, Matthews and Lukes wording seldom agrees when it differs from Marks.
Proponents of the Two-Source theory see that as confirmation that Matthew and Luke used Marks
gospel as a source.
But those arguments do not prove that Matthew and Luke used Marks gospel as a source. In fact, the
weight of evidence is strongly against such a theory:
1) The nearly unanimous testimony of the church until the nineteenth century was that Matthew was
the first gospel written. Such an impressive body of evidence cannot be ignored.
2) Why would Matthew, an apostle and eyewitness to the events of Christs life, depend on Mark (who
was not an eyewitness)even for the account of his own conversion?
3) A significant statistical analysis of the synoptic gospels has revealed that the parallels between them
are far less extensive and the differences more significant than is commonly acknowledged. The differences, in particular, argue against literary dependence between the gospel writers.
4) Since the gospels record actual historical events, it would be surprising if they did not follow the
same general historical sequence. For example, the fact that 3 books on American history all had the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War in the same
chronological order would not prove that the authors had read each others books. General agreement in
content does not prove literary dependency.
5) The passages in which Matthew and Luke agree against Mark (see argument 3 in favor of the
Two-Source theory) amount to about one-sixth of Matthew and one-sixth of Luke. If they used Marks
gospel as a source, there is no satisfactory explanation for why Matthew and Luke would so often both
change Marks wording in the same way.
6) The Two-Source theory cannot account for the important section in Marks gospel (6:458:26)
which Luke omits. That omission suggests Luke had not seen Marks gospel when he wrote.

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7) There is no historical or manuscript evidence that the Q document ever existed; it is purely a fabrication of modern skepticism and a way to possibly deny the verbal inspiration of the gospels.
8) Any theory of literary dependence between the gospel writers overlooks the significance of their
personal contacts with each other. Mark and Luke were both companions of Paul (cf. Phm 24); the early
church (including Matthew) met for a time in the home of Marks mother (Ac 12:12); and Luke could easily have met Matthew during Pauls two-year imprisonment at Caesarea (see note on Ac 27:1). Such contacts make theories of mutual literary dependence unnecessary.
The simplest solution to the Synoptic Problem is that no such problem exists! Because critics cannot
prove literary dependence between the gospel writers, there is no need to explain it. The traditional view
that the gospel writers were inspired by God and wrote independently of each otherexcept that all 3
were moved by the same Holy Spirit (2Pe 1:21)remains the only plausible view.
As the reader compares the various viewpoints in the gospels, it becomes clear how well they harmonize and lead to a more complete picture of the whole event or message. The accounts are not contradictory, but complementary, revealing a fuller understanding when brought together. Apparent difficulties
are dealt with in the notes of each gospel.



OUTLINE



I. Prologue: In the Wilderness (1:1-13)


A. Johns Message (1:1-8)
B. Jesus Baptism (1:9-11)
C. JesusTemptation (1:12,13)
II. Beginning His Ministry: In Galilee and the Surrounding Regions (1:147:23)
A. He Announces His Message (1:14,15)
B. He Calls His Disciples (1:16-20)
C. He Ministers in Capernaum (1:21-34)
D. He Reaches Out to Galilee (1:35-45)
E. He Defends His Ministry (2:13:6)
F. He Ministers to Multitudes (3:7-12)
G. He Commissions the Twelve (3:13-19)
H. He Rebukes the Scribes and Pharisees (3:20-30)
I. He Identifies His Spiritual Family (3:31-35)
J. He Preaches in Parables (4:1-34)
1. The sower (4:1-9)
2. The reason for parables (4:10-12)
3. The parable of the sower explained (4:13-20)
4. The lamp (4:21-25)
5. The seed (4:26-29)
6. The mustard seed (4:30-34)
K. He Demonstrates His Power (4:355:43)
1. Calming the waves (4:35-41)
2. Casting out unclean spirits (5:1-20)
3. Healing the sick (5:21-34)
4. Raising the dead (5:35-43)
L. He Returns to His Hometown (6:1-6)
M. He Sends out His Disciples (6:7-13)
N. He Gains a Powerful Enemy (6:14-29)
O. He Regroups with the Disciples (6:30-32)
P. He Feeds the Five Thousand (6:33-44)
Q. He Walks on Water (6:45-52)
R. He Heals Many People (6:53-56)
S. He Answers the Pharisees (7:1-23)
III. Broadening His Ministry: In Various Gentile Regions (7:249:50)
A. Tyre and Sidon: He Delivers a Gentile Womans Daughter (7:24-30)
B. Decapolis: He Heals a Deaf-Mute (7:31-37)
C. The Eastern Shore of Galilee: He Feeds the Four Thousand (8:1-9)

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D.
E.
F.
G.

Dalmanutha: He Disputes with the Pharisees (8:10-12)


The Other Side of the Lake: He Rebukes the Disciples (8:13-21)
Bethsaida: He Heals a Blind Man (8:22-26)
Caesarea Philippi and Capernaum: He Instructs the Disciples (8:279:50)
1. Peter confesses Jesus as Christ (8:27-30)
2. He predicts His death (8:31-33)
3. He explains the cost of discipleship (8:34-38)
4. He reveals His glory (9:1-10)
5. He clarifies Elijahs role (9:11-13)
6. He casts out a stubborn spirit (9:14-29)
7. He again predicts His death and resurrection (9:30-32)
8. He defines kingdom greatness (9:33-37)
9. He identifies true spiritual fruit (9:38-41)
10. He warns would-be stumbling blocks (9:42-50)
IV. Concluding His Ministry:The Road to Jerusalem (10:1-52)
A. He Teaches on Divorce (10:1-12)
B. He Blesses the Children (10:13-16)
C. He Confronts the Rich Young Ruler (10:17-27)
D. He Confirms the Disciples Rewards (10:28-31)
E. He Prepares the Disciples for His Death (10:32-34)
F. He Challenges the Disciples to Humble Service (10:35-45)
G. He Heals a Blind Man (10:46-52)
V. Consummating His Ministry: Jerusalem (11:116:20)
A. Triumphal Entry (11:1-11)
B. Purification (11:12-19)
1. Cursing the fig tree (11:12-14)
2. Cleansing the temple (11:15-19)
C. Teaching in Public and in Private (11:2013:37)
1. Publicly: in the temple (11:2012:44)
a. Prelude: the lesson of the cursed fig tree (11:20-26)
b. Concerning His authority (11:27-33)
c. Concerning His rejection (12:1-12)
d. Concerning paying taxes (12:13-17)
e. Concerning the resurrection (12:18-27)
f. Concerning the greatest commandment (12:28-34)
g. Concerning the Messiahs true sonship (12:35-37)
h. Concerning the scribes (12:38-40)
i. Concerning true giving (12:41-44)
2. Privately: on the Mount of Olives (13:1-37)
a. The disciples question about the end times (13:1)
b. The Lords answer (13:2-37)
D. Arrangements for Betrayal (14:1,2,10,11)
E. Anointing, the Last Supper, Betrayal, Arrest,Trial [Jewish Phase] (14:3-9; 12-72)
1. The anointing: Bethany (14:3-9)
2. The Last Supper: Jerusalem (14:12-31)
3. The prayer: Gethsemane (14:32-42)
4. The betrayal: Gethsemane (14:43-52)
5. The Jewish trial: Caiaphas house (14:53-72)
F. Trial (Roman Phase), Crucifixion (15:1-41)
1. The Roman trial: Pilates Praetorium (15:1-15)
2. The crucifixion: Golgotha (15:16-41)
G. Burial in Joseph of Arimatheas Tomb (15:42-47)
H. Resurrection (16:1-8)
I. Postscript (16:9-20)

MARK

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MARK 1:1
The Forerunner of the Servant
Mt 3:1-11; Lk 3:3-16; Jn 1:19-34
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus
Christ, a the Son of God.
2 a As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
b BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER
1 AHEAD OF YOU,
WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY;
3
a THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE
WILDERNESS,
MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD,
MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT.
4 John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness 1 a preaching a baptism of repentance
for the b forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the
country of Judea was going out to him, and
all the people of Jerusalem; and they were

 1424 
CHAPTER 1
1 a Mt 4:3
2 1 Lit before your face
a Mk 1:2-8: Mt 3:1-11;
Lk 3:2-16 b Mal 3:1;
Mt 11:10; Lk 7:27
3 a Is 40:3; Mt 3:3; Lk
3:4; Jn 1:23
4 1 Or proclaiming a Ac
13:24 b Lk 1:77

6 1 Lit he was eating


a 2Ki 1:8
7 1 Or proclaiming
8 1 The Gr here can be
translated in, with or
by
9 a Mk 1:9-11: Mt 3:1317; Lk 3:21, 22 b Mt
2:23; Lk 2:51

1:1 The beginning . . . the Son of God. This is best viewed as


Marks title for his gospel. The historical record of the gospel message began with John the Baptist (cf. Mt 11:12; Lk 16:16; Ac 1:22;
10:37; 13:24). gospel. The good news about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, of which the 4 gospels are written records
(see Introduction to the Gospels). Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Gr.
form of the Heb. name Joshua (the Lord is salvation); Christ
(anointed one) is the Gr. equivalent of the Heb. word Messiah.
Jesus is the Lords human name (cf. Mt 1:21; Lk 1:31); Christ signifies His office as ruler of Gods coming kingdom (Da 9:25,26). Son
of God. An affirmation of Jesus deity, stressing His unique relationship to the Father (cf. 3:11; 5:7; 9:7; 13:32; 15:39; see note on Jn 1:34).
1:2 it is written. A phrase commonly used in the NT to introduce
OT quotes (cf. 7:6; 9:13; 14:21,27; Mt 2:5; 4:4,6,7; Lk 2:23; 3:4; Jn 6:45;
12:14; Ac 1:20; 7:42; Ro 3:4; 8:36; 1Co 1:31; 9:9; 2Co 8:15; 9:9; Gal 3:10;
4:22; Heb 10:7; 1Pe 1:16). in Isaiah the prophet. Marks quote is actually from two OT passages (Is 40:3; Mal 3:1), which probably explains the reading the Prophets found in some manuscripts. The
gospels all introduce John the Baptists ministry by quoting Is 40:3 (cf.
Mt 3:3; Lk 3:4; Jn 1:23). MY MESSENGER. John was the divinely-promised
messenger, sent to prepare the way for the Messiah. In ancient times,
a kings envoys would travel ahead of him, making sure the roads
were safe and fit for him to travel on, as well as announcing his arrival.
1:4 John. A common Jewish name in NT times, it is the Gr. equivalent of the Heb. name Johanan (cf. 2Ki 25:23; 1Ch 3:15; Jer 40:8),
meaning the Lord is gracious. Johns name was given by the angel
Gabriel to his father Zacharias, during his time of priestly service in the
temple (Lk 1:13). His mother, Elizabeth, also a descendant of Aaron (Lk
1:5), was a relative of Mary the mother of Jesus (Lk 1:36). As the last
OT prophet and the divinely ordained forerunner of the Messiah (see
note on v. 2), John was the culmination of OT history and prophecy (Lk
16:16) as well as the beginning of the historical record of the gospel of
Jesus Christ. Not surprisingly, Jesus designated John as the greatest
man who had lived until his time (Mt 11:11). baptism. Being the distinctive mark of Johns ministry, his baptism differed from the ritual
Jewish washings in that it was a one-time act. The Jews performed a
similar one-time washing of Gentile proselytes, symbolizing their embracing of the true faith. That Jews would participate in such a rite
was a startling admission that they, although members of Gods
covenant people, needed to come to God through repentance and
faith just like Gentiles. in the wilderness. The desolate, arid region
between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea (see note on Mt 3:1). baptism of
repentance. A baptism resulting from true repentance. Johns ministry was to call Israel to repentance in preparation for the coming of
Messiah. Baptism did not produce repentance, but was its result (cf.
Mt 3:7,8). Far more than a mere change of mind or remorse, repen-

being baptized by him in the Jordan River,


confessing their sins. 6 John was clothed
with camels hair and wore a a leather belt
around his waist, and 1 his diet was locusts
and wild honey. 7 And he was 1 preaching,
and saying, After me One is coming who
is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop
down and untie the thong of His sandals.
8 I baptized you 1 with water; but He will
baptize you 1 with the Holy Spirit.

The Baptism of the Servant


Mt 3:13-17; Lk 3:21-23
9 a In those days Jesus b came from
Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by
John in the Jordan. 10 Immediately coming
up out of the water, He saw the heavens

tance involves a turning from sin to God (cf. 1Th 1:9), which results in
righteous living. Genuine repentance is a work of God in the human
heart (Ac 11:18). For a discussion of the nature of repentance, see
notes on 2Co 7:9-12. for the forgiveness of sins. Johns rite of baptism did not produce forgiveness of sin (see notes on Ac 2:38; 22:16); it
was only the outward confession and illustration of the true repentance that results in forgiveness (cf. Lk 24:47; Ac 3:19; 5:31; 2Co 7:10).
1:5 all the country of Judea . . . all the people of Jerusalem.
After centuries without a prophetic voice in Israel (Malachi had
prophesied more than 400 years earlier), Johns ministry generated
an intense amount of interest. Judea. The southernmost division of
Palestine (Samaria and Galilee being the others) in Jesus day. It extended from about Bethel in the N to Beersheba in the S, and from
the Mediterranean Sea in the W to the Dead Sea and Jordan River in
the E. Included within Judea was the city of Jerusalem. Jordan
River. Palestines major river, flowing through the Jordan Rift Valley
from Lake Hula (drained in modern times), N of the Sea of Galilee, S
to the Dead Sea. According to tradition, John began his baptizing
ministry at the fords near Jericho. confessing. To confess ones sins,
as they were being baptized, is to agree with God about them. John
baptized no one who did not confess and repent of his sins.
1:6 camels hair . . . leather belt. The traditional clothes of a
wilderness dweller which were sturdy, but neither fashionable nor
comfortable. Johns clothing would have reminded his audience of
Elijah (cf. 2Ki 1:8), whom they expected to come before Messiah
(Mal 4:5; cf. Mt 17:10-13). locusts and wild honey. The OT dietary
regulations permitted the eating of locusts (Lv 11:21,22). Wild
honey could often be found in the wilderness (Dt 32:13; 1Sa 14:2527). Johns austere diet was in keeping with his status as a lifelong
Nazirite (cf. Lk 1:15; for Nazirite, see notes on Nu 6:2-13).
1:7 preaching. Better translated proclaiming, John was Jesus
herald, sent to announce His coming (see note on v. 4). not fit to
stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals. The most menial
task a slave could perform. John vividly expressed his humility.
1:8 baptize you with the Holy Spirit. This takes place when a person comes to faith in Christ (see notes on Ac 1:5; 8:16,17; 1Co 12:13).
1:9 In those days. At some unspecified time during Johns baptizing ministry at the Jordan. Nazareth. An obscure village (not
mentioned in the OT, or by Josephus, or in the Talmud) about 70 mi.
N of Jerusalem, that did not enjoy a favorable reputation (cf. Jn
1:46). Jesus had apparently been living there before His public appearance to Israel. baptized by John. Over Johns objections (cf. Mt
3:14), who saw no need for the sinless Lamb of God (Jn 1:29) to participate in a baptism of repentance (see notes on vv. 4,5; for an explanation of why Jesus was baptized, see note on Mt 3:15).
1:10 Immediately. In keeping with his fast-paced narrative style

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 T H E
Miracle

M I R AC L E S O F J E S U S
Matthew

Mark


Luke

John

1. Cleansing a Leper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8:2 . . . . . . . . . . . .1:40 . . . . . . . . . . . .5:12


2. Healing a Centurions Servant (of paralysis) . . . . . . . . .8:5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7:1
3. Healing Peters Mother-in-Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8:14 . . . . . . . . . . .1:30 . . . . . . . . . . . .4:38
4. Healing the Sick at Evening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8:16 . . . . . . . . . . .1:32 . . . . . . . . . . . .4:40
5. Stilling the Storm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8:23 . . . . . . . . . . .4:35 . . . . . . . . . . . .8:22
6. Demons Entering a Herd of Swine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8:28 . . . . . . . . . . .5:1 . . . . . . . . . . . . .8:26
7. Healing a Paralytic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9:2 . . . . . . . . . . . .2:3 . . . . . . . . . . . . .5:18
8. Raising the Officials Daughter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9:18,23 . . . . . . . .5:22,35 . . . . . . . . .8:40,49
9. Healing the Hemorrhaging Woman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9:20 . . . . . . . . . . .5:25 . . . . . . . . . . . .8:43
10. Healing Two Blind Men . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9:27
11. Curing a Demon-Possessed, Mute Man . . . . . . . . . . . . .9:32
12. Healing a Mans Withered Hand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12:9 . . . . . . . . . . .3:1 . . . . . . . . . . . . .6:6
13. Curing a Demon-Possessed, Blind and Mute Man . . .12:22 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11:14
14. Feeding the Five Thousand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14:13 . . . . . . . . . . 6:30 . . . . . . . . . . .9:10 . . . . . . . . . . .6:1
15. Walking on the Sea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14:25 . . . . . . . . . .6:48 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6:19
16. Healing the Canaanite Womans Daughter . . . . . . . . . .15:21 . . . . . . . . . .7:24
17. Feeding the Four Thousand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15:32 . . . . . . . . . .8:1
18. Healing the Lunatic Boy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17:14 . . . . . . . . . .9:17 . . . . . . . . . . . .9:38
19. Two-drachma Tax in the Fishs Mouth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17:24
20. Healing Two Blind Men . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20:30 . . . . . . . . . .10:46 . . . . . . . . . .18:35
21. Withering the Fig Tree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21:18 . . . . . . . . . .11:12
22. Casting Out an Unclean Spirit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1:23 . . . . . . . . . . . .4:33
23. Healing a Deaf-Mute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7:31
24. Healing a Blind Man at Bethsaida . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8:22
25. Escape from the Hostile Multitude . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4:30
26. Catch of Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5:1
27. Raising of a Widows Son at Nain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7:11
28. Healing the Afflicted, Bent Woman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13:11
29. Healing the Man with Dropsy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14:1
30. Cleansing the Ten Lepers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17:11
31. Restoring a Servants Ear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22:51
32. Turning Water into Wine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2:1
33. Healing the Royal Officials Son (of fever) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4:46
34. Healing an Afflicted Man at Bethesda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5:1
35. Healing the Man Born Blind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9:1
36. Raising of Lazarus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11:43
37. Second Catch of Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21:1
1997 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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MARK 1:11
1 opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; 11 and a voice came
out of the heavens: a You are My beloved
Son, in You I am well-pleased.

The Temptation of the Servant


Mt 4:1-11; Lk 4:1-13
12 a Immediately the Spirit *impelled Him
to go out into the wilderness. 13 And He
was in the wilderness forty days being
tempted by a Satan; and He was with the
wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him.

 1426 
10 1 Or being parted
11 a Ps 2:7; Is 42:1; Mt
3:17; 12:18; Mk 9:7;
Lk 3:22
12 a Mk 1:12, 13: Mt
4:1-11; Lk 4:1-13
13 a Mt 4:10
14 1 Lit delivered up
2 Or proclaiming a Mt
4:12 b Mt 4:23
15 1 Lit has come near
2 Or put your trust in
a Gal 4:4; Eph 1:10;
1Ti 2:6; Tit 1:3 b Mt
3:2; Ac 20:21

The Work of the Servant


Mt 4:12-17; Lk 4:14, 15
14 a Now after John had been 1 taken into
custody, Jesus came into Galilee, 2 b preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, a The
time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God
1 is at hand; b repent and 2 believe in the
gospel.

16 a Mk 1:16-20: Mt
4:18-22; Lk 5:2-11; Jn
1:40-42
19 1 Or Jacob
20 1 Lit after Him
21 a Mk 1:21-28: Lk
4:31-37 b Mt 4:23; Mk
1:39; 10:1

(see Introduction to the Gospels), Mark used this adverb more than
the other 3 gospel writers combined. This first occurrence sets the
stage for the audible and visible signs that followed Jesus baptism.
the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him. This was most likely
symbolic of Jesus empowerment for ministry (Is 61:1). See note on
Mt 3:16,17.
1:11 The Fathers pronouncement would have reminded the audience of the messianic prophecies of Ps 2:7; Is 42:1.
1:12 Immediately. See note on v. 10. Jesus temptation came
right after His baptism. the Spirit impelled Him. Compelled by the
Spirit, Jesus confronted Satan and took the first step toward overthrowing his evil kingdom (cf. 1Jn 3:8). Though God tempts no one
(Jas 1:13), He sometimes sovereignly permits Satan to tempt His
people (e.g., Job; Lk 22:31,32). the wilderness. The exact location of
Jesus encounter with Satan is unknown. It most likely would have
been the same wilderness where John lived and ministered (see note
on v. 4), the desolate region farther S, or the arid Arabian desert
across the Jordan.
1:13 forty days. Perhaps reminiscent of Israels 40 years of wandering in the wilderness (Nu 14:33; 32:13). Matthew and Luke add
that Jesus went without food during this time. Moses (twice, Dt
9:9,18) and Elijah (1Ki 19:8) also fasted for that length of time.
Satan. From a Heb. word meaning adversary. Since He had no fallen nature, Jesus temptation was not an internal emotional or psychological struggle, but an external attack by a personal being. wild
beasts. A detail unique to Marks account, stressing Jesus loneliness
and complete isolation from other people. angels were ministering to Him. Cf. Ps 91:11,12. The tense of this Gr. verb, to minister,
suggests the angels ministered to Jesus throughout His temptation.
1:14 John had been taken into custody. He was incarcerated for
rebuking Herod Antipas over his incestuous marriage to his niece,
Herodias (see notes on 6:17-27). Jesus came into Galilee. From
Judea (Mt 4:12; Lk 4:13; Jn 4:3). Mark, along with Matthew and Luke,
passes directly from the temptation to the beginning of the Galilean
ministry, skipping Jesus intervening ministry in Judea (Jn 2:134:4).
Galilee was the northernmost region of Palestine, and the most
heavily populated. the gospel of God. The good news of salvation
both about God and from Him (see note on Ro 1:1; cf. Ro 15:16; 1Th
2:2,8,9; 1Ti 1:11; 1Pe 4:17).
1:15 The time is fulfilled. Not time in a chronological sense, but

The First Disciples Are Called


Mt 4:18-22
16 a As He was going along by the
Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net
in the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 And
Jesus said to them, Follow Me, and I
will make you become fishers of men.
18 Immediately they left their nets and
followed Him. 19 Going on a little farther,
He saw 1 James the son of Zebedee, and
John his brother, who were also in the
boat mending the nets. 20 Immediately
He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the
hired servants, and went away 1 to follow
Him.

Demons Are Cast OutLk 4:31-37


21 a They *went into Capernaum; and
immediately on the Sabbath b He entered
the synagogue and began to teach.

the time for decisive action on Gods part. With the arrival of the
King, a new era in Gods dealings with men had come. See note on
Gal 4:4. the kingdom of God. Gods sovereign rule over the sphere
of salvation; at present in the hearts of His people (Lk 17:21), and in
the future, in a literal, earthly kingdom (Rev 20:4-6). at hand. Because the King was present. repent and believe. Repentance (see
note on v. 4) and faith (see note on Ro 1:16) are mans required responses to Gods gracious offer of salvation (cf. Ac 20:21).
1:16 Sea of Galilee. Also known as the Sea of Chinnereth (Nu
34:11), the Lake of Gennesaret (Lk 5:1), and the Sea of Tiberias (Jn
6:1). A large, freshwater lake about 13 mi. long and 7 mi. wide, and
about 690 ft. below sea level (making it the lowest body of fresh
water on earth), the Sea of Galilee was home to a thriving fishing industry. Simon and Andrew. The first of two sets of brothers Jesus
called to follow Him. Like James and John, they were fishermen.
Since Andrew had been a follower of John the Baptist (Jn 1:40), it is
possible that Peter had been as well. They had evidently returned to
their fishing business after Johns arrest (see note on v. 14). They had
already met and spent time with Jesus (see note on Mt 4:18), but
were here called to follow Him permanently. net. A rope forming a
circle about 9 ft. in diameter with a net attached. It could be thrown
by hand into the water, then hauled in by means of the length of
weighted rope attached to it.
1:17 Follow Me. Used frequently in the gospels in reference to
discipleship (2:14; 8:34; 10:21; Mt 4:19; 8:22; 9:9; 10:38; 16:24; 19:21;
Lk 9:23,59,61; 18:22; Jn 1:43; 10:27; 12:26). fishers of men. Evangelism was the primary purpose for which Jesus called the apostles, and
it remains the central mission for His people (cf. Mt 28:19,20; Ac 1:8).
1:18 followed Him. I.e., became His permanent disciples (see
note on v. 16).
1:19 James . . . John. The second set of fishermen brothers called
by Jesus (see note on v. 16). Their mother and Jesus mother may
have been sisters (cf. 15:40; Mt 27:55,56 with Jn 19:25). If so, they
were Jesus cousins.
1:20 hired servants. This indicates that Zebedees fishing business was a prosperous one and that he was a man of importance (cf.
Jn 18:15).
1:21 Capernaum. A prosperous fishing village on the NW shore
of the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum was a more important city than
Nazareth; it contained a Roman garrison and was located on a major

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 1427 
22 a They

were amazed at His teaching;


for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Just then
there was a man in their synagogue with
an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 saying, a What 1 business do we have with
each other, Jesus 2 of b Nazareth? Have
You come to destroy us? I know who You
arec the Holy One of God! 25 And
Jesus rebuked him, saying, Be quiet, and
come out of him! 26 Throwing him into
convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out
with a loud voice and came out of him.
27 They were all a amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying,What
is this? A new teaching with authority!
He commands even the unclean spirits,
and they obey Him. 28 Immediately
the news about Him spread everywhere
into all the surrounding district of Galilee.

Peters Mother-in-Law Is Healed


Mt 8:14, 15; Lk 4:38, 39
29 a And immediately after they came
b out of the synagogue, they came into the
house of Simon and Andrew, with 1 James
and John. 30 Now Simons mother-in-law
was lying sick with a fever; and immedi-

22 a Mt 7:28
24 1 Lit What to us and
to You (a Heb idiom)
2 Lit the Nazarene
a Mt 8:29 b Mt 2:23;
Mk 10:47; 14:67;
16:6; Lk 4:34; 24:19;
Ac 24:5 c Lk 1:35;
4:34; Jn 6:69; Ac 3:14
27 a Mk 10:24, 32;
16:5, 6
29 1 Or Jacob a Mk
1:29-31: Mt 8:14, 15;
Lk 4:38, 39 b Mk 1:21,
23

30 1 Lit Him
31 1 Or served
32 a Mk 1:32-34: Mt
8:16, 17; Lk 4:40, 41
b Mt 8:16; Lk 4:40
c Mt 4:24
33 a Mk 1:21
34 a Mt 4:23
35 a Mk 1:35-38: Lk
4:42, 43 b Mt 14:23;
Lk 5:16
38 1 Or proclaim
39 1 Or proclaiming
a Mt 4:23; 9:35; Mk
1:23; 3:1

road. Jesus made the city His headquarters (cf. 2:1) after His rejection at Nazareth (Mt 4:13; Lk 4:16-31). synagogue. The place where
Jewish people gathered for worship (synagogue is a transliteration
of a Gr. word meaning to gather together). Synagogues originated
in the Babylonian captivity after the 586 B.C. destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar. They served as places of worship and instruction. Jesus frequently taught in the synagogues (cf. v. 39; 3:1;
6:2), as did Paul (cf. Ac 13:5; 14:1; 17:1). teach. Mark frequently
mentions Jesus teaching ministry (cf. 2:13; 4:1,2; 6:2,6,34; 10:1;
11:17; 12:35; 14:49).
1:22 authority. Jesus authoritative teaching, as the spoken Word
of God, was in sharp contrast to that of the scribes (experts in the OT
Scriptures), who based their authority largely on that of other rabbis.
Jesus direct, personal, and forceful teaching was so foreign to their
experience that those who heard Him were amazed (cf. Tit 2:15).
1:23 man . . . cried out. Satan and his demon hosts opposed
Jesus work throughout His ministry, culminating in the cross. Jesus
always triumphed over their futile efforts (cf. Col 2:15), convincingly
demonstrating His ultimate victory by His resurrection. unclean
spirit. I.e., morally impure. The term is used interchangeably in the
NT with demon. See note on 5:2.
1:24 What business do we have with each other . . . ? Or, possibly, Why do you interfere with us? The demon was acutely aware
that he and Jesus belonged to two radically different kingdoms, and
thus had nothing in common. That the demon used the plural pronoun we indicates he spoke for all the demons. Nazareth. See
note on v. 9. the Holy One of God. Cf. Ps 16:10; Da 9:24; Lk 4:34; Ac
2:27; 3:14; 4:27; Rev 3:7. Amazingly, the demon affirmed Jesus sinlessness and deitytruths which many in Israel denied, and still
deny.
1:25 Be quiet. Jesus wanted no testimony to the truth from the
demonic realm to fuel charges that He was in league with Satan (cf.
3:22; Ac 16:16-18).

MARK 1:39
ately they *spoke to 1 Jesus about her. 31 And
He came to her and raised her up, taking
her by the hand, and the fever left her, and
she 1 waited on them.

Many Healings
Mt 8:16, 17; 4:23; Lk 4:40-44
32 a When evening came, b after the sun
had set, they began bringing to Him all who
were ill and those who were c demon-possessed. 33 And the whole a city had gathered at the door. 34 And He a healed many
who were ill with various diseases, and
cast out many demons; and He was not
permitting the demons to speak, because
they knew who He was.
35 a In the early morning, while it was
still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and
went away to a secluded place, and b was
praying there. 36 Simon and his companions searched for Him; 37 they found Him,
and *said to Him, Everyone is looking for
You. 38 He *said to them, Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I
may 1 preach there also; for that is what I
came for. 39 a And He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, 1 preaching
and casting out the demons.

1:27 with authority. See note on v. 22. Jesus had absolute authority in His actions as well as His words (Mt 28:18).
1:29 the house of Simon and Andrew. Originally from Bethsaida
(Jn 1:44), the two brothers had moved to Capernaum when Jesus
established his headquarters there (see note on v. 21). James and
John. Only Mark mentions their presence at the healing of Peters
mother-in-law.
1:30 Simons mother-in-law. Paul also affirmed that Peter was
married (1Co 9:5). That his mother-in-law was living with Peter and
his wife may indicate that her husband was dead. a fever. That she
was too ill to get out of bed, coupled with Lukes description of her
fever as a high fever (Lk 4:38), suggests her illness was serious,
even life-threatening.
1:32 after the sun had set. Marking the close of the Sabbath
and the easing of the restrictions associated with it. Specifically, rabbinic law prohibited carrying any burdens (such as stretchers) on the
Sabbath. they began bringing. The report of Jesus healing of the
demon-possessed man in the synagogue and Peters mother-in-law
created a sensation in Capernaum and aroused the hopes of other
sufferers.
1:34 not permitting the demons to speak. See notes on v. 25;
3:11,12. they knew who He was. The demons theology is absolutely orthodox (Jas 2:19); but though they know the truth, they
reject it and God, who is its source.
1:36 Simon and his companions. The first instance in the
gospels of Peters assuming of leadership. Those with Peter are not
revealed, though Andrew, James, and John were likely among them.
1:37 Finding Jesus after a diligent search (v. 36), Peter and the
others excitedly implored Him to return to Capernaum and capitalize on the excitement generated by the previous nights healings.
1:39 throughout all Galilee. Marks terse statement summarizes
a preaching tour that must have lasted for weeks, or even months
(cf. Mt 4:23,24).

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MARK 1:40
A Leper Is Cleansed
Mt 8:1-4; Lk 5:12-16
40 a And a leper *came to Jesus, beseeching
Him and b falling on his knees before Him,
and saying, If You are willing, You can
make me clean. 41 Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and
touched him, and *said to him, I am willing;
be cleansed. 42 Immediately the leprosy left
him and he was cleansed. 43 And He sternly
warned him and immediately sent him
away, 44 and He *said to him, a See that you
say nothing to anyone; but a go, show yourself to the priest and b offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony
to them. 45 But he went out and began to
a proclaim it freely and to a spread the news
around, to such an extent that 1 Jesus could
no longer publicly enter a city, but 2 stayed
out in unpopulated areas; and b they were
coming to Him from everywhere.

A Paralytic Is Healed
Mt 9:1-8; Lk 5:17-26
When He had come back to Capernaum
several days afterward, it was heard that

 1428 
40 a Mk 1:40-44: Mt
8:2-4; Lk 5:12-14 b Mt
8:2; Mk 10:17; Lk
5:12
44 a Mt 8:4 b Lv 14:132
45 1 Lit He 2 Lit was
a Mt 28:15; Lk 5:15
b Mk 2:2, 13; 3:7; Lk
5:17; Jn 6:2

CHAPTER 2
2 a Mk 1:45; 2:13
3 a Mk 2:3-12: Mt 9:28; Lk 5:18-26 b Mt
4:24
4 1 Lit bring to 2 Lit
where He was a Lk
5:19 b Mt 4:24
5 1 Lit child a Mt 9:2
7 1 Lit if not one, God
a Is 43:25
8 1 Lit by
9 a Mt 4:24

1:40-45 Mark relates one of Jesus many healings during the


Galilean ministry summarized in v. 39. The lepers healing emphasizes Jesus miraculous power over disease, since leprosy was one of
the most dreaded diseases of antiquity.
1:40 leper. Lepers were considered ceremonially unclean, and
were outcasts from society (Lv 13:11). While the OT term for leprosy
included other skin diseases (see note on Lv 13:2), this man may have
actually had true leprosy (Hansens Disease), or else his cure would
not have created such a sensation (v. 45).
1:41 compassion. Only Mark records Jesus emotional reaction to
the lepers desperate plight. The Gr. word appears only in the synoptic gospels and (apart from parables) is used only in reference to
Jesus. touched him. Unlike rabbis, who avoided lepers lest they become ceremonially defiled, Jesus expressed His compassion with a
physical gesture.
1:44 say nothing to anyone. The ensuing publicity would hinder
Jesus ability to minister (as in fact happened, cf. v. 45) and divert attention away from His message. Cf. 3:12; 5:43; 7:36; see note on Mt
8:4. go, show yourself to the priest. The priest was the one on
duty at the temple. Jesus commanded the healed leper to observe
the OT regulations concerning cleansed lepers (Lv 14:1-32). Until the
required offerings had been made, the man remained ceremonially
unclean. a testimony to them. The priests acceptance of the
mans offering would be public affirmation of his cure and cleansing.
1:45 proclaim it freely. Only Mark records the cleansed lepers disobedience, although Luke hints at it (Lk 5:15). no longer publicly enter
a city. The result of the lepers disobedience was that Jesus could no
longer enter a city without being mobbed by those seeking to be cured
of diseases. Jesus ministry of teaching in that area thus came to a halt.
unpopulated areas. Jesus kept to the relatively uninhabited regions to
allow the excitement over His cure of the leper to die down. Luke also
notes that He used His time in the wilderness for prayer (Lk 5:16).
2:1 He was at home. This was likely Peters home, where Jesus
had taken up temporary residence (cf. Mt 4:13).
2:2 the word. The good news of the gospel, that salvation is by
grace alone, through faith alone, for the forgiveness of sins.

He was at home. 2 And a many were gathered together, so that there was no longer
room, not even near the door; and He was
speaking the word to them. 3 a And they
*came, bringing to Him a b paralytic, carried
by four men. 4 Being unable to 1 get to Him
because of the crowd, they a removed the
roof 2 above Him; and when they had dug
an opening, they let down the pallet on
which the b paralytic was lying. 5 And Jesus
seeing their faith *said to the paralytic,
1 Son, a your sins are forgiven. 6 But some
of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7 Why does this man
speak that way? He is blaspheming; a who
can forgive sins 1 but God alone? 8 Immediately Jesus, aware 1 in His spirit that they
were reasoning that way within themselves, *said to them, Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts?
9 Which is easier, to say to the a paralytic,
Your sins are forgiven; or to say, Get up,
and pick up your pallet and walk? 10 But
so that you may know that the Son of Man
has authority on earth to forgive sinsHe
*said to the paralytic, 11 I say to you, get up,

2:3 a paralytic. Since he was lying on a bed, the mans paralysis


was severeperhaps he was a quadriplegic.
2:4 they removed the roof. Most homes in Israel had flat roofs used
for relaxation in the cool of the day and for sleeping on hot nights. And
there was usually an external stairway that extended to the roof. Often,
as here, the roof was made of slabs of burnt or dried clay that were
placed on supporting beams which stretched from wall to wall. The
builder then spread a uniform coat of fresh, wet clay over those slabs of
hardened clay to serve as a seal against the rain. The paralytics friends
took him up to the top of such a house and dug out the top coat of
clay, removing several of the slabs until they made enough room to
lower him down into Jesus presence. the paralytic. See note on v. 3.
2:5 Jesus seeing their faith. The aggressive, persistent effort of
the paralytics friends was visible evidence of their faith in Christ to
heal. Son, your sins are forgiven. Many Jews in that day believed
that all disease and affliction was a direct result of ones sins. This
paralytic may have believed that as well; thus he would have welcomed forgiveness of his sins before healing. The Gr. verb for are
forgiven refers to sending or driving away (cf. Ps 103:12; Jer 31:34;
Mic 7:19). Thus Jesus dismissed the mans sin and freed him from
the guilt of it (see note on Mt 9:2).
2:6 the scribes. See note on Mt 2:4; cf. 1:22.
2:7 this man . . . blaspheming. The scribes were correct in saying
that only God can forgive sins (cf. Is 43:25), but incorrect in saying
Jesus blasphemed. They refused to recognize Jesus power as coming from God, much less that He Himself was God.
2:8 in His spirit. This can also be translated, by His spirit. This is
not the Holy Spirit, but the omniscient mind of the Savior.
2:9 Which is easier . . . ? It is much easier to say, Your sins are
forgiven you. No human can prove that such a thing actually occurred since it is invisible. Commanding a paralytic to walk would be
more difficult to say convincingly, however, because the actions of
the paralytic would immediately verify the effect of the command
(see note on Mt 9:5).
2:10 But so that you may know. Jesus power to heal the paralytics physical infirmities proved the veracity of His claim and power to

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 1429 
pick up your pallet and go home. 12 And
he got up and immediately picked up the
pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and
a were glorifying God, saying, b We have
never seen anything like this.

Call of MatthewMt 9:9-13; Lk 5:27-32


13 And He went out again by the
seashore; and a all the 1 people were coming to Him, and He was teaching them.

12 a Mt 9:8 b Mt 9:33
13 1 Lit crowd a Mk
1:45
14 1 also called
Matthew a Mk 2:1417: Mt 9:9-13; Lk
5:27-32 b Mt 9:9 c Mt
8:22
15 1 Lit happens 2 I.e.
irreligious Jews 3 Lit
were reclining with
16 a Lk 5:30; Ac 23:9

forgive sins. Son of Man. Jesus used this term for Himself to emphasize His humiliation (see notes on 14:62; Mt 8:20). It appears 14 times
in Mark (v. 10,28; 8:31,38; 9:9,12,31; 10:33,45; 13:26; 14:21,41,62).
2:14 Levi the son of Alphaeus. One of the 12, more commonly
known as Matthew (see Introduction to Matthew: Title). tax booth.
Matthew was a publican, a tax collector, a despised profession in
Palestine because such men were viewed as traitors. Tax collectors
were Jews who had bought tax franchises from the Roman government. Any amount they collected over what Rome required they were
allowed to keep. Thus many tax collectors became wealthy at the expense of their own people (see notes on Mt 5:46; 9:9). he got up and
followed Him. This simple action of Matthew signified his conversion. Because his response was so immediate, it is likely Matthew was
already convicted of his sin and recognized his need of forgiveness.
2:15 dining. This can also be translated, reclining at table, a
common posture for eating when guests were present. According to

 T H E

Inner
Cloisters

Inner
Cloisters

Inner
Cloisters

Holy
Place

Altar

COURT OF PRIESTS

Inner
Cloisters

Inner
Cloisters

Court
of
Nazirites

Eastern
Inner
Gate

Womens
Balcony

COURT OF ISRAEL (Men)


Inner
Cloisters



Lepers
Chamber

Womens
Balcony

COURT OF PRIESTS

Holy of
Holies

Lk 5:29, this was a feast that Matthew gave in Jesus honor. tax collectors. There were two categories of tax collectors: 1) gabbai collected general taxes on land and property, and on income, referred
to as poll or registration taxes; 2) mokhes collected a wide variety of
use taxes, similar to our import duties, business license fees, and toll
fees. There were two categories of mokhes: great mokhes hired others to collect taxes for them; small mokhes did their own assessing
and collecting. Matthew was a small mokhe. It is likely representatives of both classes attended Matthews feast. All of them were
considered both religious and social outcasts. sinners. A term the
Jews used to describe people who had no respect for the Mosaic
law or rabbinic traditions, and were therefore the most vile and
worthless of people. dining with. Lit. were reclining with. Jesus
willingness to associate with tax collectors and sinners by sharing in
the feast with them deeply offended the scribes and Pharisees.
2:16 scribes of the Pharisees. This phrase indicates that not all

COURT OF ISRAEL (Men)

14 a As He passed by, He saw 1 b Levi the son


of Alphaeus sitting in the tax booth, and
He *said to him, c Follow Me! And he got
up and followed Him.
15 And it *1 happened that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax
collectors and 2 sinners 3 were dining with
Jesus and His disciples; for there were
many of them, and they were following
Him. 16 When a the scribes of the Pharisees
saw that He was eating with the sinners

P L A N O F H E RO D S T E M P L E

Northern
Outer Gates
Inner
Cloisters

MARK 2:16

Inner
Cloisters

Court
of
Woodshed

Womens
Balcony

WOMENS
COURT

Eastern
Outer
Gate

Womens
Balcony
Corner
Court

Southern
Outer Gates

1996 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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MARK 2:17
and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, b Why is He eating and drinking with
tax collectors and 1 sinners? 17 And hearing this, Jesus *said to them, a It is not
those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come
to call the righteous, but sinners.

Parable of Cloth and Wineskins


Mt 9:14-17; Lk 5:33-39
18 a Johns disciples and the Pharisees
were fasting; and they *came and *said to
Him, Why do Johns disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast? 19 And Jesus said to
them, While the bridegroom is with them,
1 the attendants of the bridegroom cannot
fast, can they? So long as they have the
bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
20 But the a days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then
they will fast in that day.
21 No one sews 1 a patch of unshrunk

 1430 
16 1 I.e. irreligious
Jews b Mt 9:11
17 a Mt 9:12, 13; Lk
5:31, 32
18 a Mk 2:18-22: Mt
9:14-17; Lk 5:33-38
19 1 Lit sons of the
bridal-chamber
20 a Mt 9:15; Lk 17:22
21 1 Lit that which is
put on

2 Lit that which fills up


23 a Mk 2:23-28: Mt
12:1-8; Lk 6:1-5 b Dt
23:25
24 a Mt 12:2
26 1 Or showbread; lit
loaves of
presentation a 1Sa
21:1; 2Sa 8:17; 1Ch
24:6 b Lv 24:9

scribes were Pharisees (regarding scribes, see note on Mt 2:4). Pharisees were a legalistic sect of Jews known for their strict devotion to
the ceremonial law (see note on Mt 3:7).
2:17 I did not come to call the righteous. In the parallel passage, Lk 5:32, sinners are called to repentance. The repentant personthe one who recognizes he is a sinner and who turns from his
sinis the object of Jesus call. The person who is sinful but thinks
he is righteous refuses to acknowledge his need to repent of his sin.
See notes on Mt 9:12,13; Jn 9:39-41.
2:18 Johns disciples. Those followers of John the Baptist who
did not transfer their allegiance to Jesus (cf. Jn 3:30; Ac 19:1-7). At
this time John was in prison (Mt 4:12). Their question indicates they
were observing the Pharisaic traditions (cf. Mt 9:14). the Pharisees.
See note on v. 16. The association of Johns disciples with the Pharisees indicates that both groups were disturbed about the problem
raised by Jesus association with tax collectors and sinners (cf. v. 15).
fasting. The twice-a-week fast was a major expression of orthodox
Judaism during Jesus day (cf. Lk 18:9-14). Yet, the OT prescribed
only one fast, and that on the Day of Atonement (Lv 16:29,31).
2:19 attendants of the bridegroom cannot fast. In Jesus illustration, the attendants of the bridegroom were the friends the
bridegroom selected to carry out the festivities. That certainly was
not a time to fast, which was usually associated with mourning or
times of great spiritual need. Jesus point was that the ritual practiced by Johns disciples and the Pharisees was out of touch with reality. There was no reason for Jesus followers to mourn and fast
while enjoying the unique reality that He was with them.
2:20 taken away from them. This refers to a sudden removal or
being snatched away violentlyan obvious reference to Jesus capture and crucifixion. then they will fast. An appropriate time for
mourning was to be at the crucifixion of Jesus.
2:21,22 Jesus offered two parables to illustrate that His new and
internal gospel of repentance from and forgiveness of sin could not
be connected to or contained in the old and external traditions of
self-righteousness and ritual (see note on Mt 9:17).
2:22 fresh wineskins. Newly made and unused wineskins provided the necessary strength and elasticity to hold up as wine fermented.

cloth on an old garment; otherwise 2 the


patch pulls away from it, the new from the
old, and a worse tear results. 22 No one
puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the
wine is lost and the skins as well; but one
puts new wine into fresh wineskins.

Controversy over Sabbath-Work


Mt 12:1-8; Lk 6:1-5
23 a And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath,
and His disciples began to make their way
along while b picking the heads of grain.
24 The Pharisees were saying to Him,
Look, a why are they doing what is not
lawful on the Sabbath? 25 And He *said to
them, Have you never read what David
did when he was in need and he and his
companions became hungry; 26 how he
entered the house of God in the time of
a Abiathar the high priest, and ate the 1 consecrated bread, which b is not lawful for

2:23 grainfields. The roads in first-century Israel were primarily


major arteries; so once travelers left those main roads they walked
along wide paths that bordered and traversed pastures and grainfields. on the Sabbath. Sabbath transliterates a Heb. word that
refers to a ceasing of activity or rest. In honor of the day when God
rested from His creation of the world (Ge 2:3), the Lord declared the
seventh day of the week to be a special time of rest and remembrance for His people, which He incorporated into the Ten Commandments (see note on Ex 20:8). But hundreds of years of rabbinical
teaching had added numerous unbearable and arbitrary restrictions
to Gods original requirement, one of which forbade any travel beyond 3,000 ft. of ones home (cf. Nu 35:5; Jos 3:4). picking the
heads of grain. Travelers who did not take enough food for their
journey were permitted by Mosaic law to pick enough grain to satisfy their hunger (Dt 23:24,25; see note on Mt 12:2).
2:24 what is not lawful on the Sabbath. Rabbinical tradition
had interpreted the rubbing of grain in the hands (cf. Lk 6:1) as a
form of threshing and had forbidden it. Reaping for profit on the
Sabbath was forbidden by Mosaic law (Ex 34:21), but that was obviously not the situation here (see note on Mt 12:2). Actually the Pharisees charge was itself sinful since they were holding their tradition
on a par with Gods Word (see notes on Mt 15:2-9).
2:25 He said to them, Have you never read . . . ? Jesus sarcasm pointed out the main fault of the Pharisees, who claimed to be
experts and guardians of Scripture, yet were ignorant of what it actually taught (cf. Ro 2:17-24). what David did. David and his companions were fleeing for their lives from Saul when they arrived at
Nob, where the tabernacle was located at that time. Because they
were hungry, they asked for food (cf. 1Sa 21:1-6).
2:26 in the time of Abiathar the high priest. The phrase in the
time can mean during the lifetime. According to 1Sa 21:1, Ahimelech was the priest who gave the bread to David. Abiathar was
Ahimelechs son, who later was the High-Priest during Davids reign.
Since Ahimelech died shortly after this incident (cf. 1Sa 22:19,20), it
is likely that Mark simply added this designation to identify the well
known companion of David who later became the High-Priest,
along with Zadok (2Sa 15:35). the consecrated bread. Twelve
loaves of unleavened bread (representing the 12 tribes of Israel)
were placed on the table in the sanctuary and at the end of the

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 1431 
anyone to eat except the priests, and he also
gave it to those who were with him?
27 Jesus said to them, a The Sabbath 1 was
made 2 for man, and b not man 2 for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of
the Sabbath.

Controversy over Sabbath-Healing


Mt 12:9-13; Lk 6:6-10
a He b entered again into a synagogue;
and a man was there whose hand was
withered. 2 a They were watching Him to see
if He would heal him on the Sabbath, b so
that they might accuse Him. 3 He *said to
the man with the withered hand, 1 Get up
and come forward! 4 And He *said to
them, Is it lawful to do good or to do harm
on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill? But
they kept silent. 5 After a looking around at
them with anger, grieved at their hardness
of heart, He *said to the man, Stretch out
your hand. And he stretched it out, and

27 1 Or came into
being 2 Lit because
for the sake of a Ex
23:12; Dt 5:14 b Col
2:16
CHAPTER 3
1 a Mk 3:1-6: Mt 12:914; Lk 6:6-11 b Mk
1:21, 39
2 a Lk 6:7; 14:1; 20:20
b Mt 12:10; Lk 6:7;
11:54
3 1 Lit Arise into the
midst
5 a Lk 6:10
6 1 Lit giving counsel
a Mt 22:16; Mk 12:13
7 a Mk 3:7-12: Mt
12:15, 16; Lk 6:17-19
b Mt 4:25; Lk 6:17
8 a Jos 15:1, 21; Eze
35:15; 36:5 b Mt 11:21
9 a Mk 4:1; Lk 5:1-3
10 a Mt 4:23 b Mk 5:29,
34; Lk 7:21 c Mt 9:21;
14:36; Mk 6:56; 8:22
11 a Mt 4:3

week replaced with fresh ones. The old loaves were to be eaten only
by the priests. While it was not normally lawful for David and his
companions to eat this consecrated bread, neither did God want
them to starve, so nowhere does Scripture condemn them for eating (see note on Mt 12:4).
2:27 The Sabbath was made for man. God instituted the Sabbath to benefit man by giving him a day to rest from his labors and
to be a blessing to him. The Pharisees turned it into a burden and
made man a slave to their myriad of man-made regulations.
2:28 Lord even of the Sabbath. Jesus claimed He was greater
than the Sabbath, and thus was God. Based on that authority, Jesus
could in fact reject the Pharisaic regulations concerning the Sabbath
and restore Gods original intention for Sabbath observance to be a
blessing not a burden.
3:1-6 This is the last of the 5 conflict episodes which began in 2:1
(2:1-11; 13-17; 18-22; 23-28), and as such it gives a sense of climax
to the growing antagonism between Jesus and the Jewish leaders.
In this encounter, Jesus gave the Pharisees a living illustration of
scriptural Sabbath observance and His sovereign authority over both
man and the Sabbath.
3:1 synagogue. The Jews local places of assembly and worship
(see note on 1:21). hand was withered. This describes a condition of
paralysis or deformity from an accident, a disease, or a congenital
defect.
3:2 accuse. The Pharisees were not open to learning from Jesus,
but only looked for an opportunity to charge Him with a violation of
the Sabbath, an accusation they could bring before the Sanhedrin.
3:4 Jesus countered the Pharisees with a question that elevated
the issue at hand from a legal to a moral problem. Is it lawful. A reference to the Mosaic law. Jesus was forcing the Pharisees to examine
their tradition regarding the Sabbath to see if it was consistent with
Gods OT law. to do good . . . harm . . . to save . . . kill. Christ used a
device common in the Middle EastHe framed the issue in terms of
clear-cut extremes. The obvious implication is that failure to do good
or save a life was wrong and not in keeping with Gods original intention for the Sabbath (see notes on 2:27; Mt 12:10). But they kept
silent. The Pharisees refused to answer Jesus question, and by so
doing implied that their Sabbath views and practices were false.
3:5 anger. Definite displeasure with human sin reveals a healthy,
moral nature. Jesus reaction was consistent with His divine nature

MARK 3:12
his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went
out and immediately began 1 conspiring
with the a Herodians against Him, as to how
they might destroy Him.
7 a Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples; and b a great multitude from Galilee
followed; and also from Judea, 8 and from
Jerusalem, and from a Idumea, and beyond
the Jordan, and the vicinity of b Tyre and
Sidon, a great number of people heard of all
that He was doing and came to Him. 9 a And
He told His disciples that a boat should
stand ready for Him because of the crowd,
so that they would not crowd Him; 10 for He
had a healed many, with the result that all
those who had b afflictions pressed around
Him in order to c touch Him. 11 Whenever
the unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall
down before Him and shout, You are a the
Son of God! 12 And He a earnestly warned
them not to 1 tell who He was.
12 1 Lit make Him known a Mt 8:4

and proved that He is the righteous Son of God. This kind of holy indignation with sinful attitudes and practices was to be more fully
demonstrated when Jesus cleansed the temple (cf. 11:15-18; Mt
21:12,13; Lk 19:45-48). their hardness of heart. This phrase refers
to an inability to understand because of a rebellious attitude (Ps
95:8; Heb 3:8,15). The Pharisees hearts were becoming more and
more obstinate and unresponsive to the truth (cf. 16:14; Ro 9:18).
3:6 the Pharisees . . . began conspiring. They absolutely refused
to be persuaded by anything Jesus said and did (cf. Jn 3:19), but
were instead determined to kill Him. The Gr. word for conspiring includes the notion of carrying out a decision already madethe Pharisees were simply discussing how to implement theirs. Herodians.
This secular political party, which took its name from Herod Antipas
and was strong in its support for Rome, opposed the Pharisees on
nearly every issue, but were willing to join forces with them because
both desperately wanted to destroy Jesus. See note on Mt 22:16.
3:8 In spite of His conflicts with the Pharisees, Jesus remained
very popular with the ordinary people. Mark is the only gospel writer
who at this point in Jesus ministry noted that the masses came
from all parts of Palestine to see and hear Him. Idumea. An area SE
of Judea, mentioned only here in the NT and populated by many
Edomites (originally descendants of Esau, see note on Ge 36:43). By
this time it had become mostly Jewish in population and was considered a part of Judea. beyond the Jordan. The region E of the Jordan River, also called Perea, and ruled by Herod Antipas. Its population contained a large number of Jews. Tyre and Sidon. Two
Phoenician cities on the Mediterranean coast, N of Galilee. Phoenicia
as a whole was often designated by these cities (cf. Jer 47:4; Joel 3:4;
Mt 11:21; Ac 12:20).
3:10 afflictions. Lit. a whip, a lash, sometimes translated
plagues, or scourges. This metaphorically describes various
painful, agonizing, physical ailments and illnesses.
3:11 unclean spirits. This refers to demons (see note on 1:23; cf.
Lk 4:41). saw Him. The tense of the Gr. verb means there were
many times when demons looked at Jesus and contemplated the
truth of His character and identity. You are the Son of God! Cf. 1:24.
The demons unhesitatingly affirmed the uniqueness of Jesus nature, which Mark saw as clear proof of Jesus deity.
3:12 warned . . . not to tell who He was. Jesus always rebuked
demons for their testimonies about Him. He wanted His teaching

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 1432 

MARK 3:13
Selection of the TwelveLk 6:12-16
a the

And He *went up on
mountain
and *b summoned those whom He Himself
wanted, and they came to Him. 14 And He
appointed twelve, so that they would be
with Him and that He could send them out
to preach, 15 and to have authority to cast
out the demons. 16 And He appointed the
twelve: a Simon (to whom He gave the
name Peter), 17 and 1 James, the son of
Zebedee, and John the brother of 1 James
(to them He gave the name Boanerges,
which means, Sons of Thunder); 18 and
Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and
Matthew, and Thomas, and 1 James the son
of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon
the 2 Zealot; 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.
13

Scribes Commit the Unpardonable Sin


Mt 12:24-32; Lk 11:17-23
20 And He *came 1 a home, and the b crowd
*gathered again, c to such an extent that they
could not even eat 2 a meal. 21 When a His
own 1 people heard of this, they went out to
take custody of Him; for they were saying,
b He has lost His senses. 22 The scribes

13 a Mt 5:1; Lk 6:12
b Mt 10:1; Mk 6:7; Lk
9:1
16 a Mk 3:16-19: Mt
10:2-4; Lk 6:14-16; Ac
1:13
17 1 Or Jacob
18 1 Or Jacob 2 Or
Cananaean
20 1 Lit into a house
2 Lit bread a Mk 2:1;
7:17; 9:28 b Mk 1:45;
3:7 c Mk 6:31
21 1 Or kinsmen a Mk
3:31f b Jn 10:20; Ac
26:24

22 1 Or Beezebul;
others read
Beelzebub a Mt 15:1
b Mt 10:25; 11:18
c Mt 9:34
23 a Mk 3:23-27: Mt
12:25-29; Lk 11:17-22
b Mt 13:3ff; Mk 4:2ff
c Mt 4:10
26 1 Lit he has an end
a Mt 4:10
27 a Is 49:24, 25
28 a Mt 12:31, 32; Mk
3:28-30; Lk 12:10
29 a Lk 12:10
31 a Mk 3:31-35: Mt
12:46-50; Lk 8:19-21

and actions, not the impure words of demons, to proclaim who He


was (see note on 1:25; cf. Ac 16:16-18).
3:13 summoned those whom He Himself wanted. The Gr. verb
summoned stresses that Jesus acted in His own sovereign interest
when He chose the 12 disciples (cf. Jn 15:16).
3:14 appointed twelve. Christ, by an explicit act of His will,
formed a distinct group of 12 men who were among His followers
(see note on Mt 10:1). This new group constituted the foundation of
His church (cf. Eph 2:20).
3:15 have authority. This word is sometimes rendered power.
Along with the main task of preaching, Jesus gave the 12 the right
to expel demons (cf. Lk 9:1).
3:16-19 A list of the 12 (see notes on Mt 10:2-4).
3:16 Peter. From this point on (except in 14:37), Mark uses this
name for Simon, though this is not when the designation was first
given (cf. Jn 1:42), nor does it mark the complete replacement of the
name Simon (cf. Ac 15:14). The name means stone, and describes
Peters character and activities, namely his position as a foundation
rock in the building of the church (cf. Mt 16:18; Eph 2:20).
3:17 Sons of Thunder. Mark defines the Aram. term Boanerges
for his Gentile readers. This name for the two brothers probably referred to their intense, outspoken personalities (cf. 9:38; Lk 9:54).
3:18 Thaddaeus. The only name that is not the same in all the
NT lists of the 12 (cf. Mt 10:2-4; Lk 6:14-16; Ac 1:13). Luke and Acts
call him Judas the son of James, and Jn 14:22 refers to him as
Judas (not Iscariot). the Zealot. This does not indicate that this
Simon was a native of Cana. Rather, the word is derived from the
Aram. which means to be zealous and was used for those who
were zealous for the law. Luke uses the word transliterated from the
Gr. term that meant the Zealot (Lk 6:15; see note on Mt 10:4).
3:19 Iscariot. This Heb. term means man of Kerioth, as in
Kerioth-hezron, S of Hebron (Jos 15:25).
3:20 came home. This refers to Jesus return to Capernaum (cf. 2:1).
3:21 His own people. In Gr., this expression was used in various

who came down a from Jerusalem were saying, He is possessed by 1 b Beelzebul, and
c He casts out the demons by the ruler of
the demons. 23 a And He called them to
Himself and began speaking to them in
b parables, How can c Satan cast out Satan?
24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that
kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be
able to stand. 26 If a Satan has risen up
against himself and is divided, he cannot
stand, but 1 he is finished! 27 a But no one can
enter the strong mans house and plunder
his property unless he first binds the strong
man, and then he will plunder his house.
28 a Truly I say to you, all sins shall be
forgiven the sons of men, and whatever
blasphemies they utter; 29 but a whoever
blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never
has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal
sin 30 because they were saying, He
has an unclean spirit.

New Relationships Are Defined


Mt 12:46-50; Lk 8:19-21
31 a Then His mother and His brothers *arrived, and standing outside they sent word

ways to describe someones friends or close associates. In the


strictest sense, it meant family, which is probably the best understanding here. take custody of Him. Mark used this same term
elsewhere to mean the arrest of a person (6:17; 12:12; 14:1,44,46,51).
Jesus relatives evidently heard the report of v. 20 and came to Capernaum to restrain Him from His many activities and bring Him
under their care and control, all supposedly for His own good. lost
His senses. Jesus family could only explain His unconventional
lifestyle, with its willingness for others always to impose on Him, by
saying He was irrational or had lost His mind.
3:22 scribes. Jewish scholars, also called lawyers, (mostly Pharisees) who were experts on the law and its application (see note on
Mt 2:4). Beelzebul. Satan (see note on Lk 11:15).
3:23 parables. Jesus answered the scribes by making an analogy
between well known facts and the truths He expounded (see note on
Mt 13:3).
3:26 he is finished! An expression used only in Mark which refers
to Satans ultimate doom as head of the demonic world system. See
notes on Rev 20:1-10.
3:27 enter the strong mans house and plunder his property.
One must be stronger than Satan in order to enter his domain
(strong mans house), bind him (restrain his action), and free
(plunder) people (his property) from his control. Only Jesus had
such power over the devil. Cf. Ro 16:20; Heb 2:14,15.
3:28 Truly I say to you. Marks first use of this expression, which
occurs throughout the gospels, was employed as a formula that always introduced truthful and authoritative words from Jesus (cf.
6:11; 8:12; 9:1,41; 10:15,29; 11:23; 12:43; 13:30; 14:9,18,25,30).
3:29 whoever blasphemes . . . never has forgiveness. Whenever
someone deliberately and disrespectfully slanders the person and
ministry of the Holy Spirit in pointing to the Lordship and redemption of Jesus Christ, he completely negates and forfeits any possibility of present or future forgiveness of sins (see note on Mt 12:31), because he has wholly rejected the only basis of Gods salvation.
3:31 His mother and His brothers. Jesus earthly family (see

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 1433 
to Him and called Him. 32 A crowd was sitting around Him, and they *said to Him,
Behold, Your mother and Your brothers
are outside looking for You. 33 Answering
them, He *said, Who are My mother and
My brothers? 34 Looking about at those
who were sitting around Him, He *said,
a Behold My mother and My brothers!
35 For whoever a does the will of God, he is
My brother and sister and mother.

34 a Mt 12:49
35 a Eph 6:6; Heb
10:36; 1Pe 4:2; 1 Jn
2:17
CHAPTER 4
1 a Mk 4:1-12: Mt 13:115; Lk 8:4-10 b Mk
2:13; 3:7 c Lk 5:1-3
2 a Mt 13:3ff; Mk 3:23;
4:2ff

Parable of the Soils


Mt 13:1-23; Lk 8:4-15
a He began to teach again b by the sea.
And such a very large crowd gathered
to Him that c He got into a boat in the sea
and sat down; and the whole crowd was by
the sea on the land. 2 And He was teaching
them many things in a parables, and was
saying to them in His teaching, 3 Listen to
this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4 as
he was sowing, some seed fell beside the
road, and the birds came and ate it up.
5 Other seed fell on the rocky ground where
it did not have much soil; and immediately
it sprang up because it had no depth of soil.
6 And after the sun had risen, it was
scorched; and because it had no root, it
withered away. 7 Other seed fell among the
thorns, and the thorns came up and choked

9 1 Or hear!; or listen!
a Mt 11:15; Mk 4:23;
Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 29
10 1 Lit those about
Him
11 a 1Co 5:12f; Col 4:5;
1Th 4:12; 1Ti 3:7 b Mk
3:23; 4:2
12 a Is 6:9f; 43:8; Jer
5:21; Eze 12:2; Mt
13:14; Lk 8:10; Jn
12:40; Ro 11:8
13 a Mk 4:13-20: Mt
13:18-23; Lk 8:11-15
15 a Mt 4:10f; 1Pe 5:8;
Rev 20:2, 3, 7-10

notes on v. 21; Mt 12:46). The narrative that left off at v. 21 resumes


here.
3:35 Jesus made a decisive and comprehensive statement on
true Christian discipleship. Such discipleship involves a spiritual relationship that transcends the physical family and is open to all who
are empowered by the Spirit of God to come to Christ in repentance
and faith and enabled to live a life of obedience to Gods Word.
4:1 sat. The typical rabbinical position for teaching; and more
practically, Jesus may have sat because of the rocking of the boat in
the water.
4:2 parables. A common method of teaching in Judaism, which
Jesus employed to conceal the truth from unbelievers while explaining it to His disciples (cf. v. 11; see note on Mt 13:3).
4:3-8 This parable depicts the teaching of the gospel throughout
the world and the various responses of people to it. Some will reject
it; some will accept it for a brief time but then fall away; yet some
will believe and will lead others to believe.
4:4 beside the road. Either a road near a fields edge or a path
that traversed a field, both of which were hard surfaces due to constant foot traffic.
4:5 rocky ground. Beds of solid rock, usually limestone, lying under
the surface of good soil. They are a little too deep for the plow to
reach, and too shallow to allow a plant to reach water and develop a
decent root system in the small amount of soil that covers them.
4:7 thorns. Tough, thistle-bearing weeds that use up the available space, light, and water which good plants need.
4:8 produced . . . a hundredfold. An average ratio of harvested
grain to what had been sown was 8 to 1, with a 10 to 1 ratio considered exceptional. The yields Jesus refers to are like an unbelievable harvest.
4:9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear. On the surface, this is

MARK 4:17
it, and it yielded no crop. 8 Other seeds fell
into the good soil, and as they grew up and
increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.
9 And He was saying, a He who has ears to
hear, 1 let him hear.
10 As soon as He was alone, 1 His followers, along with the twelve, began asking
Him about the parables. 11 And He was
saying to them, To you has been given
the mystery of the kingdom of God, but
a those who are outside get everything b in
parables, 12 so that a WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY
SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING,
THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN.
13 a And He *said to them, Do you not
understand this parable? How will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower
sows the word. 15 These are the ones who
are beside the road where the word is
sown; and when they hear, immediately
a Satan comes and takes away the word
which has been sown in them. 16 In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed
was sown on the rocky places, who, when
they hear the word, immediately receive it
with joy; 17 and they have no firm root in
themselves, but are only temporary; then,

a call for the listener to be attentive and discern the meaning of His
analogy. Yet more than human understanding is necessary to interpret the parableonly those who have been redeemed will have
the true meaning explained to them by the divine Teacher.
4:11 mystery . . . parables. A mystery in the NT refers to something previously hidden and unknown but revealed in the NT (see
notes on 1Co 2:7; Eph 3:4-6). In context, the subject of the mystery is
the kingdom of heaven (see note on Mt 3:2), which Jesus communicates in the form of parables. Thus the mystery is revealed to those
who believe, yet it remains concealed to those who reject Christ and
His gospel (see note on Mt 13:11). but those who are outside.
Those who are not followers of Christ.
4:12 so that. See note on Mt 13:13. Unlike Matthew, which specifically quotes Is 6:9,10, Mark quotes Jesus as giving the substance of
what Isaiah wrote in that text. OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN. The implication is that unbelievers do not want to turn from sin (see notes on
Mt 13:3,13).
4:13 all the parables. Understanding the parable of the sower
was to be key in the disciples ability to discern the meaning of
Jesus other parables of the kingdom (vv. 21-34).
4:14-20 Jesus explanation of the parable of the sower, who is in
fact Jesus Himself (cf. Mt 13:37) and anyone who proclaims the
gospel.
4:14 the word. Luke 8:11 says it is the word of God, and Mt
13:19 calls it the word of the kingdom. It is the salvation gospel
(see note on Mt 13:19).
4:16 receive it with joy. An enthusiastic, emotional, yet superficial response to the gospel that does not take into account the cost
involved.
4:17 no firm root. Because the persons heart is hard, like the
rocky ground (see note on v. 5), the gospel never takes root in the in-

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MARK 4:18
when affliction or persecution arises because
of the word, immediately they 1 fall away.
18 And others are the ones on whom seed
was sown among the thorns; these are the
ones who have heard the word, 19 but the
worries of a the 1 world, and the b deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things
enter in and choke the word, and it becomes
unfruitful. 20 And those are the ones on
whom seed was sown on the good soil; and
they hear the word and accept it and a bear
fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.

Parable of the LampLk 8:16-18


And He was saying to them, a A lamp
is not brought to be put under a 1 basket, is
it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put
on the lampstand? 22 a For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything
been secret, but that it would come to light.
23 a If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.
24 And He was saying to them, Take care
what you listen to. 1 a By your standard of
measure it will be measured to you; and
more will be given you besides. 25 a For
whoever has, to him more shall be given;
and whoever does not have, even what he
has shall be taken away from him.
21

 1434 
17 1 Lit are caused to
stumble
19 1 Or age a Mt 13:22;
Ro 12:2; Eph 2:2; 6:12
b Pr 23:4; 1Ti 6:9, 10,
17
20 a Jn 15:2ff; Ro 7:4
21 1 Or peck-measure
a Mt 5:15; Lk 8:16;
11:33
22 a Mt 10:26; Lk 8:17;
12:2
23 a Mt 11:15; 13:9,
43; Mk 4:9; Lk 8:8;
14:35; Rev 3:6, 13,
22; 13:9
24 1 Lit By what
measure you
measure a Mt 7:2; Lk
6:38
25 a Mt 13:12; 25:29;
Lk 8:18; 19:26

29 1 Lit sends forth


a Joel 3:13
30 1 Lit compare a Mk
4:30-32: Mt 13:31, 32;
Lk 13:18, 19 b Mt
13:24
32 1 Or sky a Eze 17:23;
Ps 104:12; Eze 31:6;
Da 4:12

dividuals soul and never transforms his lifethere is only a temporary, surface change. affliction or persecution. Not the routine difficulties and troubles of life, but specifically the suffering, trials, and
persecutions which result from ones association with Gods Word.
fall away. The Gr. word also means to cause offense, from which
comes the Eng. word scandalize. All those meanings are appropriate since the superficial believer is offended, stumbles, and falls
away when his faith is put to the test (cf. Jn 8:31; 1Jn 2:19).
4:19 worries of the world. Lit. the distractions of the age. A
preoccupation with the temporal issues of this present age blinds a
person to any serious consideration of the gospel (cf. Jas 4:4; 1Jn
2:15,16). deceitfulness of riches. Not only can money and material
possessions not satisfy the desires of the heart or bring the lasting
happiness they deceptively promise, but they also blind those who
pursue them to eternal, spiritual concerns (1Ti 6:9,10).
4:20 hear . . . accept . . . bear fruit. Three Gr. present participles
mark continuing action. Believers, in contrast to unbelievers, hear
Gods Word because God allows them to hear it. They accept it
they understand and obey it because God opens their mind and heart
and transforms their lives. The result is that they produce spiritual fruit.
4:21 lamp. This refers to a very small clay bowl made with a
spout to hold a wick and containing a few ounces of oil that served
as the fuel. the lampstand. In common homes, this was simply a
shelf protruding from the wall. Wealthier homes might have separate, ornate stands (cf. Rev 1:12).
4:22 nothing is hidden . . . revealed. The purpose in keeping
something hidden is so that one day it can be revealed. Jesus
teaching was never intended to be just for an inner circle of followers. It would be the responsibility of the disciples to communicate
the gospel of the kingdom to the world at large (cf. Mt 28:19,20).
4:24 By your standard of measure. The spiritual results which
the disciples realized were to be based on the amount of effort they
put forth; they would reap as they had sown. more will be given.
The one who has learned spiritual truth and applied it diligently will
receive even more truth to faithfully apply.

Parable of the Growing Seed


26 And He was saying, The kingdom of
God is like a man who casts seed upon the
soil; 27 and he goes to bed at night and gets
up by day, and the seed sprouts and
growshow, he himself does not know.
28 The soil produces crops by itself; first the
blade, then the head, then the mature grain
in the head. 29 But when the crop permits,
he immediately 1 a puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.

Parable of the Mustard Seed


Mt 13:31-35
30 a And He said, How shall we 1 b picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? 31 It is like a
mustard seed, which, when sown upon the
soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds
that are upon the soil, 32 yet when it is
sown, it grows up and becomes larger than
all the garden plants and forms large
branches; so that a THE BIRDS OF THE 1 AIR can
NEST UNDER ITS SHADE.
33 With many such parables He was
speaking the word to them, so far as they
were able to hear it; 34 and He did not

4:26-29 This parable is recorded only by Mark and complements


the parable of the sower by explaining in more depth the results of
spiritual growth accomplished in good soil.
4:26 kingdom of God. See note on 1:15.
4:29 puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come. When
the grain is ripe, the sower of the seed must harvest the crop. There
are two possible interpretations of this unexplained parable. It could
be referring to the entire scope of the kingdom, from the time Jesus
sowed the gospel message until the final harvest in the future. His
disciples would continue the work of presenting the gospel that
would eventually yield a harvest. The better interpretation pictures
the gospel working in lives. After the gospel is presented, the Word
of God works in the individual heart, sometimes slowly, until the
time when God reaps the harvest in that individual and saves him.
4:30-32 This parable of the mustard seed pictures the kingdom
of God beginning with a small influence and then becoming worldwide in its scope.
4:31 a mustard seed. A reference to the common black mustard
plant. The leaves were used as a vegetable and the seed as a condiment. It also had medicinal benefits. smaller than all. The mustard
seed is not the smallest of all seeds in existence, but it was in comparison to all the other seeds the Jews sowed in Israel.
4:32 BIRDS OF THE AIR. While not a tree in the truest sense of the
word, the mustard shrub has been known to grow as large as 15 ft.
high and to have the properties of a tree, such as having branches
large enough for birds to nest in. The tree represents the sphere of
salvation, which would grow so large that it would provide shelter,
protection, and benefit to people (see note on Mt 13:32). Even unbelievers have been blessed by association with the gospel and the
power of God in salvation. Christians have been a benediction to the
world. See note on 1Co 7:14.
4:33,34 This conclusion to Marks account of Jesus parables
highlights Marks recording only representative samples of all the
parables Jesus taught.
4:34 He did not speak to them without a parable. On that par-

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 1435 
speak to them a without a parable; but He
was b explaining everything privately to
His own disciples.

The Sea Is Stilled


Mt 8:23-27; Lk 8:22-25
35 a On that day, when evening came, He
*said to them, Let us go over to the other
side. 36 1 Leaving the crowd, they *took
Him along with them a in the boat, just as
He was; and other boats were with Him.
37 And there *arose a fierce gale of wind,
and the waves were breaking over the boat
so much that the boat was already filling
up. 38 Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep
on the cushion; and they *woke Him and
*said to Him, Teacher, do You not care that
we are perishing? 39 And He got up and
a rebuked the wind and said to the sea,
Hush, be still. And the wind died down
and 1 it became perfectly calm. 40 And He
said to them, Why are you 1 afraid? a Do
you still have no faith? 41 They became
very much afraid and said to one another,
Who then is this, that even the wind and
the sea obey Him?

34 a Mt 13:34; Jn 10:6;
16:25 b Lk 24:27
35 a Mk 4:35-41: Mt
8:18, 23-27; Lk 8:22,
25
36 1 Or Sending away
a Mk 3:9; 4:1; 5:2, 21
39 1 Lit a great calm
occurred a Ps 65:7;
89:9; 107:29; Mt
8:26; Lk 8:24
40 1 Or cowardly a Mt
14:31; Lk 8:25

CHAPTER 5
1 a Mk 5:1-17: Mt 8:2834; Lk 8:26-37
2 a Mk 3:9; 4:1, 36;
5:21 b Mk 1:23
7 1 Lit What to me and
to you (a Heb idiom)
a Mt 8:29 b Mt 4:3
c Lk 8:28; Ac 16:17;
Heb 7:1
9 a Mt 26:53; Mk 5:15;
Lk 8:30

ticular day, Jesus spoke to the larger crowd only in parables. This
method of teaching left unbelievers with riddles and kept them
from being forced to believe or disbelieve Himthey could make
no decision to follow Him since they did not understand what He
taught.
4:35-41 This account demonstrates Jesus unlimited power over
the natural world.
4:35 the other side. Jesus and His disciples were on the western
shore of the Sea of Galilee. To escape the crowds for a brief respite,
Jesus wanted to go to the eastern shore, which had no large cities
and therefore fewer people.
4:37 fierce gale of wind. Wind is a common occurrence on that
lake, about 690 ft. below sea level and surrounded by hills. The Gr.
word can also mean whirlwind. In this case, it was a storm so severe that it took on the properties of a hurricane (see note on Mt
8:24). The disciples, used to being on the lake in the wind, thought
this storm would drown them (v. 38).
4:38 Jesus . . . was . . . asleep. Jesus was so exhausted from a full
day of healing and preaching, even that storm could not wake Him
up (see note on Mt 8:24).
4:39 Hush, be still. Lit. be silent, be muzzled. Storms normally
subside gradually, but when the Creator gave the order, the natural
elements of this storm ceased immediately.
4:41 they became . . . afraid. This was not fear of being harmed by
the storm, but a reverence for the supernatural power Jesus had just
displayed. The only thing more terrifying than having a storm outside
the boat was having God in the boat! Who then is this . . . ? This
statement betrayed the disciples wonder at the true identity of Jesus.
5:1 the other side of the sea. The eastern shore of the Sea of
Galilee (cf. Lk 8:26). the country of the Gerasenes. This word most
likely refers to the small town of Gersa (or Khersa, Kursi; see note on
Mt 8:28) which was located midway on the eastern shore. Country
of refers to the general region that included Gersa and was under
the jurisdiction of the city of Gadara, which was located some 6 mi.
SE of the Sea of Galilee.

MARK 5:9
Demons Are Cast into Swine
Mt 8:28-34; Lk 8:26-39
a They came to the other side of the sea,
into the country of the Gerasenes.
2 When He got out of a the boat, immediately a man from the tombs b with an unclean spirit met Him, 3 and he had his
dwelling among the tombs. And no one
was able to bind him anymore, even with a
chain; 4 because he had often been bound
with shackles and chains, and the chains
had been torn apart by him and the shackles broken in pieces, and no one was strong
enough to subdue him. 5 Constantly, night
and day, he was screaming among the
tombs and in the mountains, and gashing
himself with stones. 6 Seeing Jesus from a
distance, he ran up and bowed down before Him; 7 and shouting with a loud voice,
he *said, 1 a What business do we have
with each other, Jesus, b Son of c the Most
High God? I implore You by God, do not
torment me! 8 For He had been saying to
him, Come out of the man, you unclean
spirit! 9 And He was asking him, What
is your name? And he *said to Him,
My name is a Legion; for we are many.

5:2 a man from the tombs. Mark mentions only one of the
demon-possessed men, who was probably the more prominent of
the two (cf. Mt 8:28). The tombscommon dwelling places for
the demented of that daywere burial chambers carved out of
rock hillsides on the outskirts of town. If the man and his possible
companion were Jews, for whom touching dead bodies was a great
defilement, living in such an area was an added torment. unclean
spirit. This refers to the demon who was controlling the man. Such
spirits in themselves were morally filthy and caused much harm for
those whom they possessed (see notes on 1:32-34; cf. Lk 4:33,36;
7:21; 8:2).
5:3 no one was able to bind him. Multiple negatives are used in
the Gr. text to emphasize the mans tremendous strength.
5:4 shackles and chains. Shackles (probably metal or perhaps,
in part, cord or rope) were used to restrain the feet and chains
were metal restraints for the rest of the body.
5:5 screaming . . . gashing himself with stones. Screaming describes a continual unearthly scream uttered with intense emotion.
The stones likely were rocks made of flint with sharp, jagged
edges.
5:7 What business do we have with each other . . . ? A common
expression of protest (see note on 1:24). Son of the Most High God.
The demons knew that Jesus was deity, the God-Man. Most High
God was an ancient title used by both Jews and Gentiles to identify
the one, true, and living God of Israel and distinguish Him from all
false idol gods (cf. Ge 14:18-20; Nu 24:16; Dt 32:8; Pss 18:13; 21:7; Is
14:14; Da 3:26; Lk 1:32; Heb 7:1). I implore You . . . do not torment
me! See note on Mt 8:29. Mark adds I implore you, which shows the
demon tried to have Jesus soften the severity of his inevitable fate.
Cf. Jas 2:19.
5:9 What is your name? Most likely, Jesus asked this in view of
the demons appeal not to be tormented. However, He did not need
to know the demons name in order to expel him. Rather, Jesus
posed the question to bring the reality and complexity of this case
into the open. Legion. A Lat. term, by then common to Jews and

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MARK 5:10
And he began to implore Him earnestly
not to send them out of the country. 11 Now
there was a large herd of swine feeding
1 nearby on the mountain. 12 The demons implored Him, saying, Send us into the
swine so that we may enter them. 13 Jesus
gave them permission. And coming out, the
unclean spirits entered the swine; and the
herd rushed down the steep bank into
the sea, about two thousand of them; and
they were drowned in the sea.
14 Their herdsmen ran away and reported it in the city and in the country. And
the people came to see what it was that had
happened. 15 They *came to Jesus and *observed the man who had been a demonpossessed sitting down, b clothed and c in
his right mind, the very man who had had
the d legion; and they became frightened.
16 Those who had seen it described to them
how it had happened to the a demon-possessed man, and all about the swine. 17 And
they began to a implore Him to leave their
region. 18 a As He was getting into the boat,
the man who had been b demon-possessed
was imploring Him that he might 1 accompany Him. 19 And He did not let him, but
He *said to him, a Go home to your people
and report to them 1 what great things the
Lord has done for you, and how He had
mercy on you. 20 And he went away and
began to a proclaim in b Decapolis 1 what
10

 1436 
11 1 Lit there
15 a Mt 4:24; Mk 5:16,
18 b Lk 8:27 c Lk 8:35
d Mk 5:9
16 a Mt 4:24; Mk 5:15
17 a Mt 8:34; Ac 16:39
18 1 Lit be with Him
a Mk 5:18-20: Lk 8:38,
39 b Mt 4:24; Mk
5:15, 16
19 1 Or everything that
a Lk 8:39
20 1 Or everything that
a Ps 66:16 b Mt 4:25;
Mk 7:31

great things Jesus had done for him; and


everyone was amazed.

Jairus Pleads for His Daughter


Mt 9:18, 19; Lk 8:41, 42
21 a When Jesus had crossed over again
in b the boat to the other side, a large crowd
gathered around Him; and so He 1 stayed
c by the seashore. 22 a One of b the synagogue 1 officials named Jairus *came up,
and on seeing Him, *fell at His feet 23 and
*implored Him earnestly, saying, My little
daughter is at the point of death; please
come and a lay Your hands on her, so that
she will 1 get well and live. 24 And He
went off with him; and a large crowd was
following Him and pressing in on Him.

A Woman with Issue Is Healed


21 1 Lit was a Mt 9:1;
Lk 8:40 b Mk 4:36
c Mk 4:1
22 1 Or rulers a Mk
5:22-43: Mt 9:18-26;
Lk 8:41-56 b Mt 9:18;
Mk 5:35, 36, 38; Lk
8:49; 13:14; Ac 13:15;
18:8, 17
23 1 Lit be saved a Mk
6:5; 7:32; 8:23; 16:18;
Lk 4:40; 13:13; Ac
6:6; 9:17; 28:8
27 1 Or outer garment
28 1 Lit was saying 2 Lit
be saved
29 a Mk 3:10; 5:34

Greeks, that defined a Roman military unit of 6,000 infantrymen.


Such a name denotes that the man was controlled by an extremely
large number of militant evil spirits, a truth reiterated by the expression for we are many.
5:10 he began to implore Him earnestly. The demon understood that Jesus had all power over him and addressed Him with an
intense desire that his request be granted. not to send them out of
the country. See note on v. 1. The demons wanted to remain in the
same area where they had been exercising their evil powers.
5:11 swine. Pigs were unclean animals to the Jews, so the people tending this herd were either Gentiles or Jews unconcerned
about the law (see note on Mt 8:30).
5:13 Jesus gave them permission. According to His sovereign
purposes Jesus allowed the demons to enter the pigs and destroy
themthe text offers no other explanation (cf. Dt 29:29; Ro 9:20). By
doing this, Jesus gave the man a graphic, visible, and powerful lesson
on the immensity of the evil from which he had been delivered.
5:15 sitting. The mans restful condition was a strong contrast
with his former restless, agitated state. in his right mind. He was
no longer under the frenzied, screaming control of the demons.
5:16 Those . . . described . . . about the swine. Those may refer
to both the 12 and the men who tended the pigs. They wanted people to know what had happened to the man and the pigs, and the
relationship between the two events.
5:17 implore Him to leave their region. The residents of the region became frightened and resentful toward Jesus because of what
had happened. They may have been concerned about the disruption of their normal routine and the loss of property, and they wanted Jesus and His powers to leave the area so no more such financial

Mt 9:20-22; Lk 8:43-48
25 A woman who had had a hemorrhage
for twelve years, 26 and had endured much
at the hands of many physicians, and
had spent all that she had and was not
helped at all, but rather had grown
worse 27 after hearing about Jesus, she
came up in the crowd behind Him and
touched His 1 cloak. 28 For she 1 thought,
If I just touch His garments, I will
2 get well. 29 Immediately the flow of her
blood was dried up; and she felt in her
body that she was healed of her a affliction.

losses would occur. More compelling, however, was the reality that
they were ungodly people frightened by Christs display of spiritual
power (see note on Mt 8:34).
5:19 report to them . . . the Lord has done. Jesus was referring
to Himself as God who controlled both the natural and the supernatural worlds (cf. Lk 8:39).
5:20 Decapolis. A league of 10 Greek-influenced (Hellenized)
cities E of the Jordan River (see note on Mt 4:25).
5:21 the other side. Jesus and the disciples returned to the NW
shore of the Sea of Galilee.
5:22 One of the synagogue officials. These officials presided
over the elders of local synagogues. Those elder groups, made up of
lay officials, were in charge of arranging the services and overseeing
other synagogue affairs.
5:25 hemorrhage. Denotes a chronic internal bleeding, perhaps
from a tumor or other disease (see note on Mt 9:20).
5:26 endured much . . . many physicians. In NT times, it was
common practice in difficult medical cases for people to consult
many different doctors and receive a variety of treatments. The supposed cures were often conflicting, abusive, and many times made
the ailment worse, not better. Luke, the physician, in Lk 8:43 suggested the woman was not helped because her condition was incurable.
5:28 If I just touch His garments. The womans faith in Jesus
healing powers was so great that she believed even indirect contact
with Him through His garments (see note on Mt 9:20) would be
enough to produce a cure.
5:29 flow of her blood. The source of her bleeding, with the
analogy being to the origin of a spring.

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 1437 
Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that a the power proceeding from Him
had gone forth, turned around in the
crowd and said, Who touched My garments? 31 And His disciples said to Him,
You see the crowd pressing in on You, and
You say, Who touched Me? 32 And He
looked around to see the woman who had
done this. 33 But the woman fearing and
trembling, aware of what had happened to
her, came and fell down before Him and
told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said
to her, Daughter, a your faith has 1 made
you well; b go in peace and be healed of
your c affliction.
30

30 a Lk 5:17
34 1 Lit saved you a Mt
9:22 b Lk 7:50; 8:48;
Ac 16:36; Jas 2:16
c Mk 3:10; 5:29
35 a Mk 5:22
36 1 Or keep on
believing a Mk 5:22
b Lk 8:50
37 1 Or Jacob; James is
the Eng form of
Jacob a Mt 17:1;
26:37
38 a Mk 5:22

Jairuss Daughter Is Healed


Mt 9:23-26; Lk 8:49-56
35 While He was still speaking, they
*came from the house of the a synagogue official, saying, Your daughter has died;
why trouble the Teacher anymore? 36 But
Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken,
*said to the a synagogue official, b Do not
be afraid any longer, only 1 believe. 37 And
He allowed no one to accompany Him, except a Peter and 1 James and John the
brother of 1 James. 38 They *came to the
house of the a synagogue official; and He

MARK 6:2
*saw a commotion, and people loudly
weeping and wailing. 39 And entering in,
He *said to them, Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but
is asleep. 40 They began laughing at Him.
But putting them all out, He *took along
the childs father and mother and His own
companions, and *entered the room where
the child was. 41 Taking the child by the
hand, He *said to her, Talitha kum!
(which translated means, Little girl, a I say
to you, get up!). 42 Immediately the girl
got up and began to walk, for she was
twelve years old. And immediately they
were completely astounded. 43 And He
a gave them strict orders that no one should
know about this, and He said that something should be given her to eat.

Jesus Is Rejected at Nazareth


41 a Lk 7:14; Ac 9:40
43 a Mt 8:4
CHAPTER 6
1 1 Or His own part of
the country a Mk 6:16: Mt 13:54-58 b Mt
13:54, 57; Lk 4:16, 23
2 1 Or works of power
a Mt 4:23; Mk 10:1
b Mt 7:28

5:30 power proceeding from Him had gone forth. Christs


power, His inherent ability to minister and work supernaturally,
proceeded from Him under the conscious control of His sovereign
will. Who touched My garments? Jesus asked this question, not
out of ignorance, but so He might draw the woman out of the
crowd and allow her to praise God for what had happened.
5:34 your faith has made you well. Jesus public statement concerning the womans faith (expressed in vv. 28,33) and its results. The
form of the Gr. verb translated has made you well, which can also be
rendered has made you whole, indicates that her healing was complete. It is the same Gr. word often translated to save (see note on Mt
9:22) and is the normal NT word for saving from sin, which strongly
suggests that the womans faith also led to spiritual salvation.
5:36 only believe. The verb is a command for present, continuous action urging Jairus to maintain the faith he had initially
demonstrated in coming to Jesus. Christ knew there was no other
proper response to Jairus helpless situation, and He was confident
of faiths outcome (cf. Lk 8:50).
5:37 Peter and James and John. This is the first time Mark gives
special status to these 3 disciples. Scripture never explains why
these men were sometimes allowed to witness things that the other
disciples were excluded from (cf. 9:2; 14:33), but the trio did constitute an inner circle within the 12. Even the Gr. grammar implies this
inner grouping by placing their 3 names under one definite article.
5:38 weeping and wailing. In that culture, a sure sign that a
death had occurred. Because burial followed soon after death, it was
the peoples only opportunity to mourn publicly. The wailing was
especially loud and mostly from paid mourners (see note on Mt 9:23).
5:39 has not died, but is asleep. With this figurative expression,
Jesus meant that the girl was not dead in the normal sense, because
her condition was temporary and would be reversed (see note on Mt
9:24; cf. Jn 11:11-14; Ac 7:60; 13:36; 1Co 11:30; 15:6,18,20,51; 1Th
4:13,14).

Mt 13:54-58
a Jesus went out from there and *came
into 1 b His hometown; and His disciples
*followed Him. 2 When the Sabbath came,
He began a to teach in the synagogue; and
the b many listeners were astonished, saying, Where did this man get these things,
and what is this wisdom given to Him, and
such 1 miracles as these performed by His

5:40 laughing at Him. This could more literally be translated,


laughed Him to scorn, or were laughing in His face. They understood Jesus words literally and thought they were absurd, so
laughing most likely refers to repeated bursts of laughter aimed at
humiliating the Lord. This reaction, although shallow and irreverent,
indicates the people were convinced of the irreversible nature of the
girls death and underscores the reality of the miracle Jesus was
about to do. putting them all out. This was an emphatic, forceful
expulsion which showed Christs authority and was done because
the disbelieving mourners had disqualified themselves from witnessing the girls resurrection.
5:41 Talitha kum! Mark is the only gospel writer who recorded
Jesus original Aram. words. Talitha is a feminine form of lamb, or
youth. Kum is an imperative meaning arise. As in other such instances, Jesus addressed the person of the one being raised, not just
the dead body (cf. Lk 7:14; Jn 11:43).
5:43 no one should know about this. Knowledge of the miracle
could not be completely withheld, but Christ did not want news of it
to spread until after He had left the area, because He knew such
news might cause His many Jewish opponents in Galilee to seek
Him out and kill Him prematurely. He also wanted to be known for
bringing the gospel, not as simply a miracle-worker. Jesus was no
doubt concerned that the girl and her parents not be made the center of undue curiosity and sensationalism.
6:1 His hometown. Nazareth, Jesus hometown (see note on Mt
2:23). His disciples. This was not a private, family visit for Jesus, but
a time for ministry.
6:2 Sabbath. See note on 2:23. This implies that no public teaching was done until the Sabbath. teach in the synagogue. See note
on 1:21. astonished. The same word as used in 1:22 (see note there);
however, here the peoples initial reaction gave way to skepticism
and a critical attitude toward Jesus.

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MARK 6:3
hands? 3 Is not this a the carpenter, b the son
of Mary, and brother of 1 James and Joses
and Judas and Simon? Are not c His sisters
here with us? And they took d offense at
Him. 4 Jesus said to them, a A prophet is
not without honor except in 1 b his hometown and among his own relatives and in
his own household. 5 And He could do no
1 miracle there except that He a laid His
hands on a few sick people and healed
them. 6 And He wondered at their unbelief.
a And He was going around the villages
teaching.

Twelve Are Sent to Serve


Mt 10:1-42; Lk 9:1-6
7 a And b He *summoned the twelve and
began to send them out c in pairs, and gave

 1438 
3 1 Or Jacob a Mt 13:55
b Mt 12:46 c Mt 13:56
d Mt 11:6
4 1 Or his own part of
the country a Mt
13:57; Jn 4:44 b Mk
6:1
5 1 Or work of power
a Mk 5:23
6 a Mt 9:35; Mk 1:39;
10:1; Lk 13:22
7 a Mk 6:7-11: Mt 10:1,
9-14; Lk 9:1, 3-5; Lk
10:4-11 b Mt 10:1, 5;
Mk 3:13; Lk 9:1 c Lk
10:1
8 1 Or knapsack or
beggars bag a Mt
10:10
9 1 Lit being shod with
2 Or inner garments
10 1 Lit go out from
there

6:3 carpenter. The people of Nazareth still thought of Jesus as


one who carried on his fathers trade (cf. Mt 13:55) as a craftsman
who worked in wood and other hard materials (e.g., stones, bricks).
The common earthly position of Jesus and His family caused the
townspeople to stumblethey refused to see Him as higher than
themselves and found it impossible to accept Him as the Son of God
and Messiah. son of Mary. Only here is Jesus called this. The normal
Jewish practice was to identify a son by his fathers (Josephs) name.
Perhaps that was not done here because Joseph was already dead,
or because Christs audience was recalling the rumors concerning
Jesus illegitimate birth (cf. Jn 8:41; 9:29)a man was called the son
of his mother if his father was unknownand were purposely insulting Him with this title as a reference to illegitimacy. brother of
James and Joses and Judas and Simon. See note on Mt 12:46.
These were actual half-brothers of Jesus. James was later the
leader in the Jerusalem church (cf. Ac 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; 1Co 15:7;
Gal 1:19; 2:9,12) and wrote the epistle of James. Judas (Heb. name
Judah) wrote the epistle of Jude. Nothing more is known of the
other two. His sisters. Actual half-sisters whose names are never
given in the NT. Nothing is known of them, not even if they became
believers as the other family members did. they took offense at
Him. The Eng. term scandalize comes from the Gr. verb translated
were offended, which essentially means to stumble, or become
ensnared, and fall into a sin (see note on 4:17). The residents of
Nazareth were deeply offended at Jesus posturing Himself as some
great teacher because of His ordinary background, His limited formal
education, and His lack of an officially-sanctioned religious position.
6:4 See note on Mt 13:57. Jesus called Himself a prophet, in accord
with one of His roles (cf. v. 15; 8:28; Mt 21:11,46; Lk 7:16; 24:19; Jn
6:14; 7:40; 9:17). own household. His own family (cf. Jn 7:5; Ac
1:14).
6:5 He could do no miracle there. Cf. Mt 13:58. This is not to
suggest that His power was somehow diminished by their unbelief.
It may suggest that because of their unbelief people were not coming to Him for healing or miracles the way they did in Capernaum
and Jerusalem. Or, more importantly it may signify that Christ limited His ministry both as an act of mercy, so that the exposure to
greater light would not result in a worse hardening that would only
subject them to greater condemnation, and a judgment on their unbelief. He had the power to do more miracles, but not the will, because they rejected Him. Miracles belonged among those who were
ready to believe.
6:6 He wondered at their unbelief. Wondered means Jesus
was completely astonished and amazed at Nazareths reaction to

them authority over the unclean spirits;


8 a and He instructed them that they should
take nothing for their journey, except a
mere staffno bread, no 1 bag, no money
in their belt 9 but 1 to wear sandals; and
He added, Do not put on two 2 tunics.
10 And He said to them, Wherever you
enter a house, stay there until you 1 leave
town. 11 Any place that does not receive
you or listen to you, as you go out from
there, a shake the dust 1 off the soles of your
feet for a testimony against them. 12 a They
went out and 1 preached that men should
repent. 13 And they were casting out many
demons and a were anointing with oil
many sick people and healing them.
11 1 Lit under your feet a Mt 10:14; Ac 13:51 12 1 Or proclaimed as a
herald a Mt 11:1; Lk 9:6 13 a Jas 5:14

Him, His teaching, and His miracles. He was not surprised at the fact
of the peoples unbelief, but at how they could reject Him while
claiming to know all about Him. Faith should have been the response in that town in Galilee, the region where Christ did so many
miracles and so much teaching. around the villages. The outcome
of Jesus visit to Nazareth was that He left there and made a teaching tour of other places in Galilee, concluding near where He started
(cf. Mt 9:35).
6:7 the twelve. See notes on 3:16-19; Mt 10:2-4. The 12 disciples
were by then a divinely-commissioned, recognized group. send
them out. The form of this Gr. verb indicates that Jesus individually
commissioned each pair to go out as His representatives. in pairs.
This was a prudent practice (cf. Ecc 4:9-12) employed by Jewish
alms collectors, by John the Baptist (Lk 7:19), by Jesus on other occasions (11:1; 14:13; Lk 10:1), and by the early church (Ac 13:2,3;
15:39-41; 19:22). The practice gave the disciples mutual help and
encouragement and met the legal requirement for an authentic testimony (Dt 19:15). unclean spirits. See notes on 1:23; 5:2.
6:8 staff. The walking stick, a universal companion of travelers in
those days, which also provided potential protection from criminals
and wild animals. no bag. They were not to carry the usual leather
traveling bag or food sack.
6:9 to wear sandals. Ordinary footwear consisting of leather or
wood soles bound on by straps around the ankle and instep. Sandals were necessary protection for the feet in view of the hot,
rough terrain of Palestine. not put on two tunics. Tunics were
standard garments of clothing. Men of comparative wealth would
wear two, but Jesus wanted the disciples to identify with common
people and travel with just minimum clothing.
6:10 The disciples were to carefully select where they stayed (cf.
Mt 10:11), but once there, the sole focus was to be on ministry. Contentment with their first host and his accommodations would be a
testimony to others while the disciples ministered (cf. 1Ti 6:6).
6:11 shake the dust off. A symbolic act that signified complete
renunciation of further fellowship with those who rejected them
(see note on Mt 10:14). When the disciples made this gesture, it
would show that the people had rejected Jesus and the gospel, and
were hence rejected by the disciples and by the Lord.
6:12,13 preached . . . casting out many demons. Cf. v. 7. They
were heralds of the gospel and had repeated success in expelling
evil spirits from people. This demonstrated Christs power over the
supernatural world and confirmed His claim to being God.
6:12 repent. See notes on 1:15; Mt 3:2.
6:13 anointing with oil . . . sick. In Jesus day olive oil was often

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 1439 
John the Baptist Is Murdered
Mt 14:1-12; Lk 9:7-9
14 a And King Herod heard of it, for His
name had become well known; and people
were saying, b John the Baptist has risen
from the dead, and that is why these
miraculous powers are at work in Him.
15 But others were saying, He is a Elijah.
And others were saying, He is b a prophet,
like one of the prophets of old. 16 But when
Herod heard of it, he kept saying, John,
whom I beheaded, has risen!
17 For Herod himself had sent and had
John arrested and bound in prison on account of a Herodias, the wife of his brother
Philip, because he had married her. 18 For
John had been saying to Herod, a It is not
lawful for you to have your brothers
wife. 19 a Herodias had a grudge against
him and wanted to put him to death and
could not do so; 20 for a Herod was afraid of
John, knowing that he was a righteous and
holy man, and he kept him safe. And when
he heard him, he was very perplexed; 1 but
he 2 used to enjoy listening to him. 21 A
strategic day came when Herod on his
birthday a gave a banquet for his lords and
1 military commanders and the leading
men b of Galilee; 22 and when the daughter
of a Herodias herself came in and danced,

14 a Mk 6:14-29: Mt
14:1-12; Mk 6:14-16:
Lk 9:7-9 b Mt 14:2; Lk
9:19
15 a Mt 16:14; Mk 8:28
b Mt 21:11
17 a Mt 14:3; Lk 3:19
18 a Mt 14:4
19 a Mt 14:3
20 1 Lit and 2 Lit was
hearing him gladly
a Mt 21:26
21 1 I.e. chiliarchs, in
command of a
thousand troops
a Est 1:3; 2:18 b Lk 3:1
22 a Mt 14:3

1 Lit those who

reclined at the table


with him
23 a Est 5:3, 6; 7:2
26 1 Lit those reclining
at the table
30 a Lk 9:10 b Mt 10:2;
Mk 3:14; Lk 6:13;
9:10; 17:5; 22:14;
24:10; Ac 1:2, 26

used medicinally (cf. Lk 10:34). But here it represented the power


and presence of the Holy Spirit and was used symbolically in relation
to supernatural healing (cf. Is 11:2; Zec 4:1-6; Mt 25:2-4; Rev 1:4,12).
As a well known healing agent, the oil was an appropriate, tangible
medium the people could identify with as the disciples ministered
to the sick among them.
6:14 King Herod heard. See note on Mt 14:1. The context indicates Herod heard some exciting news centering on Jesus and resulting from the disciples recent preaching and miracle working in
Galilee. John the Baptist. The forerunner of Christ (see notes on 1:47; Mt 3:1,4,6).
6:15 He is Elijah. This identification of Jesus, which probably had
been discussed repeatedly among the Jews, was based on the Jewish
expectation that the prophet Elijah would return prior to Messiahs
coming (see notes on Mal 4:5; Mt 11:14; Lk 1:17). a prophet . . . one of
the prophets. Some saw Jesus as the fulfillment of Dt 18:15, the messianic prophecy that looked to the One who, like Moses, would lead
His people. Others were willing to identify Jesus only as a great
prophet, or one who was resuming the suspended line of OT prophets.
These and the other opinions, although misplaced, show that the people still thought Jesus was special or somehow supernatural.
6:16 John . . . has risen! By this excited, guilt-laden confession,
Herod showed that he could not forget the evil he had done in beheading John the Baptist and that his conscience had led him to the
eerie fear that John was back from the dead (cf. Mt 14:1,2; Lk 9:7-9).
6:17 John . . . bound in prison. Herod kept him fettered while
imprisoned, probably at Machaerus, near the NE shore of the Dead
Sea. Herods intention was to protect John from the plots of Herodias (cf. v. 20). Herodias. Herods niece, the daughter of his halfbrother Aristobulus. Philip. Herod Philip II, another half-brother to
Herod Antipas (the Herod in this passage). Therefore, Philip was also
an uncle to Herodias (see note on Mt 14:3).

MARK 6:31
she pleased Herod and 1 his dinner guests;
and the king said to the girl, Ask me for
whatever you want and I will give it to
you. 23 And he swore to her, Whatever
you ask of me, I will give it to you; up to
a half of my kingdom. 24 And she went out
and said to her mother, What shall I ask
for? And she said, The head of John the
Baptist. 25 Immediately she came in a
hurry to the king and asked, saying, I
want you to give me at once the head of
John the Baptist on a platter. 26 And although the king was very sorry, yet because
of his oaths and because of 1 his dinner
guests, he was unwilling to refuse her.
27 Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded him to bring back
his head. And he went and had him beheaded in the prison, 28 and brought his
head on a platter, and gave it to the girl;
and the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When
his disciples heard about this, they came
and took away his body and laid it in a
tomb.

Twelve ReturnLk 9:10


30 a The b apostles *gathered together with
Jesus; and they reported to Him all that
they had done and taught. 31 And He *said
to them, Come away by yourselves to a

6:18 John had been saying . . .It is not lawful. The tense of the
Gr. verb and Marks wording imply that John had repeatedly rebuked
Herod Antipas in private confrontation that his marriage to Herodias
was contrary to Mosaic law (see note on Mt 14:3; cf. Mt 3:7-10).
6:20 he was very perplexed. This indicates that Herods interaction with John left him in great internal conflicta moral struggle
between his lust for Herodias and the prodding of his guilty conscience.
6:21 lords. This term may also be translated nobles, or great
ones. These were men who held high civil offices under Herod. military commanders. High-ranking military officials (Gr. chiliarchs)
who each commanded 1,000 men. leading men of Galilee. The
key social leaders of the region.
6:22 daughter of Herodias. Salome, her daughter by Philip (see
note on Mt 14:6). danced. Refers to a solo dance with highly suggestive hand and body movements, comparable to a modern
striptease. It was unusual and almost unprecedented that Salome
would have performed in this way before Herods guests (cf. Est
1:11,12).
6:23 up to half of my kingdom. This was an exaggeration designed to enhance his previous statement of generosity. As a Roman
tetrarch, Herod actually had no kingdom to give.
6:26 because of his oaths. Herod, as a monarch, felt bound because oaths were considered sacred and unbreakable (see notes on
Mt 5:34; 14:9).
6:27 executioner. Originally meant spy or scout, but came to describe a staff member of a Roman tribune. They served as couriers
and bodyguards as well as executioners. Herod had adopted the
custom of surrounding himself with such men.
6:31 by yourselves. Jesus invitation for a retreat into the desert
was restricted to the 12. He knew they needed rest and privacy after

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MARK 6:32
secluded place and rest a while. (For there
were many people coming and going, and
a they did not even have time to eat.)
32 a They went away in b the boat to a secluded place by themselves.

Five Thousand Are Fed


Mt 14:13-21; Lk 9:11-17; Jn 6:1-14
33 The people saw them going, and many
recognized them and ran there together on
foot from all the cities, and got there ahead
of them. 34 When Jesus went 1 ashore, He
a saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because b they were like
sheep without a shepherd; and He began to
teach them many things. 35 When it was already quite late, His disciples came to Him
and said, 1 This place is desolate and it is
already quite late; 36 send them away so
that they may go into the surrounding
countryside and villages and buy themselves 1 something to eat. 37 But He answered them, You give them something to
eat! a And they *said to Him, Shall we go
and spend two hundred 1 b denarii on bread
and give them something to eat? 38 And He
*said to them, How many loaves do you
have? Go look! And when they found out,
they *said, Five, and two fish. 39 And He

 1440 
31 a Mk 3:20
32 a Mk 6:32-44: Mt
14:13-21; Lk 9:10-17;
Jn 6:5-13; Mk 8:2-9
b Mk 3:9; 4:36; 6:45
34 1 Lit out a Mt 9:36
b Nu 27:17; 1Ki 22:17;
2Ch 18:16; Zec 10:2
35 1 Lit The
36 1 Lit what they may
eat
37 1 The denarius was
equivalent to one
days wage a Jn 6:7
b Mt 18:28; Lk 7:41

commanded them all to 1 sit down by


groups on the green grass. 40 They 1 sat
down in groups of hundreds and of fifties.
41 And He took the five loaves and the two
fish, and looking up toward heaven, He
a blessed the food and broke the loaves and
He kept giving them to the disciples to set
before them; and He divided up the two
fish among them all. 42 They all ate and
were satisfied, 43 and they picked up
twelve full a baskets of the broken pieces,
and also of the fish. 44 There were a five
thousand men who ate the loaves.

Jesus Walks on Water

39 1 Lit recline
40 1 Lit reclined
41 a Mt 14:19
43 a Mt 14:20
44 a Mt 14:21
45 a Mk 6:45-51: Mt
14:22-32; Jn 6:15-21
b Mk 6:32 c Mt 11:21;
Mk 8:22
46 a Ac 18:18, 21; 2Co
2:13 b Mt 14:23
48 1 Lit harassed in
rowing 2 I.e. 3-6 a.m.
a Mt 24:43; Mk 13:35

their tiring ministry expedition and the continuing press of the people.
6:32 went away in the boat . . . by themselves. The disciples
obeyed Jesus proposal, departing from His headquarters in Capernaum using the same boat as in 5:2.
6:33 ran there . . . on foot. The direction (toward the NE shore of
the lake) and speed of the boat, along with the immediate lack of
other available boats, caused the crowd to follow by land. got there
ahead of them. Contained only in Marks account, this does not
necessarily mean everyone arrived before the boat, because the
land distance was probably 8 mi., twice as far as the 4 mi. the boat
had to travel. Rather, those young and eager in the crowd were able
to outrun both the rest and the boat (probably because it encountered no wind or a contrary wind) and actually arrive at the shore
before the boat (cf. Mt 14:13,14; Lk 9:11; Jn 6:3,5).
6:34 felt compassion. See note on Mt 9:36. sheep without a
shepherd. An OT picture (cf. Nu 27:17; 1Ki 22:17; 2Ch 18:16; Eze
34:5) used to describe the people as helpless and starving, lacking in
spiritual guidance and protection, and exposed to the perils of sin
and spiritual destruction.
6:37 two hundred denarii. A single denarius (see note on Mt
22:19) was equivalent to a days pay for the day laborer (cf. Mt 20:2).
Two hundred would therefore equal 8 months wages and be
quite beyond the disciples (or any average persons) means.
6:38 loaves. Lit. bread-cakes, or rolls.
6:39 green grass. This detail indicates it was the spring rainy season, before the hot summer would have turned the grass dry and
brown.
6:40 in groups of hundreds and of fifties. A symmetrical seating
arrangement, possibly 50 semi-circles of 100 people each, with the
semi-circles one behind the other in ranks. Such an arrangement
was familiar to the Jews during their festivals, and it made food distribution more convenient.

Mt 14:22-33; Jn 6:15-21
45 a Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into b the boat and go ahead of Him
to the other side to c Bethsaida, while He
Himself was sending the crowd away.
46 After a bidding them farewell, He left
b for the mountain to pray.
47 When it was evening, the boat was
in the middle of the sea, and He was
alone on the land. 48 Seeing them 1 straining at the oars, for the wind was against
them, at about the 2 a fourth watch of the
night He *came to them, walking on the
sea; and He intended to pass by them.

6:41 looking up toward heaven. A typical prayer posture for


Jesus (cf. 7:34; Lk 24:35; Jn 11:41; 17:1). Heaven was universally regarded as the Fathers dwelling place (Mt 6:9).
6:42 all ate and were satisfied. The hunger of everyone in the
crowd was completely satisfied (cf. Jn 6:11).
6:43 twelve full baskets. The baskets, apparently the same
ones used to bring the food, were small wicker containers like the
ones the Jews used to carry food.
6:44 five thousand men. The Gr. word for men means strictly
males, so the numerical estimate did not include women and children (cf. Mt 14:21). The women and children were traditionally seated separately from the men for meals. When everyone was added,
there could have been at least 20,000.
6:45 the boat. See note on v. 32. go ahead of Him. The implication is that Jesus was to rejoin the disciples later. Bethsaida. A town
on the W side of the Sea of Galilee and S of Capernaum (cf. Mt
11:21).
6:46 the mountain. The entire E side of the Sea of Galilee is
mountainous with steep slopes leading up to a plateau. Up one of
the slopes was a good place to pray, away from the crowd (cf. Jn
6:15).
6:47 middle of the sea. Normally in traveling across the northern
end of the lake they would have been within one or two mi. of
shore. But on that occasion, the wind had carried the boat several
mi. S, closer to the center of the lake (cf. Mt 14:24).
6:48 fourth watch. 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. walking on the
sea. The verbs tense depicts a steady progress, unhindered by
the waves. intended to pass by them. The more literal rendering, desired to come alongside of, indicates Jesus intention
here. He wanted to test the disciples faith, so He deliberately
changed course and came parallel to the boat to see if they
would recognize Him and His supernatural powers and invite Him
aboard.

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 1441 
But when they saw Him walking on the
sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and
cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were
1 terrified. But immediately He spoke with
them and *said to them, a Take courage; it
is I, b do not be afraid. 51 Then He got into
a the boat with them, and the wind
stopped; and they were utterly astonished,
52 for a they 1 had not gained any insight
from the incident of the loaves, but 2 their
heart b was hardened.
49

Jesus Heals at GennesaretMt 14:34-36


53 a When they had crossed over they
came to land at Gennesaret, and moored to
the shore. 54 When they got out of the boat,
immediately the people recognized Him,
55 and ran about that whole country and
began to carry here and there on their pallets those who were sick, to 1 the place they
heard He was. 56 Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were
laying the sick in the market places, and
imploring Him that they might just a touch
b the fringe of His cloak; and as many as
touched it were being cured.

Pharisees and DefilementMt 15:1-20

a The Pharisees and some of the scribes


gathered around Him when they had
come b from Jerusalem, 2 and had seen that

50 1 Or troubled a Mt
9:2 b Mt 14:27
51 a Mk 6:32
52 1 Lit had not
understood on the
basis of 2 Or their
mind was closed,
made dull, or
insensible a Mk 8:17ff
b Ro 11:7
53 a Mk 6:53-56: Mt
14:34-36; Jn 6:24, 25
55 1 Lit where they
were hearing that He
was
56 a Mk 3:10 b Mt 9:20;
Nu 15:37-40
CHAPTER 7
1 a Mk 7:1-23: Mt 15:120 b Mt 15:1
2 a Mt 15:2; Mk 7:5; Lk
11:38; Ac 10:14, 28;
11:8; Ro 14:14; Heb
10:29; Rev 21:27
3 1 Lit with the fist a Mk
7:5, 8, 9, 13; Gal 1:14
4 1 Or sprinkle 2 Lit
baptizing a Mt 23:25
5 a Mk 7:3, 8, 9, 13; Gal
1:14 b Mk 7:2
6 a Is 29:13
7 a Is 29:13
8 a Mk 7:3, 5, 9, 13; Gal
1:14
9 a Mk 7:3, 5, 8, 13; Gal
1:14
10 1 Lit die the death
a Ex 20:12; Dt 5:16
b Ex 21:17; Lv 20:9

6:49 a ghost. An apparition or imaginary creature. The Gr. term


gives us the English phantom. Because of the impossibility of such
an act and their fatigue and fear in the stormy conditions, the 12,
even though each one saw Him, did not at first believe the figure
was actually Jesus.
6:50 Take courage. This command, always linked in the gospels
to a situation of fear and apprehension (cf. 10:49; Mt 9:2,22; 14:27;
Lk 8:48; Jn 16:33; Ac 23:11), urged the disciples to have a continuing
attitude of courage. it is I. Lit. I AM. This statement clearly identified the figure as the Lord Jesus, not some phantom. It also echoed
the OT self-revelation of God (cf. Ex 3:14).
6:52 not gained any insight . . . loaves. An explanation of the
disciples overwhelming astonishment at what had just happened.
Because they misunderstood the real significance of that afternoons
miracle, they could not grasp Jesus supernatural character as displayed in His power over the lake. their heart was hardened. Cf.
8:17. The disciples minds were impenetrable, so that they could not
perceive what Christ was saying (cf. 4:11,12). This phrase conveys or
alludes to rebellion, not just ignorance (see note on 3:5).
6:53 Gennesaret. See note on Mt 14:34.
6:56 market places. Open spaces, usually just inside city walls or
near city centers, where people congregated for various business
and social purposes. Here the term might indicate its original meaning of any place where people generally assembled. The people
brought the sick to such locations because Jesus was more likely to
pass by. fringe of His cloak. See note on 5:28.
7:1 Pharisees . . . come from Jerusalem. This delegation of leading representatives of Judaism came from Jerusalem probably at the
request of the Galilean Pharisees. scribes. See notes on 3:22; Mt 2:4.
7:2 impure. The disciples of Jesus were being accused of eating

MARK 7:10
some of His disciples were eating their
bread with a impure hands, that is, unwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees and all the
Jews do not eat unless they 1 carefully wash
their hands, thus observing the a traditions
of the elders; 4 and when they come from the
market place, they do not eat unless they
1 cleanse themselves; and there are many
other things which they have received in
order to observe, such as the 2 washing of
a cups and pitchers and copper pots.) 5 The
Pharisees and the scribes *asked Him,
Why do Your disciples not walk according
to the a tradition of the elders, but eat their
bread with b impure hands? 6 And He said
to them, Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of
you hypocrites, as it is written:
a THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR
LIPS,
BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM
ME.
7
a BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME,
TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE
PRECEPTS OF MEN.
8 Neglecting the commandment of God,
you hold to the a tradition of men.
9 He was also saying to them, You are
experts at setting aside the commandment
of God in order to keep your a tradition.
10 For Moses said, a HONOR YOUR FATHER
AND YOUR MOTHER; and, b HE WHO SPEAKS
EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER, IS TO 1 BE PUT TO

with hands that had not been ceremonially cleansed, and thus had
not been separated from the defilement associated with their having touched anything profane.
7:3 wash. This washing had nothing to do with cleaning dirty
hands but with a ceremonial rinsing. The ceremony involved someone pouring water out of a jar onto anothers hands, whose fingers
must be pointing up. As long as the water dripped off at the wrist,
the person could proceed to the next step. He then had water
poured over both hands with the fingers pointing down. Then each
hand was to be rubbed with the fist of the other hand. traditions of
the elders. This body of extrabiblical laws and interpretations of
Scripture had in actuality supplanted Scripture as the highest religious authority in Judaism (see note on Mt 15:2).
7:4 market place. See note on 6:56.
7:5 Why do Your disciples not . . . ? The Pharisees and scribes
went to the disciples Master for an explanation of the disciples allegedly disgraceful conduct. In reality they were accusing Jesus of
teaching His disciples to disobey the traditions of the elders. impure
hands. See note on v. 3.
7:6 did Isaiah prophesy. Isaiah 29:13 is quoted almost word for
word from the Gr. translation of the OT (LXX). Isaiahs prophecy perfectly fit the actions of the Pharisees and scribes (see note on Is
29:13). hypocrites. Spiritual phonies (see note on Mt 6:2). They followed the traditions of men because such teaching required only
mechanical and thoughtless conformity without a pure heart.
7:8 commandment of God . . . tradition of men. Jesus first accused them of abandoning all the commandments contained in
Gods Word. Then He charged them with substituting Gods standard with a humanly designed standard. See note on Mt 15:2.
7:10 Moses said. Quoted from Ex 20:12 (the fifth commandment)

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MARK 7:11
DEATH; 11 but

you say, If a man says to his


father or his mother, whatever I have that
would help you is a Corban (that is to say,
1 given to God), 12 you no longer permit
him to do anything for his father or his
mother; 13 thus invalidating the word of
God by your a tradition which you have
handed down; and you do many things
such as that.
14 After He called the crowd to Him
again, He began saying to them, Listen to
Me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is
nothing outside the man which can defile
him if it goes into him; but the things
which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. 16 [1 If anyone has ears to hear,
let him hear.]
17 When he had left the crowd and entered a the house, b His disciples questioned
Him about the parable. 18 And He *said to
them, Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that
whatever goes into the man from outside
cannot defile him, 19 because it does not go
into his heart, but into his stomach, and 1 is
eliminated? (Thus He declared a all foods
b clean.) 20 And He was saying, a That
which proceeds out of the man, that is
what defiles the man. 21 For from within,
out of the heart of men, proceed the evil

 1442 
11 1 Or a gift, i.e. an
offering a Lv 1:2; Mt
27:6
13 a Mk 7:3, 5, 8, 9; Gal
1:14
16 1 Early mss do not
contain this verse
17 a Mk 2:1; 3:20; 9:28
b Mt 15:15
19 1 Lit goes out into
the latrine a Ro 14:112; Col 2:16 b Lk
11:41; Ac 10:15; 11:9
20 a Mt 15:18; Mk 7:23

21 1 I.e. acts of sexual


immorality
22 1 Lit an evil eye 2 Or
arrogance a Mt 6:23;
20:15
24 1 Two early mss
add and Sidon 2 Lit
and a Mk 7:24-30: Mt
15:21-28 b Mt 11:21;
Mk 7:31
26 1 Lit Greek
27 1 Or proper
29 1 Lit word
30 1 Lit thrown

and Ex 21:17. Both refer specifically to the duty of honoring ones


parents, which includes treating them with respect, love, reverence,
dignity, and assisting them financially. The second quotation indicates how seriously God regards this obligation.
7:11 Corban. A Heb. term meaning, given to God. It refers to
any gift or sacrifice of money or goods an individual vowed to dedicate specifically to God. As a result of such dedication, the money or
goods could be used only for sacred purposes.
7:13 invalidating the word of God by your tradition. Invalidating means to deprive of authority or to cancel. The tradition in
question allowed any individual to call all his possessions Corban
(see note on v. 11). If a son became angry with his parents, he could
declare his money and property Corban. Since Scripture teaches
that any vow made to God could not be violated (Nu 30:2), his possessions could not be used for anything but service to God and not
as a resource of financial assistance for his parents. But Jesus condemned this practice by showing that the Pharisees and scribes
were guilty of canceling out Gods Word (and His command to
honor ones parents) through their tradition.
7:16 This verse does not occur in the best manuscripts.
7:18 defile him. See note on v. 2.
7:19 Since food is merely physical, no one who eats it will defile
his heart or inner person, which is spiritual. Physical pollution, no
matter how corrupt, cannot cause spiritual or moral pollution. Neither can external ceremonies and rituals cleanse a person spiritually.
Thus He declared all foods clean. By overturning the tradition of
hand washing, Jesus in effect removed the restrictions regarding dietary laws. This comment by Mark had the advantage of hindsight
as he looked back on the event, and was no doubt influenced by
Peters (see Introduction: Author and Date) own experience in Joppa
(see note on Ac 10:15).

thoughts, 1 fornications, thefts, murders,


adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and
wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality,
1 a envy, slander, 2 pride and foolishness.
23 All these evil things proceed from within
and defile the man.

Syrophoenicians Daughter Is Healed


Mt 15:21-28
24 a Jesus got up and went away from
there to the region of b Tyre1 . And when He
had entered a house, He wanted no one to
know of it; 2 yet He could not escape notice.
25 But after hearing of Him, a woman
whose little daughter had an unclean spirit
immediately came and fell at His feet.
26 Now the woman was a 1 Gentile, of the
Syrophoenician race. And she kept asking
Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
27 And He was saying to her, Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not 1 good to
take the childrens bread and throw it
to the dogs. 28 But she answered and *said
to Him, Yes, Lord, but even the dogs
under the table feed on the childrens
crumbs. 29 And He said to her, Because
of this 1 answer go; the demon has gone out
of your daughter. 30 And going back to
her home, she found the child 1 lying on the
bed, the demon having left.

7:20 That which proceeds out of the man. A persons defiled


heart is expressed in both what he says and what he does (see note
on Mt 15:11; cf. 12:34-37). defiles. See note on v. 2.
7:21 fornications. Lit. illicit sexual activity.
7:22 sensuality. Lit. unrestrained, shameless behavior.
7:24 Tyre. See note on 3:8. wanted no one to know. Jesus did
not seek a public ministry in the area. It is likely He wanted time to
rest from the pressure of the Jewish leaders and an opportunity to
further prepare the disciples for His coming crucifixion and their
ministry.
7:25 unclean spirit. A demon (see note on 1:23; cf. Mt 15:22).
7:26 Gentile. A non-Jew in both her language and religion (see
note on Ro 1:14). Syrophoenician. The region of Phoenicia at that
time was part of the province of Syria. Matthew 15:22 adds that she
was a descendant of the Canaanites.
7:27 first. The illustration Jesus gave was in essence a test of the
womans faith. Jesus first responsibility was to preach the gospel
to the children of Israel (cf. Ro 1:16; 15:8). But that also implied there
would come a time when Gentiles would be the recipients of Gods
blessings. the childrens bread and throw it to the dogs. The
childrens bread refers to Gods blessings offered to the Jews. This
picture indicates that the dogs (Gentiles) had a place in the household of God, but not the prominent one (see note on Mt 15:26).
dogs. This reference is to dogs that were kept as pets. Jesus was referring to the Gentiles, but He did not use the derisive term the Jews
usually employed for them that described mangy, vicious mongrels.
7:28 Yes, Lord. Indicative of the womans humble faith and worshipful attitude. She knew she was sinful and undeserving of any of
Gods blessing. Her response was characterized by a complete absence of pride and self-reliance, which Jesus answered by granting
her request (vv. 29,30).

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 1443 
Deaf and Mute Man Is Healed
31 a Again

He went out from the region


of b Tyre, and came through Sidon to c the
Sea of Galilee, within the region of d Decapolis. 32 They *brought to Him one who
was deaf and spoke with difficulty, and
they *implored Him to a lay His hand on
him. 33 a Jesus took him aside from the
crowd, by himself, and put His fingers into
his ears, and after a spitting, He touched his
tongue with the saliva; 34 and looking up to
heaven with a deep a sigh, He *said to him,
Ephphatha! that is, Be opened! 35 And
his ears were opened, and the 1 impediment of his tongue 2 was removed, and he
began speaking plainly. 36 And a He gave
them orders not to tell anyone; but the
more He ordered them, the more widely
they b continued to proclaim it. 37 They
were utterly astonished, saying, He has
done all things well; He makes even the
deaf to hear and the mute to speak.

Four Thousand Are FedMt 15:32-38

In those days, when there was again a


large crowd and they had nothing to eat,
a Jesus called His disciples and *said to
them, 2 a I feel compassion for the 1 people
because they have remained with Me now
three days and have nothing to eat. 3 If I

31 a Mk 7:31-37: Mt
15:29-31 b Mt 11:21;
Mk 7:24 c Mt 4:18
d Mt 4:25; Mk 5:20
32 a Mk 5:23
33 a Mk 8:23
34 a Mk 8:12
35 1 Or bond 2 Lit was
loosed
36 a Mt 8:4 b Mk 1:45
CHAPTER 8
1 a Mk 8:1-9: Mt 15:3239; Mk 6:34-44
2 1 Lit crowd a Mt 9:36;
Mk 6:34

4 1 Lit loaves
6 1 Lit crowd 2 Lit
recline 3 Lit set before
7 1 Lit set before them
a Mt 14:19
8 a Mt 15:37; Mk 8:20
10 a Mt 15:39
11 1 Or attesting
miracle 2 Lit testing
Him a Mk 8:11-21: Mt
16:1-12 b Mt 12:38
12 1 Or to Himself 2 Or
attesting miracle
a Mk 7:34

7:31 went out from the region of Tyre . . . Sidon . . . Sea of


Galilee. Jesus traveled 20 mi. N from Tyre and passed through
Sidon, which was deep into Gentile territory. From there He went E,
crossed the Jordan, and traveled S along the eastern shore of the
Sea of Galilee. Decapolis. See note on 5:20.
7:33 put His fingers into his ears. Because the man could not
hear, Jesus used His own form of sign language to tell him that He
was about to heal the mans deafness. after spitting, He touched
his tongue. Also a form of sign language in which Jesus offered the
man hope for a restored speech.
7:34 Ephphatha. An Aram. word that Mark immediately defines.
7:36 not to tell anyone. Although Jesus ministered to Gentiles as
the need arose, His intention was not to have a public ministry
among them. See note on 1:44.
8:1-9 While all 4 gospels record the feeding of the 5,000, only
Matthew (15:32-38) and Mark record the feeding of the 4,000.
8:1 a large crowd. Probably because of the widespread report of
Jesus healing of the deaf and mute man (7:36).
8:2 I feel compassion. Only here and in the parallel passage (Mt
15:32) did Jesus use this word of Himself. When he fed the 5,000,
Jesus expressed compassion for the peoples lost spiritual condition (6:34); here, He expressed compassion for peoples physical
needs (cf. Mt 6:8,32). Jesus could empathize with their hunger, having experienced it Himself (Mt 4:2). remained with Me now three
days. This reflects the crowds eagerness to hear Jesus teaching and
experience His healings (cf. Mt 15:30). That they were with Him for
that time before the miraculous feeding distinguishes this event
from the earlier feeding of the 5,000, in which the crowd gathered,
ate, and dispersed in one day (Mt 14:14,15,22,23).
8:4 bread . . . to satisfy these people. Some find the disciples
question incredible in light of the earlier feeding of the 5,000. But it

MARK 8:12
send them away hungry to their homes,
they will faint on the way; and some of
them have come from a great distance.
4 And His disciples answered Him, Where
will anyone be able to find enough 1 bread
here in this desolate place to satisfy these
people? 5 And He was asking them, How
many loaves do you have? And they said,
Seven. 6 And He *directed the 1 people to
2 sit down on the ground; and taking the
seven loaves, He gave thanks and broke
them, and started giving them to His disciples to 3 serve to them, and they served
them to the 1 people. 7 They also had a few
small fish; and a after He had blessed them,
He ordered these to be 1 served as well.
8 And they ate and were satisfied; and they
picked up seven large a baskets full of what
was left over of the broken pieces. 9 About
four thousand were there; and He sent them
away. 10 And immediately He entered the
boat with His disciples and came to the district of a Dalmanutha.

Pharisees Seek a SignMt 15:3916:4


11 a The Pharisees came out and began to
argue with Him, b seeking from Him a
1 sign from heaven, 2 to test Him. 12 a Sighing deeply 1 in His spirit, He *said, Why
does this generation seek for a 2 sign? Truly

was consistent with their spiritual dullness and lack of understanding (cf. vv. 14-21; 6:52). in this desolate place. The Decapolis (see
note on 5:20) region was not as heavily populated as Galilee.
8:5 loaves. Flat cakes of bread which could easily be broken into
smaller pieces.
8:8 seven large baskets. Not the same baskets mentioned in the
feeding of the 5,000 (6:43). Those were small baskets, commonly
used by the Jewish people to hold one or two meals when traveling.
The word here refers to large baskets (large enough to hold a man,
Ac 9:25) used by Gentiles. What was done with the leftover food is
not mentioned. It was likely given back to the people to sustain
them on their trip home, since the disciples evidently did not take it
with them (cf. v. 14).
8:9 four thousand. The number of the men only, not including
the women and children (Mt 15:38). This could indicate at least
16,000 people.
8:10 Dalmanutha. This location is not mentioned in any secular
literature and only mentioned here in the NT. The location is unknown, but clearly in the region near Magdala (cf. Mt 15:39, Magadan). Recent archeological work in the area, when the water level of
Galilee was at an all-time low, revealed several heretofore unknown
anchorages. One small harbor has been found between Magadala
and Capernaum which may be Dalmanutha.
8:11 Pharisees. See notes on 2:16; Mt 3:7. sign from heaven. The
skeptical Pharisees demanded further miraculous proof of Jesus
messianic claims. Not content with the countless miracles He had
performed on earth, they demanded some sort of astronomical miracle. Having already given them more than enough proof, Jesus refused to accommodate their spiritual blindness. The supreme sign
verifying His claim to be Son of God and Messiah was to be His resurrection (Mt 12:39,40).

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MARK 8:13
I say to you, 3 b no 2 sign will be given to this
generation. 13 Leaving them, He again
embarked and went away to the other side.

Disciples Do Not Understand


Mt 16:5-12
14 And they had forgotten to take bread,
and did not have more than one loaf in the
boat with them. 15 And He was giving orders to them, saying, a Watch out! Beware
of the leaven of the Pharisees and the
leaven of b Herod. 16 They began to discuss
with one another the fact that they had no
bread. 17 And Jesus, aware of this, *said to
them, Why do you discuss the fact that you
have no bread? a Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a 1 hardened heart?
18 a HAVING EYES, DO YOU NOT SEE? AND HAVING EARS, DO YOU NOT HEAR? And do you not
remember, 19 when I broke a the five loaves
for the five thousand, how many b baskets
full of broken pieces you picked up? They
*said to Him, Twelve. 20 When I broke
a the seven for the four thousand, how
many large b baskets full of broken pieces
did you pick up? And they *said to Him,
Seven. 21 And He was saying to them,
a Do you not yet understand?

A Blind Man Is Healed


22 And they *came to a Bethsaida. And
they *brought a blind man to Jesus and

 1444 
12 2 Or attesting
miracle 3 Lit if a sign
shall be given b Mt
12:39
15 a Mt 16:6; Lk 12:1
b Mt 14:1; 22:16
17 1 Or dull, insensible
a Mk 6:52
18 a Jer 5:21; Eze 12:2;
Mk 4:12
19 a Mk 6:41-44 b Mt
14:20
20 a Mk 8:6-9 b Mk 8:8
21 a Mk 6:52
22 a Mt 11:21; Mk 6:45

*implored Him to b touch him. 23 Taking the


blind man by the hand, He a brought him
out of the village; and after a spitting on his
eyes and b laying His hands on him, He
asked him, Do you see anything? 24 And
he 1 looked up and said, I see men, for 2 I
see them like trees, walking around.
25 Then again He laid His hands on his
eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly.
26 And He sent him to his home, saying,
Do not even enter a the village.

Peters Confession of Christ

b Mk 3:10
23 a Mk 7:33 b Mk 5:23
24 1 Or gained sight
2 Or they look to me
26 a Mk 8:23
27 a Mk 8:27-29: Mt
16:13-16; Lk 9:18-20
b Mt 16:13
28 a Mk 6:14; Lk 9:7, 8
29 1 I.e. the Messiah
a Jn 6:68, 69
30 1 Or strictly
admonished a Mt 8:4;
16:20; Lk 9:21
31 a Mk 8:31-9:1: Mt
16:21-28; Lk 9:22-27
b Mt 16:21

8:13 the other side. To the NE shore, where Bethsaida (Julias)


was located (v. 22).
8:15 leaven of the Pharisees and . . . Herod. Leaven in the NT
is an illustration of influence (see note on Mt 13:33) and most often
symbolizes the evil influence of sin. The leaven of the Pharisees included both their false teaching (Mt 16:12) and their hypocritical behavior (Lk 12:1); the leaven of Herod Antipas was his immoral, corrupt conduct (cf. 6:17-29). The Pharisees and the Herodians were
allied against Christ (3:6).
8:17 Why do you discuss . . . no bread? Jesus question rebuked
the disciples for completely missing His point (see note on v. 15). He
was concerned with spiritual truth, not mundane physical matters.
hardened heart. I.e., they were rebellious, spiritually insensitive,
and unable to understand spiritual truth (see notes on 3:5; 6:52).
8:18-21 Jesus 5 questions further rebuked the disciples for their
hardness of heart, and also reminded them of His ability to provide
anything they might lack.
8:21 Do you not yet understand? An appeal based on the questions He had just asked. Matthews parallel account reveals that the
disciples finally understood His point (Mt 16:12).
8:22-26 The second of Jesus two miracles recorded only in Mark
(cf. 7:31-37). It is also the first of two healings of blind men recorded
in Mark (cf. 10:46-52).
8:22 Bethsaida. See note on 6:45, for the other Bethsaida. This is
Bethsaida-julias, several mi. N of the Sea of Galilee and E of the Jordan River.
8:23 spitting on his eyes. This action and Jesus touching his
eyes with His hands (v. 25) were apparently meant to reassure the
blind man (who would naturally depend on his other senses, such as
touch) that Jesus would heal his eyes (cf. 7:33; Jn 9:6).

Mt 16:13-23; Lk 9:18-22
27 a Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of b Caesarea Philippi;
and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, Who do people say
that I am? 28 a They told Him, saying,
John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but
others, one of the prophets. 29 And He
continued by questioning them, But who
do you say that I am? a Peter *answered
and *said to Him, You are 1 the Christ.
30 And a He 1 warned them to tell no one
about Him.
31 a And He began to teach them that
b the Son of Man must suffer many
things and be rejected by the elders and
the chief priests and the scribes, and be
killed, and after three days rise again.

8:26 Do not even enter the village. Jesus led the blind man out
of town before healing him (v. 23), probably to avoid publicity and
the mob scene that would otherwise result. Unlike others in the past
(cf. 1:45; 7:36), he apparently obeyed.
8:27 Caesarea Philippi. A city about 25 mi. N of Bethsaida near
Mt. Hermon, not to be confused with the Caesarea located on the
Mediterranean coast about 60 mi. NW of Jerusalem.
8:28 Elijah. See notes on 6:15; Mal 4:5; Mt 11:14; Lk 1:17.
8:29 But who do you say that I am? After they reported the prevailing erroneous views about Jesus (v. 28), He asked the disciples to
give their own evaluation of who He was. The answer every person
gives to this question will determine his or her eternal destiny. You
are the Christ. Peter unhesitatingly replied on behalf of the 12 (cf.
Mt 14:28; 15:15; 17:4; 19:27; 26:33; Jn 6:68; 13:36), clearly and unequivocally affirming that they believed Jesus to be the Messiah.
8:30 tell no one. Jesus messianic mission cannot be understood
apart from the cross, which the disciples did not yet understand (cf.
vv. 31-33; 9:30-32). For them to have proclaimed Jesus as Messiah at
this point would have only furthered the misunderstanding that the
Messiah was to be a political-military deliverer. The fallout was that
the Jewish people, desperate to be rid of the yoke of Rome, would
seek to make Jesus king by force (Jn 6:15; cf. 12:12-19).
8:3110:52 In this section, as they traveled to Jerusalem, Jesus
prepared the disciples for His death.
8:31 Son of Man. See note on 2:10. must suffer many things.
Jesus sufferings and death were inevitable because they were divinely ordained (Ac 2:22,23; 4:27,28), though, humanly speaking,
caused by His rejection from the Jewish leaders. See notes on Ps
118:22; Is 53:3; cf. 12:10; Mt 21:42. elders. See note on 7:3. chief

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 1445 
32 And He was stating the matter a plainly.
And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and
*said, Get behind Me, a Satan; for you are
not setting your mind on 1 Gods interests,
but mans.

32 a Jn 10:24; 11:14;
16:25, 29; 18:20
33 1 Lit the things of
God a Mt 4:10
34 a Mt 10:38; Lk 14:27
35 1 Or soul a Mt 10:39;
Lk 17:33; Jn 12:25
38 a Mt 10:33; Lk 9:26;
Heb 11:16 b Mt 8:20

Cost of Discipleship
Mt 16:24-27; Lk 9:23-26
34 And He summoned the crowd with
His disciples, and said to them, If anyone
wishes to come after Me, he must deny
himself, and a take up his cross and follow
Me. 35 For a whoever wishes to save his
1 life will lose it, but whoever loses his 1 life
for My sake and the gospels will save it.
36 For what does it profit a man to gain the
whole world, and forfeit his soul? 37 For
what will a man give in exchange for his
soul? 38 For a whoever is ashamed of Me
and My words in this adulterous and sinful
generation, b the Son of Man will also be

c Mt 16:27; Mk 13:26;
Lk 9:26

CHAPTER 9
1 a Mt 16:28; Mk
13:26; Lk 9:27
2 1 Or Jacob a Mk 9:28: Mt 17:1-8; Lk 9:2836 b Mk 5:37
3 a Mt 28:3
5 1 Or sacred tents a Mt
23:7 b Mt 17:4; Lk
9:33

priests. Members of the Sanhedrin and representatives of the 24 orders of ordinary priests (cf. Lk 1:8). scribes. Experts in the OT law
(see note on Mt 2:4). after three days. In keeping with the sign of
Jonah (Mt 12:40). rise again. Jesus always mentioned His resurrection in connection with His death (cf. 9:31; 10:34; Mt 16:21; 17:23;
20:19; Lk 9:22; 18:33), making it all the more incomprehensible that
the disciples were so slow to understand.
8:32 stating the matter plainly. I.e., not in parables or allusions
(cf. Jn 16:29). Peter . . . began to rebuke Him. The disciples still
could not comprehend a dying Messiah (see note on v. 30). Peter, as
usual (see note on v. 29) expressed the thoughts of the rest of the 12
(cf. v. 33). His brash outburst expressed not only presumption and
misunderstanding, but also deep love for Jesus.
8:33 Get behind Me, Satan. In a startling turnaround, Peter, who
had just been praised for being Gods spokesman (Mt 16:17-19), was
then condemned as Satans mouthpiece. Yet Jesus sacrificial death
was Gods plan (Ac 2:22,23; 4:27,28) and whoever opposed it was,
wittingly or not, advocating Satans work.
8:34 deny himself. No one who is unwilling to deny himself can
legitimately claim to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. take up his cross.
This reveals the extent of self-denialto the point of death, if necessary. The extent of desperation on the part of the penitent sinner who
is aware he cant save himself reaches the place where nothing is held
back (cf. Mt 19:21,22). and follow Me. See notes on 1:17; Mt 10:38.
8:35 loses his life . . . will save it. This paradoxical saying reveals
an important spiritual truth: those who pursue a life of ease, comfort, and acceptance by the world will not find eternal life. On the
other hand, those who give up their lives (see note on v. 34) for the
sake of Christ and the gospel will find it. Cf. Jn 12:25.
8:36,37 soul. The real person, who will live forever in heaven or
hell. To have all that the world has to offer yet not have Christ is to
be eternally bankrupt; all the worlds goods will not compensate for
losing ones soul eternally. See note on Mt 16:26.
8:38 ashamed of Me and My words. Those who reject the demands of discipleship prove themselves to be ashamed of Jesus
Christ and the truth He taught, thus not redeemed from sin at all.
Son of Man. See note on 2:10. when He comes. Marks first reference to Jesus second coming, an event later described in detail in
the Olivet Discourse (13:1-37).

MARK 9:6
ashamed of him when He c comes in the
glory of His Father with the holy angels.

The Transfiguration
Mt 16:2817:3; Lk 9:27-36
And Jesus was saying to them, a Truly I
say to you, there are some of those who
are standing here who will not taste death
until they see the kingdom of God after it
has come with power.
2 a Six days later, Jesus *took with Him
b Peter and 1 James and John, and *brought
them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before
them; 3 and a His garments became radiant
and exceedingly white, as no launderer on
earth can whiten them. 4 Elijah appeared to
them along with Moses; and they were
talking with Jesus. 5 Peter *said to Jesus,
a Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; b let us
make three 1 tabernacles, one for You, and
one for Moses, and one for Elijah. 6 For he
did not know what to answer; for they be-

9:1 Truly I say to you. A solemn statement appearing only in the


gospels and always spoken by Jesus. It introduces topics of utmost
significance (see note on 3:28). not taste death until they see the
kingdom. The event Jesus had in mind has been variously interpreted as His resurrection and ascension, the coming of the Spirit at
Pentecost, the spread of Christianity, or the destruction of Jerusalem
in A.D. 70. The most accurate interpretation, however, is to connect
Christs promise with the Transfiguration in the context (vv. 2-8),
which provided a foretaste of His second coming glory. That all 3
synoptic gospels place this promise immediately before the Transfiguration supports this view, as does the fact that kingdom can
refer to royal splendor.
9:2 Six days later. Matthew and Mark place the Transfiguration six days after Jesus promise (v. 1); Luke, no doubt including the day the promise was made and the day of the Transfiguration itself, describes the interval as some eight days (Lk 9:28).
Peter and James and John. See note on 5:37. As the inner circle
of Jesus disciples, these 3 were sometimes allowed to witness
events that the other disciples were not (cf. 14:33). a high
mountain. Most likely Mt. Hermon (about 9,200 ft. above sea
level), the highest mountain in the vicinity of Caesarea Philippi
(cf. 8:27). transfigured. From a Gr. word meaning to change
in form, or to be transformed. In some inexplicable way,
Jesus manifested some of His divine glory to the 3 disciples (cf.
2Pe 1:16).
9:3 radiant and exceedingly white. The divine glory emanating
from Jesus made even his clothing radiate brilliant white light. Light
is often associated with Gods visible presence (cf. Ps 104:2; Da 7:9;
1Ti 6:16; Rev 1:14; 21:23).
9:4 Elijah . . . with Moses. Symbolic of the Prophets and the Law,
the two great divisions of the OT. The order, Elijah, then Moses, is
unique to Mark (who reverses the order in v. 5). talking with Jesus.
The subject was His coming death (Lk 9:31).
9:5 Rabbi. Lit. my master. A title of esteem and honor given by
the Jews to respected teachers. In the NT, it is also used of John the
Baptist (Jn 3:26). let us make three tabernacles. So as to make the
3 illustrious figures stay permanent. It is also possible that Peters
suggestion reflected his belief that the millennial kingdom was
about to be inaugurated (cf. Zec 14:16).

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MARK 9:7
came terrified. 7 Then a cloud 1 formed,
overshadowing them, and a a voice 1 came
out of the cloud, b This is My beloved Son,
2 listen to Him! 8 All at once they looked
around and saw no one with them anymore, except Jesus alone.
9 a As they were coming down from the
mountain, He b gave them orders not to relate to anyone what they had seen, 1 until
the Son of Man rose from the dead. 10 They
1 seized upon 2 that statement, discussing
with one another 3 what rising from the
dead meant. 11 They asked Him, saying,
Why is it that the scribes say that a Elijah
must come first? 12 And He said to them,
Elijah does first come and restore all
things. And yet how is it written of a the Son
of Man that b He will suffer many things
and be treated with contempt? 13 But I say
to you that Elijah has 1 indeed come, and
they did to him whatever they wished, just
as it is written of him.

Demon-Possessed Son Is Delivered


Mt 17:14-21; Lk 9:37-42
14 a When they came back to the disciples, they saw a large crowd around them,

 1446 
7 1 Or occurred 2 Or
give constant heed
a 2Pe 1:17f b Mt 3:17;
Mk 1:11; Lk 3:22
9 1 Lit except when
a Mk 9:9-13: Mt 17:913 b Mt 8:4; Mk 5:43;
7:36; 8:30
10 1 Or kept to
themselves 2 Lit the
statement 3 Lit what
was the rising from
the dead
11 a Mal 4:5; Mt 11:14
12 a Mk 9:31 b Mt
16:21; 26:24
13 1 Lit also
14 a Mk 9:14-28: Mt
17:14-19; Lk 9:37-42

15 a Mk 14:33; 16:5, 6
18 1 Or wherever 2 Or
tears him 3 Or withers
away
20 1 Lit him

9:7 a cloud . . . overshadowing them. This is the glory cloud,


Shekinah, which throughout the OT was symbolic of Gods presence
(see note on Rev 1:7; cf. Ex 13:21; 33:18-23; 40:34,35; Nu 9:15; 14:14;
Dt 1:33). a voice came out of the cloud. The Fathers voice from
the cloud cut off Peters fumbling words (Mt 17:5; Lk 9:34). This is
My beloved Son. The Father repeated the affirmation of His love for
the Son first given at Jesus baptism (1:11). The parallel accounts of
the Transfiguration (Mt 17:5; Lk 9:35) also record these words, as
does Peter (2Pe 1:17). listen to Him! Jesus, the One to whom the
Law and Prophets pointed (cf. Dt 18:15), is the One whom the disciples are to listen to and obey (cf. Heb 1:1,2).
9:9 gave them orders not to relate to anyone. See note on 8:30.
until the Son of man rose from the dead. This looks to the time
when the true nature of Jesus messianic mission became evident to
all, that He came to conquer sin and death, not the Romans. Son of
Man. See note on 2:10.
9:10 discussing . . . what rising from the dead meant. Like most
of the Jewish people (the Sadducees being notable exceptions), the
disciples believed in a future resurrection (cf. Jn 11:24). What confused them was Jesus implication that His own resurrection was imminent, and thus so was His death. The disciples confusion provides
further evidence that they still did not understand Jesus messianic
mission (see notes on v. 9; 8:30).
9:11 Elijah must come first. Cf. 8:28,29. The scribes teaching in
this case was not based on rabbinical tradition, but on the OT (Mal
3:1; 4:5). Malachis prediction was well known among the Jews of
Jesus day, and the disciples were no doubt trying to figure out how
to harmonize it with the appearance of Elijah they had just witnessed. The scribes and Pharisees also no doubt argued that Jesus
could not be the Messiah based on the fact that Elijah had not yet
appeared. Confused, the 3 disciples asked Jesus for His interpretation.
9:12 Elijah does first come. Jesus affirmed the correctness of the
scribal interpretation of Mal 3:1; 4:5, which must have puzzled the
disciples even more. Son of Man. See note on 2:10. suffer . . . be

and some scribes arguing with them.


15 Immediately, when the entire crowd
saw Him, they were a amazed and began
running up to greet Him. 16 And He asked
them, What are you discussing with
them? 17 And one of the crowd answered
Him, Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him
mute; 18 and 1 whenever it seizes him, it
2 slams him to the ground and he foams at
the mouth, and grinds his teeth and 3 stiffens out. I told Your disciples to cast it out,
and they could not do it. 19 And He *answered them and *said, O unbelieving
generation, how long shall I be with you?
How long shall I put up with you? Bring
him to Me! 20 They brought 1 the boy to
Him. When he saw Him, immediately the
spirit threw him into a convulsion,
and falling to the ground, he began
rolling around and foaming at the mouth.
21 And He asked his father, How long
has this been happening to him? And he
said, From childhood. 22 It has often
thrown him both into the fire and into the
water to destroy him. But if You can do
anything, take pity on us and help us!

treated with contempt. Jesus pointed out that the prophecies


about Elijah in no way precluded the suffering and death of Messiah,
for that, too, was predicted in the OT (e.g., Pss 22; 69:20,21; Is 53; see
note on Ro 1:2).
9:13 Elijah has indeed come. Jesus directly addressed the disciples question: the prophecies of Elijahs coming had been fulfilled in
John the Baptist. Though certainly not a reincarnation of Elijah (cf. Jn
1:21), John came in the spirit and power of Elijah, and would have
fulfilled prophecies if they had believed (see notes on Mt 11:14; Lk
1:17). Because they did reject both John the Baptist and Jesus, there
will be another who will come in the spirit and power of Elijah before the second coming of Christ (see notes on Mt 11:14; Rev 11:5,6).
they did to him. The Jewish leaders rejected John the Baptist (Mt
21:25; Lk 7:33), and Herod killed him (6:17-29). as it is written of
him. No specific OT prophecies predicted that Messiahs forerunner
would die. Therefore, this statement is best understood as having
been fulfilled typically. The fate intended for Elijah (1Ki 19:1,2) had
befallen the Baptist. See notes on Mt 11:11-14.
9:14 the disciples. The 9 who had remained behind.
9:17 spirit which makes him mute. The boy had a demonicallyinduced inability to speak, a detail found only in Marks account.
9:18 they could not. The disciples failure is surprising, in light of
the power granted them by Jesus (3:15; 6:13).
9:19 O unbelieving generation. Cf. Ps 95:10. The word generation indicates that Jesus exasperation was not merely with the father, or the 9 disciples, but also with the unbelieving scribes, who
were no doubt gloating over the disciples failure (cf. v. 14), and with
unbelieving Israel in general.
9:22 to destroy him. This demon was an especially violent and
dangerous one. Open fires and unfenced bodies of water were common in first-century Israel, providing ample opportunity for the
demons attempts to destroy the child. The fathers statement
added to the pathos of the situation. The boy himself was probably
disfigured from burn scars, and possibly further ostracized because
of them. His situation also created a hardship for his family, who

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 1447 
And Jesus said to him, If You can?
things are possible to him who believes. 24 Immediately the boys father
cried out and said, I do believe; help my
unbelief. 25 When Jesus saw that a a
crowd was 1 rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it,
You deaf and mute spirit, I 2 command
you, come out of him and do not enter
him 3 again. 26 After crying out and
throwing him into terrible convulsions, it
came out; and the boy became so much like
a corpse that most of them said, He is
dead! 27 But Jesus took him by the hand
and raised him; and he got up. 28 When
He came a into the house, His disciples
began questioning Him privately, Why
could we not drive it out? 29 And He said
to them, This kind cannot come out by
anything but prayer.
23

a All

Jesus Foretells His Death


Mt 17:22, 23; Lk 9:43-45
30 a From there they went out and began
to go through Galilee, and He did not want
anyone to know about it. 31 For He was
teaching His disciples and telling them,

23 a Mt 17:20; Jn 11:40
25 1 Or running
together 2 Or I Myself
command 3 Or from
now on a Mk 9:15
28 a Mk 2:1; 7:17
30 a Mk 9:30-32: Mt
17:22, 23; Lk 9:43-45

MARK 9:38
a The Son of Man is to be 1 delivered into
the hands of men, and they will kill Him;
and when He has been killed, He will rise
three days later. 32 But a they 1 did not understand this statement, and they were
afraid to ask Him.

Attitude of Servanthood

31 1 Or betrayed a Mt
16:21; Mk 8:31; 9:12
32 1 Lit were not
knowing a Lk 2:50;
9:45; 18:34; Jn 12:16
33 1 Lit had come a Mk
9:33-37: Mt 18:1-5; Lk
9:46-48 b Mk 3:19
34 a Mt 18:4; Mk 9:50;
Lk 22:24
35 1 Or let him be a Mt
20:26; 23:11; Mk
10:43, 44; Lk 22:26
36 1 Lit in their midst
37 1 Lit one of such
children a Mt 10:40;
Lk 10:16; Jn 13:20
38 a Mk 9:38-40: Lk
9:49, 50 b Nu 11:2729

would have had to watch the boy constantly to protect him from
harm.
9:23 All things are possible. The oldest manuscripts omit believes, thus making the phrase If you can a question or exclamation on Jesus part. The issue was not His lack of power but the fathers lack of faith. Though Jesus often healed apart from the faith of
those involved, here He chose to emphasize the power of faith (cf.
Mt 17:20; Lk 17:6). Jesus healed multitudes, but many, if not most,
did not believe in Him. Cf. Lk 17:15-19.
9:24 I do believe; help my unbelief. Admitting the imperfection
of his faith, mixed as it was with doubt, the desperate father pleaded with Jesus to help him to have the greater faith the Lord demanded of him.
9:25 a crowd was rapidly gathering. Noting the growing crowd,
Jesus acted without further delay, perhaps to spare the boy and his
anguished father any further embarrassment. Also, the Lord did not
perform miracles to satisfy thrill seekers (cf. 8:11; Lk 23:8,9). I command you. Jesus absolute authority over demons is well attested in
the NT (e.g., 1:32-34; 5:1-13; Lk 4:33-35). His healings demonstrated
His deity by power over the natural world. His authority over
demons demonstrated His deity by power over the supernatural
world.
9:29 This kind. Some demons are more powerful and obstinate,
and thus more resistant to being cast out, than others (cf. Mt 12:45).
See notes on Da 10:10-21. anything but prayer. Perhaps overconfident from their earlier successes (cf. 6:13), the disciples became enamored with their own gifts and neglected to draw on divine
power.
9:30 go through Galilee. Leaving the region around Caesarea
Philippi, Jesus and the disciples began the journey to Jerusalem that
would result in His crucifixion several months later. Their immediate
destination was Capernaum (v. 33). did not want anyone to know.
Jesus continued to seek seclusion so He could prepare the disciples
for His death (cf. 7:24).
9:31 Son of Man. See note on 2:10.

Mt 18:1-5; Lk 9:46-50
33 a They came to Capernaum; and when
He 1 was in b the house, He began to question them, What were you discussing on
the way? 34 But they kept silent, for on the
way a they had discussed with one another
which of them was the greatest. 35 Sitting
down, He called the twelve and *said to
them, a If anyone wants to be first, 1 he
shall be last of all and servant of all.
36 Taking a child, He set him 1 before them,
and taking him in His arms, He said to
them, 37 a Whoever receives 1 one child
like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but
Him who sent Me.
38 a John said to Him, Teacher, we saw
someone casting out demons in Your name,
and b we tried to prevent him because he

9:31,32 Jesus continued His teaching about His upcoming death


and resurrectiona subject the disciples still did not understand
(see notes on v. 10; 8:30-33).
9:33 Capernaum. See note on 1:21. the house. The use of the
definite article suggests this to be the house Jesus habitually stayed
in when in Capernaum. Whether it was Peters house (cf. 1:29) or
someone elses is not known.
9:34 they kept silent. Convicted and embarrassed, the disciples
were speechless. which of them was the greatest. A dispute possibly triggered by the privilege granted Peter, James, and John to witness the Transfiguration. The disciples quarrel highlights their failure to apply Jesus explicit teaching on humility (e.g., Mt 5:3), and
the example of His own suffering and death (vv. 31,32; 8:30-33). It
also prompted them to ask Jesus to settle the issue, which He did
though not as they had expected.
9:35 Sitting down. Rabbis usually sat down to teach (cf. Mt
15:29; Lk 4:20; 5:3; Jn 8:2). If anyone wants to be first. As the disciples undeniably did (v. 34; cf. 10:35-37). last of all and servant of
all. The disciples concept of greatness and leadership, drawn from
their culture, needed to be completely reversed. Not those who lord
their position over others are great in Gods kingdom, but those who
humbly serve others (cf. 10:31,43-45; Mt 19:3020:16; 23:11,12; Lk
13:30; 14:8-11; 18:14; 22:24-27).
9:36 a child. The Gr. word indicates an infant or toddler. If the
house they were in was Peters (see note on v. 33), this may have
been one of his children. The child became in Jesus masterful
teaching an example of believers who have humbled themselves
and become like trusting children.
9:37 Whoever receives one child like this in My name. Not actual children, but true believersthose who have humbled themselves like little children (see note on v. 36).
9:38 John said. The only recorded instance in the synoptic
gospels in which he alone speaks. In light of Jesus rebuke (vv. 35-37),
Johns conscience troubled him about an earlier incident he had
been involved in. It is clear that the unnamed exorcist was not a

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MARK 9:39
was not following us. 39 But Jesus said,
Do not hinder him, for there is no one
who will perform a miracle in My name,
and be able soon afterward to speak evil of
Me. 40 a For he who is not against us is 1 for
us. 41 For a whoever gives you a cup of
water to drink 1 because of your name as
followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will
not lose his reward.

Warning About HellMt 18:6-9


42 a Whoever causes one of these 1 little
ones who believe to stumble, it 2 would be
better for him if, with a heavy millstone
hung around his neck, he 3 had been cast
into the sea. 43 a If your hand causes you to
stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to
enter life crippled, than, having your two
hands, to go into 1 b hell, into the c unquenchable fire, 44 [1 where THEIR WORM
DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT
QUENCHED.] 45 If your foot causes you to
stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to
enter life lame, than, having your two feet,
to be cast into 1 a hell, 46 [1 where THEIR
WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT
QUENCHED.] 47 a If your eye causes you to

 1448 
40 1 Or on our side a Mt
12:30; Lk 11:23
41 1 Lit in a name that
you are Christs a Mt
10:42
42 1 I.e. humble 2 Lit is
better for him if a
millstone turned by a
donkey is hung 3 Lit
has been thrown a Mt
18:6; Lk 17:2; 1Co 8:12
43 1 Gr Gehenna a Mt
5:30; 18:8 b Mt 5:22
c Mt 3:12; 25:41
44 1 Vv 44 and 46,
which are identical to
v 48, are not found in
the early mss
45 1 Gr Gehenna a Mt
5:22
46 1 V 44, note 1
47 a Mt 5:29; 18:9
1 Gr Gehenna b Mt
5:22
48 a Is 66:24 b Mt 3:12;
25:41
50 1 Lit season it a Mt
5:13; Lk 14:34f b Col
4:6 c Mk 9:34; Ro
12:18; 2Co 13:11;
1Th 5:13

CHAPTER 10
1 a Mk 10:1-12: Mt
19:1-9 b Mt 4:23;

fraud because he actually was casting out demons. He was apparently a true believer in Jesus; John and the others opposed him because
he was not openly and officially allied with Jesus, as they were.
9:39,40 Jesus ordered them not to hinder the exorcist, making
the logical point that someone sincerely acting in His name would
not soon turn against Him. There is no neutral ground regarding
Jesus Christ; those who are not against Him are on His side, but by
the same token, He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who
does not gather with Me scatters (Mt 12:30).
9:41 your name as followers of Christ. Jesus considered acts of
kindness done to His followers to have been done to Him (cf. Mt
25:37-40). truly I say to you. See note on 3:28. his reward. That is,
his unique place and service in the eternal kingdom.
9:42 Whoever causes . . . to stumble. The word translated to
stumble lit. means to cause to fall. To entice, trap, or lead a believer into sin is a very serious matter. little ones who believe. See
note on v. 37. millstone. This refers to a large, upper millstone so
heavy that it had to be turned by a donkey (see note on Mt 18:6).
Even such a horrifying death (a Gentile form of execution) is preferable to leading a Christian into sin.
9:43 cut it off. See note on Mt 5:29. Jesus words are to be taken
figuratively; no amount of self-mutilation can deal with sin, which is
an issue of the heart. The Lord is emphasizing the seriousness of sin
and the need to do whatever is necessary to deal with it. life. The
contrast of life with hell indicates that Jesus was referring to
eternal life. hell. The Gr. word refers to the Valley of Hinnom near
Jerusalem, a garbage dump where fires constantly burned, furnishing a graphic symbol of eternal torment (see note on Mt 5:22). the
unquenchable fire. See note on Mt 25:46. That the punishment of
hell lasts for eternity is the unmistakable teaching of Scripture (cf. Da
12:2; Mt 25:41; 2Th 1:9; Rev 14:10,11; 20:10).
9:44,46 The better Gr. manuscripts omit these verses, which
merely repeat the quote from Is 66:24 found in v. 48.
9:47 kingdom of God. See note on 1:15.
9:49 The meaning of this difficult verse seems to be that believ-

stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to


enter the kingdom of God with one eye,
than, having two eyes, to be cast into
1 b hell, 48 a where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE,
AND b THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.
49 For everyone will be salted with fire.
50 Salt is good; but a if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you 1 make it salty
again? b Have salt in yourselves, and c be at
peace with one another.

Marriage and DivorceMt 19:1-9

10

a Getting up, He *went from there to


the region of Judea and beyond the
Jordan; crowds *gathered around Him
again, and, b according to His custom, He
once more began to teach them.
2 Some Pharisees came up to Jesus, testing Him, and began to question Him
whether it was lawful for a man to 1 divorce
a wife. 3 And He answered and said to
them, What did Moses command you?
4 They said, a Moses permitted a man TO

WRITE A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND 1 SEND

26:55; Mk 1:21; 2:13; 4:2; 6:2, 6, 34; 12:35; 14:49 2 1 Or send away
4 1 Or divorce her a Dt 24:1, 3; Mt 5:31

ers are purified through suffering and persecution. The link between
salt and fire seems to lie in the OT sacrifices, which were accompanied by salt (Lv 2:13).
9:50 Salt is good. Salt was an essential item in first-century
Palestine. In a hot climate, without refrigeration, salt was the practical means of preserving food. Have salt in yourselves. The work of
the Word (Col 3:16) and the Spirit (Gal 5:22,23) produce godly character, enabling a person to act as a preservative in society. Cf. Mt
5:13. be at peace with one another. Cf. Mt 5:9; Ro 12:18; 2Co
13:11; 1Th 5:13; Jas 3:18.
10:1 beyond the Jordan. This region was known as Perea. Jesus
was to minister there until leaving for Jerusalem shortly before Passion Week (see note on Mt 19:1). Jordan. See note on 1:5.
10:2 Pharisees. See note on 2:16. came . . . testing Him. The
Pharisees hoped to publicly discredit Jesus ministry. The resulting
loss of popularity, they hoped, would make it easier for them to destroy Him. Also, Perea (see note on v. 1) was ruled by Herod Antipaswho had imprisoned John the Baptist for his views on divorce and remarriage (6:17,18). The Pharisees no doubt hoped a
similar fate would befall Jesus. whether it was lawful . . . to divorce. The Pharisees attempted to entrap Jesus with a volatile issue
in first-century Judaism: divorce. There were two schools of thought,
one allowing divorce for virtually any reason, the other denying divorce except on grounds of adultery (see note on Mt 19:3). The Pharisees undoubtedly expected Jesus to take one side, in which case He
would lose the support of the other faction.
10:3 What did Moses command you? Jesus set the proper
ground rules for the discussion. The issue was not rabbinical interpretations, but the teaching of Scripture.
10:4 permitted. The Mosaic law, as the Pharisees were forced to
concede, nowhere commanded divorce. The passage in question, Dt
24:1-4, recognized the reality of divorce and sought to protect the
wifes rights and reputation and also regulated remarriage. CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE. In this document, the husband was required to state
the reason for the divorce, thus protecting the wifes reputation (if

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 1449 
her AWAY. 5 But Jesus said to them,
1 a Because of your hardness of heart he
wrote you this commandment. 6 But a from
the beginning of creation, God b MADE THEM
MALE AND FEMALE. 7 a FOR THIS REASON A MAN
SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER1 ,
8 a AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so
they are no longer two, but one flesh.
9 What therefore God has joined together,
let no man separate.
10 In the house the disciples began questioning Him about this again. 11 And He
*said to them, a Whoever 1 divorces his
wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; 12 and a if she
herself 1 divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.

Children and the Kingdom


Mt 19:13-15; Lk 18:15-17
13 a And they were bringing children to
Him so that He might touch them; but the
disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus

5 1 Or With reference to
a Mt 19:8
6 a Mk 13:19; 2Pe 3:4
b Ge 1:27; 5:2
7 1 Many late mss add
and shall cling to his
wife a Ge 2:24
8 a Ge 2:24
11 1 Or sends away
a Mt 5:32
12 1 Or sends away
a 1Co 7:11, 13
13 a Mk 10:13-16: Mt
19:13-15; Lk 18:15-17

14 a Mt 5:3
15 a Mt 18:3; 19:14; Lk
18:17; 1Co 14:20;
1Pe 2:2
16 a Mk 9:36
17 a Mk 10:17-31: Mt
19:16-30; Lk 18:18-30
b Mk 1:40 c Mt 25:34;
Lk 10:25; 18:18; Ac
20:32; Eph 1:18; 1Pe
1:4
19 a Ex 20:12-16; Dt
5:16-20
20 a Mt 19:20

she were, in fact, innocent of wrongdoing). It also served as her formal release from the marriage, and affirmed her right to remarry (assuming she was not guilty of immorality). The liberal wing of the
Pharisees had misconstrued Dt 24 to be teaching that divorce was
permitted for any cause whatsoever (citing as legitimate grounds
such trivial events as the wifes ruining dinner or the husbands simply finding a more desirable woman), providing the proper legal paperwork was done. They thus magnified a detail, mentioned merely
in passing, into the main emphasis of the passage.
10:5 your hardness of heart. See notes on 3:5; 6:52. This refers to
the flagrant, unrepentant pursuit of sexual immoralitydivorce was
to be a last resort in dealing with such hard-heartedness. The Pharisees mistook Gods gracious provision in permitting divorce (under
certain circumstances) for His ordaining of it.
10:6 from the beginning. Divorce formed no part of Gods original plan for marriage, which was that one man be married to one
woman for life (Ge 2:24). MALE AND FEMALE. Lit. a male and a female,
Adam and Eve. Mark quoted from Ge 1:27; 5:2.
10:7,8 Jesus took the issue beyond mere rabbinical quibbling
over the technicalities of divorce to Gods design for marriage. The
passage Christ quotes (Ge 2:24) presents 3 reasons for the inviolability of marriage: 1) God created only two humans (see note on v. 6),
not a group of males and females who could configure as they
pleased or switch partners as it suited them; 2) the word translated
become one lit. means to be joined or to glue, thus reflecting
the strength of the marriage bond; 3) in Gods eyes a married couple
is one flesh, forming an indivisible union, manifesting that oneness
in a child.
10:9 What therefore God has joined together. Jesus added a
fourth reason for the inviolability of marriage (see note on vv. 7,8):
God ordains marriages and thus they are not to be broken by man.
10:11,12 Remarriage after a divorceexcept for legitimate biblical groundsproliferates adultery. The innocent partyone whose
spouse has committed prolonged, hard-hearted, unrepentant adulterymay remarry without being guilty of adultery, as may a believer whose unbelieving spouse has chosen to leave the marriage
(see note on 1Co 7:15).
10:13 children. See note on 9:36. that He might touch them.

MARK 10:20
saw this, He was indignant and said to
them, Permit the children to come to Me;
do not hinder them; a for the kingdom of
God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I say
to you, a whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at
all. 16 And He a took them in His arms and
began blessing them, laying His hands on
them.

Rich Young Ruler


Mt 19:16-22; Lk 18:18-23
17 a As He was setting out on a journey, a
man ran up to Him and b knelt before Him,
and asked Him, Good Teacher, what shall
I do to c inherit eternal life? 18 And Jesus
said to him, Why do you call Me good?
No one is good except God alone. 19 You
know the commandments, a DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT
STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, Do not
defraud, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND
MOTHER. 20 And he said to Him, Teacher,
I have kept a all these things from my youth

I.e., lay His hands on them and pray for them (Mt 19:13). Jewish parents commonly sought the blessing of prominent rabbis for their
children.
10:14 do not hinder them. Jesus rebuked the disciples for their
attempt to prevent the children from seeing Him (v. 13). They were
not the ones to decide who had access to Jesus (cf. Mt 15:23). for
the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Most, if not all, of
these children would have been too young to exercise personal
faith. Jesus words imply that God graciously extends salvation to
those too young or too mentally impaired to exercise faith (see note
on Mt 19:14). kingdom of God. See note on 1:15.
10:15 Truly I say to you. See note on 3:28. like a child. With
humble, trusting dependence, and the recognition of having
achieved nothing of value or virtue.
10:16 blessing them. See note on v. 13.
10:17 a man. The other synoptic gospels reveal that he was young
(Mt 19:20), and a ruler, probably in the synagogue (Lk 18:18). He
was also wealthy (v. 22). what shall I do. Steeped in the legalism of
his day, the young man naturally thought in terms of some religious
deed that would guarantee him eternal life. His lack of understanding
about the true nature of salvation, however, does not mean he was
insincere. eternal life. More than just eternal existence, it is a different quality of life. Eternal life is in Christ alone (see notes on Jn 3:15,16;
cf. Jn 10:28; 17:2,3; Ro 6:23; 1Jn 5:11,13,20). Those who possess it have
passed out of death into life (Jn 5:24; 1Jn 3:14; cf. Eph 2:1-3); they
have died to sin and are alive to God (Ro 6:11); they have the very life
of Christ in them (2Co 4:11; Gal 2:20); and enjoy a relationship with
Jesus Christ that will never end (Jn 17:3).
10:18 Why do you call Me good? Jesus challenged the ruler to
think through the implications of ascribing to Him the title good.
Since only God is intrinsically good, was he prepared to acknowledge Jesus deity? By this query Jesus did not deny His deity; on the
contrary, He affirmed it.
10:19 Quoted from Ex 20:12-16. Do not defraud. This was not
the wording of any of the Ten Commandments, and is unique to
Marks account. It seems to be a paraphrase for the command
against coveting.
10:20 I have kept all these things. His answer was no doubt sin-

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MARK 10:21
up. 21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for
him and said to him, One thing you lack:
go and sell all you possess and give to the
poor, and you will have a treasure in
heaven; and come, follow Me. 22 But at
these words 1 he was saddened, and he
went away grieving, for he was one who
owned much property.

 1450 
21 a Mt 6:20
22 1 Or he became
gloomy
23 a Mt 19:23
24 a Mk 1:27
25 a Mt 19:24
26 1 Lit And
27 a Mt 19:26

Difficulty of Riches
Mt 19:23-26; Lk 18:24-27
23 And Jesus, looking around, *said to His
disciples, a How hard it will be for those
who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of
God! 24 The disciples a were amazed at
His words. But Jesus *answered again and
*said to them, Children, how hard it is to
enter the kingdom of God! 25 a It is easier
for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. 26 They were even more
astonished and said to Him, 1 Then who
can be saved? 27 Looking at them, Jesus
*said, a With people it is impossible, but

28 a Mt 4:20-22
29 a Mt 6:33; 19:29; Lk
18:29f
30 1 Lit if not 2 Lit this
time a Mt 12:32
31 a Mt 19:30; 20:16;
Lk 13:30
32 a Mk 10:32-34: Mt
20:17-19; Lk 18:31-33
b Mk 1:27

cere, but superficial and untrue. He, like Paul (Php 3:6), may have
been blameless in terms of external actions, but not in terms of internal attitudes and motives (cf. Mt 5:21-48).
10:21 Jesus felt a love for him. I.e., felt great compassion for this
sincere truth-seeker who was so hopelessly lost. God does love the
unsaved (see notes on Mt 5:43-48). sell all you possess. Jesus was
not making either philanthropy or poverty a requirement for salvation, but exposing the young mans heart. He was not blameless, as
he maintained (v. 20), since he loved his possessions more than his
neighbors (cf. Lv 19:18). More importantly, he refused to obey
Christs direct command, choosing to serve riches instead of God
(Mt 6:24). The issue was to determine whether he would submit to
the Lordship of Christ no matter what He asked of him. So, as he
would not acknowledge his sin and repent, neither would he submit
to the Sovereign Savior. Such unwillingness on both counts kept
him from the eternal life he sought. treasure in heaven. Salvation
and all its benefits, given by the Father who dwells there, both in
this life and the life to come (cf. Mt 13:44-46).
10:22 went away grieving. It was purely a worldly disappointment based on the fact that he didnt receive the eternal life he
sought because the price of sacrifice was too high. He loved his
wealth (cf. 8:36,37).
10:23 How hard . . . for those who are wealthy. See note on v. 27.
Hard in this context means impossible (cf. v. 25). Wealth tends to
breed self-sufficiency and a false sense of security, leading those
who have it to imagine they do not need divine resources (see Lk
16:13; contra. Lk 19:2; cf. 1Ti 6:9,17,18).
10:24 amazed. See note on v. 26.
10:25 camel . . . eye of a needle. The Persians expressed impossibility by saying it would be easier to put an elephant through the
eye of a needle. This was a Jewish colloquial adaptation of that expression denoting impossibility (the largest animal in Palestine was
a camel). Many improbable interpretations have arisen that attempt
to soften this phrase, e.g., that needle referred to a tiny gate in the
Jerusalem city wall that camels could enter only with difficulty (but
there is no evidence that such a gate ever existed, and if it had, any
sensible camel driver would have simply found a larger gate); or that
a copyists error resulted in kamelos (camel) being substituted for

not with God; for all things are possible


with God.

Eternal Reward
Mt 19:27-30; Lk 18:28-30
28 a Peter began to say to Him, Behold,
we have left everything and followed
You. 29 Jesus said, Truly I say to you,
a there is no one who has left house or
brothers or sisters or mother or father or
children or farms, for My sake and for the
gospels sake, 30 1 but that he will receive a
hundred times as much now in 2 the present age, houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and farms, along
with persecutions; and in a the age to come,
eternal life. 31 But a many who are first will
be last, and the last, first.

Coming Crucifixion
Mt 20:17-19; Lk 18:31-34
32 a They were on the road going up to
Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking on
ahead of them; and they b were amazed,

kamilos (a large rope or cable) (but a large rope could no more go


through the eye of a needle than a camel could, and it is extremely
unlikely that the text of all 3 synoptic gospels would have been
changed in exactly the same way). Jesus use of this illustration was
to explicitly say that salvation by human effort is impossible; it is
wholly by Gods grace. The Jews believed that with alms a man purchased salvation (as recorded in the Talmud), so the more wealth
one had, the more alms he could give, the more sacrifices and offerings he could offer, thus purchasing redemption. The disciples
question (v. 26) makes it clear that they understood what Jesus
meantthat not even the rich could buy salvation. See note on Mt
19:24.
10:26 Then who can be saved? Jesus teaching ran counter to
the prevailing rabbinical teaching, which gave the wealthy a clear
advantage for salvation. Jesus emphatic teaching that even the rich
could not be saved by their own efforts left the bewildered disciples
wondering what chance the poor stood. See notes on Ro 3:9-20; Gal
3:10-13; Php 3:4-9.
10:27 With people it is impossible, but not with God. It is impossible for anyone to be saved by his own efforts (see note on v. 25)
since salvation is entirely a gracious, sovereign work of God. See
notes on Ro 3:21-28; 8:28-30; Gal 3:6-9; 26-29.
10:28 we have left everything. Peter noted that the 12 had
done what the Lord had asked the rich young ruler to do (cf. v. 21)
and had come to Him on His terms. Would that self-abandoning
faith, Peter asked, qualify them for a place in the kingdom?
10:29 Truly I say to you. See note on 3:28.
10:30 in the present age . . . the age to come. Following Jesus
brings rewards in this present age and when Messiahs glorious
kingdom comes. with persecutions. Great trials often accompany
great blessings (see notes on Ro 8:17; Php 1:29; 2Ti 3:12). eternal life.
See note on v. 17.
10:31 Believers will share equally in the blessings of heavena
truth illustrated by the parable of Mt 19:3020:16 (see notes there).
10:32 going up to Jerusalem. From Perea (see note on v. 1), via
Jericho (v. 46). This is the first mention of Jerusalem as Jesus destination. Because of the elevation of Jerusalem (about 2,550 ft. above
sea level), travelers always spoke of going up to the city, regardless

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 1451 
and those who followed were fearful.
And again He took the twelve aside and
began to tell them what was going to happen to Him, 33 saying, Behold, we are
going up to Jerusalem, and a the Son of
Man will be 1 delivered to the chief priests
and the scribes; and they will condemn
Him to death and will 2 hand Him over to
the Gentiles. 34 They will mock Him and
a spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill
Him, and three days later He will rise
again.

33 1 Or betrayed 2 Or
betray a Mk 8:31;
9:12
34 a Mt 16:21; 26:67;
27:30; Mk 9:31; 14:65
35 1 Or Jacob a Mk
10:35-45: Mt 20:2028
37 1 Lit Give to us a Mt
19:28
38 a Mt 20:22 b Lk
12:50

Whoever Wishes to Become Great


Mt 20:20-28
35 1 a James and John, the two sons of
Zebedee, *came up to Jesus, saying,
Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You. 36 And He said to
them, What do you want Me to do for
you? 37 They said to Him, 1 Grant that we
a may sit, one on Your right and one on Your
left, in Your glory. 38 But Jesus said to
them, You do not know what you are asking. Are you able a to drink the cup that I
drink, or b to be baptized with the baptism
with which I am baptized? 39 They said to

39 a Ac 12:2; Rev 1:9


40 a Mt 13:11
41 1 Or Jacob a Mk
10:42-45; Lk 22:2527
43 a Mt 20:26; 23:11;
Mk 9:35; Lk 22:26
45 1 Or soul a Mt 20:28
46 a Mk 10:46-52: Mt
20:29-34; Lk 18:35-43
b Lk 18:35; 19:1

of where in Israel they started. amazed. At Jesus resolute determination to go to Jerusalem (cf. Lk 9:51) despite the cruel death that
awaited Him there (cf. vv. 32-34). those who followed. The Gr. syntax makes it clear that this was a group distinct from the 12, probably pilgrims en route to Jerusalem for Passover. They were afraid because they realized something significant was about to happen that
they did not understand. the twelve. See note on 3:14.
10:32-34 The third and last prediction of His death and resurrection that Jesus made to the 12 is given (cf. 8:31; 9:31). This is also the
most detailed of the 3 predictions, specifically mentioning that He
would be mocked (15:17-20; Lk 23:11,35-39), scourged (15:15), and
spat upon (14:65; 15:19).
10:35-45 This incident reveals yet again the disciples failure to
grasp Jesus teaching on humility (see notes on 9:34; Mt 20:21). Ignoring the Lords repeated instruction that He was going to Jerusalem
to die (see note on vv. 32-34), the disciples still thought the physical
manifestation of the kingdom was about to appear and were busy
maneuvering for the places of prominence in it (cf. Mt 18:1).
10:35 James and John, the two sons of Zebedee. See note on
1:19. Matthew reveals that their mother accompanied them and
spoke first (Mt 20:20,21), after which James and John reiterated her
request. If she was Jesus aunt, the 3 undoubtedly hoped to capitalize on the family ties.
10:37 sit . . . on Your right . . . Your left. In the places of highest
prominence and honor beside the throne. in Your glory. In the glorious majesty of His kingdom (cf. Mt 20:21).
10:38 the cup . . . the baptism. Endure suffering and death as
Jesus would (cf. vv. 32-34; see note on Mt 20:22).
10:39 James and John would suffer like their Master (cf. Ac 12:2; Rev
1:9), but that in itself would not earn them the honors they desired.
10:40 not Mine to give. Honors in the kingdom are bestowed
not on the basis of selfish ambition, but of divine sovereign will.
10:41 the ten began to feel indignant. Not righteous indignation, since they, too, had been guilty in the past of such self-serving
conduct (9:33,34) and would be so in the future (Lk 22:24). The rest

MARK 10:46
Him, We are able. And Jesus said to
them, The cup that I drink a you shall
drink; and you shall be baptized with the
baptism with which I am baptized. 40 But
to sit on My right or on My left, this is not
Mine to give; a but it is for those for whom
it has been prepared.
41 a Hearing this, the ten began to feel indignant with 1 James and John. 42 Calling
them to Himself, Jesus *said to them, You
know that those who are recognized as
rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and
their great men exercise authority over
them. 43 But it is not this way among you,
a but whoever wishes to become great
among you shall be your servant; 44 and
whoever wishes to be first among you
shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of
Man a did not come to be served, but to
serve, and to give His 1 life a ransom for
many.

Blind Bartimaeus Is Healed


Mt 20:29-34; Lk 18:35-43
46 a Then they *came to Jericho. And b as
He was leaving Jericho with His disciples
and a large crowd, a blind beggar named

of the disciples resented James and John for their attempt to gain
an advantage over the others in pursuing the honor they all wanted.
10:42 lord it over them . . . exercise authority. These parallel
phrases convey the sense of autocratic, domineering authority.
10:43 not this way among you. There is no place in the church
for domineering leaders (cf. 9:35; Mt 23:8-12; 1Pe 5:3-6; 3Jn 9,10).
10:45 Son of Man. See note on 2:10. did not come to be served.
Jesus was the supreme example of servant leadership (cf. Jn 13:1315). The King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev 19:16) relinquished His
privileges (Php 2:5-8) and gave His life as a selfless sacrifice in serving
others. ransom for many. See note on Mt 20:28. Ransom refers to
the price paid to free a slave or a prisoner; for means in place of.
Christs substitutionary death on behalf of those who would put their
faith in Him is the most glorious, blessed truth in all of Scripture (cf. Ro
8:1-3; 1Co 6:20; Gal 3:13; 4:5; Eph 1:7; Tit 2:14; 1Pe 1:18,19). The ransom was not paid to Satan, as some erroneous theories of the atonement teach. Satan is presented in Scripture as a foe to be defeated,
not a ruler to be placated. The ransom price was paid to God to satisfy His justice and holy wrath against sin. In paying it, Christ bore our
sins in His body on the cross (1Pe 2:24). See notes on 2Co 5:21.
10:46-52 The second of two healings of blind men recorded in
Mark (cf. 8:22-26).
10:46 Jericho. A city located about 15 mi. NE of Jerusalem and 5
mi. from the Jordan River. The route from Perea to Jerusalem passed
through it. This is the only recorded visit of Jesus to Jericho. as He
was leaving. Mark and Matthew state that the healing took place
as Jesus was leaving Jericho, Luke as He was entering the city. Mark
and Matthew may be referring to the ancient walled city, just N of
the NT city, while Luke refers to NT Jericho. Or Lukes words may
simply mean Jesus was in the vicinity of Jericho when the healing
took place. See note on Mt 20:30. blind beggar. Matthew notes that
there were two blind beggars, whereas Mark and Luke focus on the
more vocal of them (cf. Mt 8:28 with 5:2; Lk 8:27). Since they were
unable to work, blind people commonly made their living by begging (cf. Jn 9:8). These men had staked out a good site on the main

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MARK 10:47
Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting
by the road. 47 When he heard that it was
Jesus the a Nazarene, he began to cry out
and say, Jesus, b Son of David, have mercy
on me! 48 Many were sternly telling him
to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the
more, a Son of David, have mercy on me!
49 And Jesus stopped and said, Call him
here. So they *called the blind man, saying to him, a Take courage, stand up! He is
calling for you. 50 Throwing aside his
cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus.
51 And answering him, Jesus said, What
do you want Me to do for you? And the
blind man said to Him, 1 a Rabboni, I want
to regain my sight! 52 And Jesus said to
him, Go; a your faith has 1 made you well.
Immediately he regained his sight and
began following Him on the road.

 1452 
47 a Mk 1:24 b Mt 9:27
48 a Mt 9:27
49 a Mt 9:2
51 1 I.e. My Master
a Mt 23:7; Jn 20:16
52 1 Lit saved you a Mt
9:22
CHAPTER 11
1 a Mk 11:1-10: Mt
21:1-9; Lk 19:29-38
b Mt 21:17 c Mt 21:1

The Triumphal Entry


Mt 21:1-11; Lk 19:29-40
a As they *approached Jerusalem, at
Bethphage and b Bethany, near c the
Mount of Olives, He *sent two of His disciples, 2 and *said to them, Go into the village
opposite you, and immediately as you enter
it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no
one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here.

11

3 1 Lit sends
7 a Mk 11:7-10: Mt
21:4-9; Lk 19:35-38;
Jn 12:12-15
9 a Ps 118:26; Mt 21:9
10 a Mt 21:9
11 a Mt 21:12 b Mt
21:17
12 a Mk 11:12-14, 2024: Mt 21:18-22

road to Jerusalem. son of Timaeus. The translation of Bartimaeus;


the Aram. prefix bar means son of.
10:47 the Nazarene. See note on 1:9. Son of David. A common messianic title, used as such only in the synoptic gospels (see note on Mt 1:1).
10:49 Jesus . . . said, Call him here. Thus implicitly rebuking
those trying to silence him (v. 48).
10:51 Rabboni. An intensified form of rabbi (see note on 9:5).
10:52 your faith has made you well. Lit. saved you. Bartimaeus physical and spiritual eyes were likely opened at the same
time. The outward healing reflected the inner wellness of salvation.
11:1-11 This passage, traditionally called Jesus triumphal entry
(more accurately, it was Jesus coronation as the true King), was His last
major public appearance before His crucifixion. The importance of this
event is indicated by the fact that this is only the second time all 4
gospels include the same event (cf. Mt 21:1-11; Lk 19:29-44; Jn 12:12-19).
11:1 approached Jerusalem. A general transition statement
marking the end of the narrative in chap. 10. It also indicates the beginning of the final phase of Christs 3-year ministry. Bethphage. A
small town just E of Jerusalem whose name lit. means house of unripe figs (see note on Mt 21:1). Bethany. The hometown of Mary,
Martha, and Lazarus (Jn 11:1) on the eastern slope of the Mt. of
Olives, two mi. E of Jerusalem. Mount of Olives. This mountain
stood between Bethany and Jerusalem (see note on Mt 24:3).
11:2 the village opposite you. Most likely Bethphage. Opposite
implies that it was somewhat off the main road. colt. According to
usage of this word in Gr. papyri (ordinary written documents dating
from NT times that were made of papyrus reed), this was most likely a
young donkeya definition also in harmony with other Scripture
usage (see note on Mt 21:5; cf. Ge 49:11; Jdg 10:4; 12:14; Zec 9:9). no one
yet has ever sat. The Jews regarded animals that had never been ridden as especially suited for holy purposes (cf. Nu 19:2; Dt 21:3; 1Sa 6:7).
11:3 If anyone says to you. Because of its very nature, Jesus anticipated the disciples action would be challenged (v. 5). Lord. Even

3 If anyone says to you, Why are you doing


this? you say, The Lord has need of it; and
immediately he 1 will send it back here.
4 They went away and found a colt tied at
the door, outside in the street; and they *untied it. 5 Some of the bystanders were saying to them, What are you doing, untying
the colt? 6 They spoke to them just as Jesus
had told them, and they gave them permission. 7 a They *brought the colt to Jesus and
put their coats on it; and He sat on it. 8 And
many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut
from the fields. 9 Those who went in front
and those who followed were shouting:
Hosanna!
a BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE
NAME OF THE LORD;
10
Blessed is the coming kingdom of
our father David;
Hosanna a in the highest!
11 a Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into
the temple; and after looking around at
everything, b He left for Bethany with the
twelve, since it was already late.

A Fig Tree Is CursedMt 21:18, 19


12 a On the next day, when they had left
Bethany, He became hungry. 13 Seeing at a

though he does not use Lord with this meaning in the rest of his
gospel, Mark was referring to Jesus. In Luke and John this appears
often as a name for Jesus. People in the area knew Christ and the
disciples well, and the owner would have understood the reference.
11:8 spread their coats. Such action was part of the ancient
practice of welcoming a new king (see note on Mt 21:8). branches.
Palm branches which symbolized joy and salvation and pictured future royal tribute to Christ (Rev 7:9). The crowd was greatly excited
and filled with praise for the Messiah who taught with such authority, healed the sick, and raised the dead (Lazarus; cf. Jn 12:12-18).
11:9 Hosanna! Originally a Heb. prayer meaning save now. On
that occasion it probably served simply as an acclamation of welcome. BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES. See note on Mt 21:9. This phrase is
part (Ps 118:26) of the Hallel (the Heb. word for praise), comprised
of Pss 113118, which was sung at all the Jewish religious festivals,
most notably at the Passover. He who comes was not an OT messianic title, but definitely had come to carry such implications for the
Jews (cf. Mt 11:3; Lk 7:19; Jn 3:31; 6:14; 11:27; Heb 10:37).
11:10 the coming kingdom of our father David. This tribute,
recorded only by Mark, acknowledges Jesus as bringing in the messianic kingdom promised to Davids Son. The crowd paraphrased the
quote from Ps 118:26 (v. 9) in anticipation that Jesus was fulfilling
prophecy by bringing in the kingdom.
11:11 temple. Not a reference limited to the inner, sacred sanctuary, but the entire area of courts and buildings. looking around at
everything. A description distinctive to Mark, quite possibly based on
one of Peters eyewitness memories. Christ acted as one who had the
authority to inspect temple conditions, and His observation missed
nothing. He left for Bethany. Nearby Bethany was a relatively safe
place to avoid sudden, premature arrest by the Jewish leaders.
11:12 the next day. Matthew 21:18 says this was in the morning, probably before 6:00 a.m. Bethany. See note on v. 1.
11:13 fig tree in leaf. Fig trees were common as a source of

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 1453 
distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if
perhaps He would find anything on it; and
when He came to it, He found nothing but
leaves, for it was not the season for figs.
14 He said to it, May no one ever eat fruit
from you again! And His disciples were
listening.

15 1 Lit the doves a Mk


11:15-18: Mt 21:1216; Lk 19:45-47; Jn
2:13-16
16 1 Lit a vessel; i.e. a
receptacle or
implement of any
kind

The Temple Is Cleansed


Mt 21:12, 13; Lk 19:45, 46
15 a Then they *came to Jerusalem. And
He entered the temple and began to
drive out those who were buying and
selling in the temple, and overturned the
tables of the money changers and the
seats of those who were selling 1 doves;
16 and He would not permit anyone to
carry 1 merchandise through the temple.
17 And He began to teach and say to them,

17 1 Lit cave a Is 56:7


b Jer 7:11
18 a Mt 21:46; Mk
12:12; Lk 20:19; Jn
7:1 b Mt 7:28
19 1 I.e. Jesus and His
disciples a Mt 21:17;
Mk 11:11; Lk 21:37
20 a Mk 11:12-14, 2024: Mt 21:19-22
21 a Mt 23:7
22 a Mt 17:20; 21:21f

food. Three years were required from planting until fruit bearing.
After that, a tree could be harvested twice a year, usually yielding
much fruit. The figs normally grew with the leaves. This tree had
leaves but, strangely, no fruit. That this tree was along the side of
the road (cf. Mt 21:19), implies it was public property. It was also apparently in good soil because its foliage was ahead of season and
ahead of the surrounding fig trees. The abundance of leaves held
out promise that the tree might also be ahead of schedule with its
fruit. not the season for figs. The next normal fig season was in
June, more than a month away. This phrase, unique to Mark, emphasizes the unusual nature of this fig tree.
11:14 May no one ever eat fruit from you again! Jesus direct
address to the tree personified it and condemned it for not providing what its appearance promised. This incident was not the acting
out of the parable of the fig tree (Lk 13:6-9), which was a warning
against spiritual fruitlessness. Here, Jesus cursed the tree for its misleading appearance that suggested great productivity without providing it. It should have been full of fruit, but was barren. The fig tree
was frequently an OT type of the Jewish nation (Hos 9:10; Na 3:12;
Zec 3:10), and in this instance Jesus used the tree by the road as a
divine object lesson concerning Israels spiritual hypocrisy and fruitlessness (see note on Mt 21:19; cf. Is 5:1-7).
11:15-19 See note on Mt 21:12. Although Jesus had cleansed the
temple 3 years earlier (Jn 2:14-16), it had become more corrupt and
profane than ever and thus He was compelled to again offer clear
testimony to Gods holiness and to His judgment against spiritual
desecration and false religion. Even as God sent His prophets repeatedly throughout the OT to warn His people of their sin and idolatry,
Christ never stopped declaring Gods will to a rebellious people, no
matter how often they rejected it. With this temple cleansing, Jesus
showed vividly that He was on a divine mission as the Son of God.
11:15 temple. See note on v. 11. The large Court of the Gentiles
was the setting for the events that followed. buying and selling. Animals were needed by the Jews for their sacrificial temple offerings,
and it was more convenient for the worshipers to buy them there
rather than bring the animals from a distance and risk that they would
not pass the High-Priests inspection. The sellers either belonged to
the High-Priestly hierarchy or paid a large fee to temple authorities for
the privilege of selling. Whichever was the case, the High-Priests family benefited monetarily. money changers. They were in the court to
exchange Greek and Roman coins for Jewish or Tyrian coins which pilgrims (every Jewish male 20 and older) had to use for the annual halfshekel payment for temple religious services (see note on Mt 21:12). A

MARK 11:22
Is it not written, a MY

HOUSE SHALL BE

CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS? b But

you have made it a ROBBERS


The chief priests and the scribes
heard this, and a began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him,
for b the whole crowd was astonished at
His teaching.
19 a When evening came, 1 they would go
out of the city.
1 DEN. 18

Power of Faith, Necessity of Forgiveness


Mt 21:20-22
20 a As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the
roots up. 21 Being reminded, Peter *said to
Him, a Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You
cursed has withered. 22 And Jesus *answered saying to them, a Have faith in God.

fee as high as 10 or 12 percent was assessed for this exchange service.


those who were selling doves. These birds were so often used for
sacrifice that Mark makes separate mention of their sellers. Doves
were the normal offering of the poor (Lv 5:7) and were also required
for other purposes (Lv 12:6; 14:22; 15:14,29).
11:16 not permit anyone to carry merchandise. Jesus did not
want people to continue the practice of using the court as a shortcut through which to carry utensils and containers with merchandise to other parts of Jerusalem because such a practice revealed
great irreverence for the templeand ultimately for God Himself.
11:17 Jesus defended Himself by appealing to Scripture (see note
on Mt 21:13) after His actions had caused a crowd to gather. A HOUSE
OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS. The true purpose for Gods temple. Only
Mark includes for all the nations from Isaiahs text (56:7), probably
because he was mainly addressing Gentiles. The Court of the Gentiles was the only part of the temple they were permitted to use for
prayer and worship of God, and the Jews had frustrated that worship by turning it into a place of greedy business. a ROBBERS DEN.
Using Jeremiahs phrase (Jer 7:11), Jesus described the religious
leaders as robbers who found refuge in the temple, comparable to
how highwaymen took refuge in caves with other robbers. The temple had become a place where Gods people, instead of being able
to worship undisturbed, were extorted and their extortioners were
protected.
11:18 chief priests and the scribes. Here Mark uses this combination for the first time. These men were among those who comprised the principal leadership in the Sanhedrin (see notes on Mt 2:4;
26:59). seeking how to destroy Him. See note on 3:6. The leaders
had continuing discussions on how to kill Jesus. astonished at His
teaching. See note on 1:22.
11:19 go out of the city. Jesus practice during the first 3 days of
Passion Week was not to leave Jerusalem until sunset, when the
crowds dispersed and the city gates were about to be closed.
11:20 in the morning. See note on v. 12. withered from the
roots up. The tree blight that prevented fruit (v. 14) had spread upward through the tree and killed it. Matthew described the event in
a more compact fashion, but his account still allows the same time
frame as Marks (see note on Mt 21:19).
11:21 Rabbi. See note on 9:5.
11:22 Have faith in God. A gentle rebuke for the disciples lack
of faith in the power of His word. Such faith believes in Gods revealed truth, His power, and seeks to do His will (cf. 1Jn 5:14; see
note on Mt 21:21).

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MARK 11:23
23 a Truly

I say to you, whoever says to this


mountain, Be taken up and cast into the
sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but
believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. 24 Therefore I
say to you, a all things for which you pray
and ask, believe that you have received
them, and they will be granted you.
25 Whenever you a stand praying, b forgive,
if you have anything against anyone, so
that your Father who is in heaven will also
forgive you your transgressions. 26 [1 a But if
you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.]

Question of Authority
Mt 21:23-27; Lk 20:1-8
27 They *came again to Jerusalem. a And
as He was walking in the temple, the chief
priests and the scribes and the elders *came
to Him, 28 and began saying to Him, By
what authority are You doing these things,
or who gave You this authority to do these

 1454 
23 a Mt 17:20; 1Co
13:2
24 a Mt 7:7f
25 a Mt 6:5 b Mt 6:14
26 1 Early mss do not
contain this v a Mt
6:15; 18:35
27 a Mk 11:27-33: Mt
21:23-27; Lk 20:1-8

32 1 Or if we say
33 1 Lit do I tell
CHAPTER 12
1 1 Or fence 2 Or tenant
farmers, also vv 2, 7,
9 a Mk 3:23; 4:2ff
b Mk 12:1-12: Mt
21:33-46; Lk 20:9-19
c Is 5:1, 2

11:23 this mountain . . . into the sea. This expression was related to a common metaphor of that day, rooter up of mountains,
which was used in Jewish literature of great rabbis and spiritual
leaders who could solve difficult problems and seemingly do the impossible. Obviously, Jesus did not literally uproot mountains; in fact,
He refused to do such spectacular miracles for the unbelieving Jewish leaders (see note on Mt 12:38). Jesus point is that if believers sincerely trust in God and truly realize the unlimited power that is available through such faith in Him, they will see His mighty powers at
work (cf. Jn 14:13,14; see note on Mt 21:21).
11:24 all things for which you pray. This places no limits on a
believers prayers, as long as they are according to Gods will and
purpose (see note on Mt 17:20). This therefore means that mans faith
and prayer are not inconsistent with Gods sovereignty. And it is not
the believers responsibility to figure out how that can be true, but
simply to be faithful and obedient to the clear teaching on prayer, as
Jesus gives it in this passage. Gods will is being unfolded through all
of redemptive history, by means of the prayers of His peopleas
His saving purpose is coming to pass through the faith of those who
hear the gospel and repent. Cf. Jas 5:16.
11:25 stand praying. The traditional Jewish prayer posture (cf.
1Sa 1:26; 1Ki 8:14,22; Ne 9:4; Mt 6:5; Lk 18:11,13). Kneeling or lying
with ones face on the ground was used during extraordinary circumstances or for extremely urgent requests (cf. 1Ki 8:54; Ezr 9:5; Da
6:10; Mt 26:39; Ac 7:60). anything against anyone. An all-inclusive
statement that includes both sins and simple dislikes, which cause
the believer to hold something against another person. Anyone incorporates believers and unbelievers. forgive. Jesus states the believers ongoing duty to have a forgiving attitude. Successful prayer
requires forgiveness as well as faith. See notes on Eph 4:32.
11:26 See notes on Mt 6:15; 18:21-34. This is the only occurrence
in Mark of transgressions, a term that denotes a falling aside or departing from the path of truth and uprightness.
11:27 temple. Again this was the Court of the Gentiles; this time
more specifically Solomons porch or the royal porch on the S side of
the court (cf. v. 11; Jn 10:23; Ac 5:12). chief priests. See note on Mt
2:4. The group that met Jesus might well have included Caiaphas
and Annas, who served concurrently for several years (Lk 3:2). Be-

things? 29 And Jesus said to them, I will


ask you one question, and you answer Me,
and then I will tell you by what authority I
do these things. 30 Was the baptism of John
from heaven, or from men? Answer Me.
31 They began reasoning among themselves, saying, If we say, From heaven,
He will say, Then why did you not believe
him? 32 But 1 shall we say, From men?
they were afraid of the people, for everyone considered John to have been a real
prophet. 33 Answering Jesus, they *said,
We do not know. And Jesus *said to
them, Nor 1 will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

Parable of the Vineyard Owner


Mt 21:33-46; Lk 20:9-19
a And He began to speak to them
in parables: b A man c PLANTED A
VINEYARD AND PUT A 1 WALL AROUND IT,

12

AND DUG A VAT UNDER THE WINE PRESS


AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to
2 vine-growers

and went on a journey.

cause of the importance of this confrontation, the captain of the


temple, the second highest official, may also have been present.
11:28 By what authority. The leaders wanted to know what credentials Jesusan untrained, unrecognized, seemingly selfappointed rabbiclaimed that would authorize Him to do what He
was doing. They had recovered from the initial shock of the previous
days events, and had become aggressive in demanding an explanation (see note on Mt 21:23; cf. Jn 2:18). these things. Primarily a reference to His actions in cleansing the temple. But the undefined,
vague nature of this expression leaves open the inclusion of everything Jesus had been doing and teaching during His public ministry.
11:30 baptism of John. See notes on 1:4; Mt 21:25. Jesus put
them on the defensive and made their evaluation of Johns authority a test case for their evaluation of His own authority. from heaven, or from men? Jesus gave the Jewish leaders only those two alternatives in judging the source of Johns authority, and by
implication, His own authority. Christ was in effect forcing the men
to carry out their roles as religious guides for the people and to go
on record with an evaluation of both Johns and His ministries (see
note on Mt 21:25). Answer Me. This challenge by Jesus is only in
Marks account. It implies that the Jews did not have the courage to
answer His question honestly.
12:1-12 Jesus taught this parable to confront the chief priests
and elders and reveal their hypocritical character.
12:1 them. The chief priests, scribes, and elders (cf. 11:27). parables. See notes on 4:2,11. VINEYARD. A common sight in that region.
The hillsides of Palestine were covered with grape vineyards, the
backbone of the economy. Here it is a symbol for Israel (cf. Ps 80:816; Is 5:1-7; Jer 2:21). Jesus uses Is 5:1,2 as the basis for this imagery
(see note on Mt 21:33). A WALL. Lit. a fence. It may have been a stone
wall or a hedge of briars built for protection. VAT. Located under the
winepress. The grapes were squeezed in the press and the juice ran
through a trough into this lower basin, where it could be collected
into wineskins or jars. TOWER. This structure had a 3-fold purpose: 1)
it served as a lookout post; 2) it provided shelter for the workers; and
3) it was used for storage of seed and tools. rented it out to vinegrowers. Jesus added to the picture from Is 5:1,2. The owner makes
an agreement with men he believes are reliable caretakers, who are

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 1455 
At the harvest time he sent a slave to the
vine-growers, in order to receive some of the
produce of the vineyard from the vine-growers. 3 They took him, and beat him and sent
him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent
them another slave, and they wounded him
in the head, and treated him shamefully.
5 And he sent another, and that one they
killed; and so with many others, beating some
and killing others. 6 He had one more to send,
a beloved son; he sent him last of all to them,
saying, They will respect my son. 7 But
those vine-growers said to one another, This
is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours! 8 They took him, and
killed him and threw him out of the vineyard.
9 What will the 1 owner of the vineyard do?
He will come and destroy the vine-growers,
and will give the vineyard to others. 10 Have
you not even read this Scripture:
a THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS
REJECTED,
THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone;
11
a THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD,
AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES?
2

9 1 Lit lord
10 a Ps 118:22
11 a Ps 118:23

MARK 12:17
12 a And they were seeking to seize Him,
and yet they feared the 1 people, for they
understood that He spoke the parable
against them. And so b they left Him and
went away.

Question of Taxes

12 1 Lit crowd a Mk
11:18 b Mt 22:22
13 a Mk 12:13-17: Mt
22:15-22; Lk 20:20-26
b Mt 22:16 c Lk 11:54
14 1 Lit it is not a
concern to You about
anyone; i.e. You do
not seek anyones
favor 2 Or permissible
15 1 The denarius was
a days wages
17 1 Or were greatly
marveling a Mt 22:21

to pay a certain percentage of the proceeds to him as rent. The rest


of the profit belonged to them for their work in cultivating the crop.
The vine-growers represent the Jewish leaders.
12:2 harvest time. This usually occurred for the first time in the
fifth year after the initial planting (cf. Lv 19:23-25). slave. All the servants, or slaves, in the parable represent the OT prophets.
12:6 a beloved son. The son represents Jesus Christ (see note on
Mt 21:37).
12:7 the inheritance will be ours! The vine-growers were
greedy; because they wanted the entire harvest and the vineyard for
themselves and would stop at nothing to achieve that end, they
plotted to kill the owners son. Because Jesus had achieved such a
following, the Jewish leaders believed the only way to maintain
their position and power over the people was to kill Him (cf. Jn
11:48).
12:9 destroy the vine-growers. The owner of the vineyard will
execute the vine-growers, thus serving as a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem (A.D. 70) and the nation of Israel. According to
Matthew, this verdict was echoed by the chief priests, scribes, and
elders (see note on Mt 21:41). give the vineyard to others. This was
fulfilled in the establishment of Christs church and its leaders, who
were mostly Gentiles.
12:10,11 This messianic prophecy is a quotation of Ps 118:22,23
from the LXX. Jesus continued His teaching in the form of a parable,
but here His kingdom is seen as a building instead of a vineyard. The
point is that the rejected son and the rejected stone represent
Christ.
12:10 THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED. Builders typically rejected stones until they found one perfectly straight in lines that could
serve as the cornerstone, which was critical to the symmetry and
stability of the building. In Jesus metaphor, He Himself is the stone
the builders (the Jewish religious leaders) rejected (crucified). But
the resurrected Christ is the cornerstone (cf. Ac 4:10-12; 1Pe 2:6,7;
see note on Mt 21:42).
12:12 against them. The chief priests, scribes, and elders were
completely aware that Christ was condemning their actions, but it
only aroused their hatred, not their repentance.

Mt 22:15-22; Lk 20:20-26
13 a Then they *sent some of the Pharisees
and b Herodians to Him in order to c trap
Him in a statement. 14 They *came and *said
to Him, Teacher, we know that You are
truthful and 1 defer to no one; for You are
not partial to any, but teach the way of God
in truth. Is it 2 lawful to pay a poll-tax to
Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we pay or shall we
not pay? But He, knowing their hypocrisy,
said to them, Why are you testing Me?
Bring Me a 1 denarius to look at. 16 They
brought one. And He *said to them, Whose
likeness and inscription is this? And they
said to Him, Caesars. 17 And Jesus said
to them, a Render to Caesar the things that
are Caesars, and to God the things that are
Gods. And they 1 were amazed at Him.

12:13-17 The second of a series of questions that the Jewish religious leaders hoped would trap Jesus into declaring Himself an insurrectionist (cf. 11:28). This one concerns the controversial issue of
paying taxes to Rome.
12:13 Pharisees and Herodians. Matthew indicates that disciples of the Pharisees accompanied the Herodians. The Pharisees
may have hoped that Jesus would not recognize them and be
caught off-guard by their seemingly sincere question. The Herodians
were a political party of Jews who backed Herod Antipas, who in
turn was only a puppet of Rome (see note on Mt 22:16).
12:14 not partial to any. This speaks of impartiality, or showing
no favoritism. While this was flattery on the part of the Pharisees
and Herodians, it was nonetheless true that Jesus would not be
swayed by a persons power, prestige, or position. poll-tax to Caesar. The Gr. word for poll-tax was borrowed from the Lat. word
that gives us the Eng. census. The Romans counted all the citizens
and made each one pay an annual poll tax of one denarius (see note
on Mt 22:17).
12:15 hypocrisy. The Pharisees and Herodians, using feigned interest in His teaching, attempted to hide their true intention to trap
Jesus. But He perceived their true motives (cf. Jn 2:25). Why are you
testing Me? Jesus response exposed the true motive of the Pharisees and Herodians and revealed their hypocrisy. denarius. This
small silver coin, minted by the Roman emperor, was the equivalent
of a days wage for a common laborer or soldier (see note on Mt
22:19).
12:16 likeness. On one side of the denarius was likely the image
of the current emperor, Tiberius, though at that time it could have
also been Augustus, since both coins were in circulation. Tiberius is
most likely because the response was Caesars, indicating the current ruler rather than the past one. inscription. If the coin was
minted by Tiberius, it would have read, Tiberius Caesar Augustus,
the son of the Divine Augustus on one side and Chief Priest on
the other. See note on Mt 22:19.
12:17 Render to Caesar. The Gr. word for render means, to
pay or give back, which implies a debt. All who lived within the
realm of Caesar were obligated to return to him the tax that was

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MARK 12:18
Question of the Resurrection
Mt 22:23-33; Lk 20:27-40
18 a Some Sadducees (who say that there
is no resurrection) *came to Jesus, and
began questioning Him, saying, 19 Teacher,
Moses wrote for us that a IF A MANS BROTHER
DIES and leaves behind a wife AND LEAVES
NO CHILD, HIS BROTHER SHOULD 1 MARRY THE
WIFE AND RAISE UP CHILDREN TO HIS BROTHER.
20 There were seven brothers; and the first
took a wife, and died leaving no children.
21 The second one 1 married her, and died
leaving behind no children; and the third
likewise; 22 and so 1 all seven left no children. Last of all the woman died also. 23 In
the resurrection, 1 when they rise again,
which ones wife will she be? For 2 all seven
had married her. 24 Jesus said to them, Is
this not the reason you are mistaken, that
you do not 1 understand the Scriptures or
the power of God? 25 For when they rise
from the dead, they neither marry nor are
given in marriage, but are like angels in
heaven. 26 But 1 regarding the fact that the

 1456 
18 a Mk 12:18-27: Mt
22:23-33; Lk 20:2738; Ac 23:8
19 1 Lit take a Dt 25:5
21 1 Lit took
22 1 Lit the seven
23 1 Early mss do not
contain when they
rise again 2 Lit the
seven
24 1 Or know
26 1 Lit concerning the
dead, that they rise

a Lk 20:37; Ro 11:2
b Ex 3:6
27 1 Or of corpses a Mt
22:32; Lk 20:38
28 1 Or first a Mk
12:28-34: Mt 22:3440; Lk 10:25-28;
20:39f b Mt 22:34; Lk
20:39
29 a Dt 6:4
30 a Dt 6:5
31 a Lv 19:18
32 a Dt 4:35

owed him. It was not optional. Thus Jesus declared that all citizens
are under divine obligation to pay taxes to whatever government is
over them (cf. Ro 13:1-7; 1Pe 2:13-17; see note on Mt 22:21).
12:18 Sadducees. The most wealthy, influential, and aristocratic
of all the Jewish sects. All the High-Priests, chief priests, and the majority of the Sanhedrin (see note on Mt 26:59) were Sadducees. They
ignored the oral law, traditions, and scribal laws of the Pharisees,
viewing only the Pentateuch as authoritative (see note on Mt 3:7).
who say that there is no resurrection. The most distinctive aspect
of the Sadducees theology, which they adopted because of their allegiance to the Pentateuch and their belief that Moses did not teach
a literal resurrection from the dead. With such a disregard for the future, the Sadducees lived for the moment and whatever profit they
could make. Since they controlled the temple businesses, they were
extremely upset when Jesus cleansed the temple of the money
changers because He cut into their profits (11:15-18)the reason
they also wanted to discredit Jesus in front of the people.
12:19 The Sadducees were summarizing Dt 25:5,6, which refers
to the custom of a levirate marriage (marriage to a dead husbands
brother). God placed it in the law of Moses to preserve tribal names,
families, and inheritances (see note on Mt 22:24). Moses wrote. The
Sadducees appealed to Moses because they were fully aware of
Jesus high regard for Scripture, and therefore believed He would
not contest the validity of the levirate marriage.
12:24 the power of God. Their ignorance of the Scriptures extended to their lack of understanding regarding the miracles God
performed throughout the OT. Such knowledge would have enabled them to believe in Gods power to raise the dead.
12:25 neither marry. Marriage was designed by God for companionship and the perpetuation of the human race on the earth.
Jesus was emphasizing the fact that in heaven there will be no exclusive or sexual relationships. Believers will experience an entirely
new existence in which they will have perfect spiritual relationships
with everyone else. like angels. Believers will be like angels in that
they will be spiritual, eternal beings who will not die (cf. 1Co 15:3944,48,49; see note on Mt 22:30).
12:26 book of Moses. The Pentateuchthe first 5 books of the
OT. Jesus appealed to the only Scriptures the Sadducees held as

dead rise again, have you not read in the


book of Moses, a in the passage about the
burning bush, how God spoke to him, saying, b I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE
GOD OF ISAAC, and the God of Jacob?
27 a He is not the God 1 of the dead, but of
the living; you are greatly mistaken.

Question of the Greatest Commandment


Mt 22:34-40
28 a One of the scribes came and heard
them arguing, and b recognizing that He had
answered them well, asked Him, What
commandment is the 1 foremost of all?
29 Jesus answered, The foremost is, a HEAR,
O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD;
30 a AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD
WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR
SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL
YOUR STRENGTH. 31 The second is this, a YOU
SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.
There is no other commandment greater
than these. 32 The scribe said to Him,
Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that
a HE IS ONE, AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE BESIDES

completely authoritative. passage about the burning bush. A reference to Ex 3:14:17 where God first appeared to Moses at the bush.
how God spoke to him, saying, I AM. By keying on the emphatic
present tense of Ex 3:6, I am . . . the God of Abraham, the God of
Isaac, and the God of Jacob, Jesus was underscoring the personal
and perpetual covenantal relationship God established with the 3
patriarchs. Even though all 3 were dead when God spoke to Moses,
God was still their God just as much as when they were alive on
earthand more so in that they were experiencing eternal fellowship with Him in heaven (see note on Mt 22:32).
12:27 you are greatly mistaken. Jesus accused the Sadducees of
making a complete error in teaching that there is no resurrection.
12:28 scribes. See note on 1:22. What commandment is the foremost . . . ? The rabbis had determined that there were 613 commandments contained in the Pentateuch, one for each letter of the
Ten Commandments. Of the 613 commandments, 248 were seen as
affirmative and 365 as negative. Those laws were also divided into
heavy and light categories, with the heavy laws being more binding
than the light ones. The scribes and rabbis, however, had been unable
to agree on which were heavy and which were light. This orientation
to the law led the Pharisees to think Jesus had devised His own theory. So the Pharisees asked this particular question to get Jesus to incriminate Himself by revealing His unorthodox and unilateral beliefs.
12:29 HEAR, O ISRAEL! By quoting the first part of the Shema (Dt
6:4,5), which is Heb. for hear, Jesus confirmed the practice of every
pious Jew who recited the entire Shema (Nu 15:37-41; Dt 6:4-9;
11:13-21) every morning and evening.
12:30 LOVE THE LORD. Taken from Dt 10:12; 30:6, Jesus used Gods
own word from the Pentateuch to answer the question, indicating
the orthodox nature of His theology. See note on Mt 22:37.
12:31 The second. Jesus took the Pharisees question one step
further by identifying the second greatest commandment because it
was critical to an understanding of the complete duty of love. This
commandment, also from the books of Moses (Lv 19:18) is of the
same nature and character as the first. Genuine love for God is followed in importance by a genuine love for people (see note on Mt
22:39). NEIGHBOR. Cf. Lk 10:29-37.
12:32,33 The scribe said. The scribes response reveals he under-

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 1457 
HIM; 33 a AND TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART
AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING AND WITH
ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE ONES NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF, b is much more than all burnt
offerings and sacrifices. 34 When Jesus saw
that he had answered intelligently, He said
to him, You are not far from the kingdom of
God. a After that, no one would venture to
ask Him any more questions.

Jesus Questions the Leaders


Mt 22:41-45; Lk 20:41-44
35 a And Jesus began to say, as He b taught
in the temple, How is it that the scribes say
that 1 the Christ is the c son of David?
36 David himself said 1 in the Holy Spirit,
a THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD,
SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH
YOUR FEET.
37 David himself calls Him Lord; so in
what sense is He his son? And a the large
crowd 1 enjoyed listening to Him.

Jesus Condemns the Leaders


Mt 23:1-14; Lk 20:4521:4
38 a In His teaching He was saying: Beware of the scribes who like to walk

33 a Dt 6:5 b 1Sa 15:22;


Hos 6:6; Mic 6:6-8;
Mt 9:13; 12:7
34 a Mt 22:46
35 1 I.e. the Messiah
a Mk 12:35-37: Mt
22:41-46; Lk 20:41-44
b Mt 26:55; Mk 10:1
c Mt 9:27
36 1 Or by a Ps 110:1
37 1 Lit was gladly
hearing Him a Jn 12:9
38 a Mk 12:38-40: Mt
23:1-7; Lk 20:45-47
b Mt 23:7; Lk 11:43
40 a Lk 20:47
41 1 I.e. copper coins
a Mk 12:41-44: Lk
21:1-4 b Jn 8:20 c 2Ki
12:9
42 1 Gr lepta 2 Gr
quadrans; i.e. 1/64 of
a denarius
43 1 Lit those who
were putting in
44 1 Or abundance
2 Lit her whole
livelihood a Lk 8:43;
15:12, 30; 21:4

CHAPTER 13
1 1 Lit how great a Mk
13:1-37: Mt 24; Lk
21:5-36

stood OT teaching that moral concerns took precedence over ceremonial practices (cf. 1Sa 15:22; Is 1:11-15; Hos 6:6; Mic 6:6-8).
12:33 burnt offerings. Sacrifices that were completely consumed on the altar (cf. Lv 1:1-17; 6:8-13).
12:34 not far from the kingdom. Jesus both complimented and
challenged the scribe. Jesus acknowledged the scribes insight regarding the importance of love. Yet by stating that the scribe was not far
from the kingdom He emphasized that he was not in the kingdom.
He understood the requirements of love, he needed only to love and
obey the One who alone could grant him entrance to the kingdom.
12:35 Jesus question exposed the Jewish religious leaders ineptness as teachers and their ignorance of what the OT taught regarding the true nature of the Messiah. temple. See note on 11:11.
Christ. This is a translation of the OT Heb. word Messiah, which
means anointed one and refers to the King whom God had
promised. son of David. The common messianic title that was standard scribal teaching. The religious leaders were convinced that the
Messiah would be no more than a man, thus they deemed such a
title appropriate (see notes on 10:47; Mt 22:42).
12:36 David himself said in the Holy Spirit. David used his own
words, yet he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (cf. 2Sa
23:2). THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD. In this quote from the Heb. text (Ps
110:1), the first word for Lord is Yahweh, which is Gods covenant
name. The second word for Lord is a different word that the Jews
used as a title for God. Here David pictures God speaking to the
Messiah, whom David calls his Lord. The religious leaders of Jesus
day recognized this psalm as messianic.
12:37 David himself calls Him Lord. Jesus interpreted Ps 110:1
for the Pharisees. David would not have called one of his descendants Lord. Thus the Messiah is more than the Son of DavidHe
is also the Son of God. Jesus was proclaiming the Messiahs deity,
and thus His own (cf. Ro 1:3; 2Ti 2:8; see note on Mt 22:45). large
crowd. The multitude of people who observed this confrontation
between Jesus and the religious leaders.
12:38 Beware. This means to see or to watch. It carries the idea

MARK 13:1
around in long robes, and like b respectful
greetings in the market places, 39 and chief
seats in the synagogues and places of
honor at banquets, 40 a who devour widows houses, and for appearances sake
offer long prayers; these will receive
greater condemnation.
41 a And He sat down opposite b the treasury, and began observing how the people
were c putting 1 money into the treasury;
and many rich people were putting in large
sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in
two 1 small copper coins, which amount to
a 2 cent. 43 Calling His disciples to Him, He
said to them, Truly I say to you, this poor
widow put in more than all 1 the contributors to the treasury; 44 for they all put in
out of their 1 surplus, but she, out of her
poverty, put in all she owned, 2 all she had
a to live on.

Questions from the Disciples


Mt 24:1-3; Lk 21:5-7
a As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples *said to
Him, Teacher, behold 1 what wonderful
stones and 1 what wonderful buildings!

13

of guarding against the evil influence of the scribes. long robes. A long,
flowing cloak that essentially trumpeted the wearer as a devout and
noted scholar. greetings. Accolades for those holding titles of honor.
12:39 chief seats in the synagogues. The bench in the synagogue nearest the chest where the sacred scrolls were housedan
area reserved for leaders and people of renown (see note on Jas 2:3).
12:40 devour widows houses. Jesus exposed the greedy, unscrupulous practice of the scribes. Scribes often served as estate
planners for widows, which gave them the opportunity to convince
distraught widows that they would be serving God by supporting
the temple or the scribes own holy work. In either case, the scribe
benefited monetarily and effectively robbed the widow of her husbands legacy to her. long prayers. The Pharisees attempted to
flaunt their piety by praying for long periods. Their motive was not
devotion to God, but a desire to be revered by the people.
12:41 treasury. This refers to the 13 trumpet-shaped receptacles
on the walls in the court of the women where offerings and donations to the temple were placed.
12:42 two small copper coins. A small copper coin was the smallest denomination in use. It was worth about an eighth of a cent. a
cent. For the benefit of his Roman audience (see Introduction: Background and Setting), Mark related the small copper coin to this
smallest denomination of Roman coinage. A cent was equal to 164
of a denarius, and a denarius was the equivalent of a days wage.
12:43 Truly I say to you. See note on 3:28.
12:44 all she had to live on. This meant she would not be able to eat
until she earned more. The widow exemplified true sacrificial giving.
13:1-37 This great sermon by Jesus is commonly known as the
Olivet Discourse because Jesus delivered it on the Mt. of Olives just E
of the temple across the Kidron Valley. Jesus prediction of the coming destruction of the temple prompted a question from the disciples about the character of the end times. The remainder of the passage (vv. 5-37) is His response to their question as He describes His
second coming at the end of the present age.
13:1 what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!

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MARK 13:2
And Jesus said to him, Do you see these
great buildings? a Not one stone will be left
upon another which will not be torn
down.

 1458 
2 a Lk 19:44
3 1 Or Jacob a Mt 21:1
b Mt 17:1
4 1 Or attesting miracle
6 a Jn 8:24

The Tribulation
Mt 24:4-26; Lk 21:8-24
3 As He was sitting on a the Mount of
Olives opposite the temple, b Peter and
1 James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately, 4 Tell us, when will
these things be, and what will be the 1 sign
when all these things are going to be fulfilled? 5 And Jesus began to say to them,
See to it that no one misleads you. 6 Many
will come in My name, saying, a I am He!
and will mislead many. 7 When you hear
of wars and rumors of wars, do not be
frightened; those things must take place; but
that is not yet the end. 8 For nation will rise
up against nation, and kingdom against
kingdom; there will be earthquakes in var-

9 1 Lit look to
yourselves 2 Or
Sanhedrin or Council
a Mt 10:17
10 a Mt 24:14
11 1 Lit lead a Mk
13:11-13: Mt 10:1922; Lk 21:12-17
12 1 Lit put them to
death
13 a Mt 10:22; Jn 15:21
14 a Mt 24:15f b Da
9:27; 11:31; 12:11

See note on Mt 24:1. This unidentified disciple was admiring the


magnificence and beauty of the temple and the surrounding buildings and was encouraging a like response from Jesus. It is likely that
he could not comprehend how such an awesome structure could be
left desolate (cf. Mt 23:38).
13:2 Jesus said. In response to the disciples admiration, Jesus
again predicted that the temple would be destroyed. About 40 years
later, in A.D. 70, the Romans ransacked Jerusalem, killed a million
Jews, and demolished the temple. Not one stone. The only stones
left undisturbed were huge foundation stones that were not actually a part of the temple edifice but formed footings for the retaining
wall under the entire temple mount. These can be viewed today in
the Rabbis Tunnel which runs N-S along the western wall. It is a
portion of the western side of the retaining wall that today is called
the Wailing Wall. More of that retaining wall, including the steps
used to ascend and descend from the temple mount, has also been
uncovered on the southern side.
13:3 Mount of Olives. See note on 11:1. Peter and James and
John and Andrew were questioning Him privately. These 4 disciples were asking on behalf of all the 12.
13:4 The disciples were speculating that Jesus would imminently
usher in the kingdom, so they asked a twofold question: 1) When
would the temple be destroyed and the kingdom begin? and 2) What
event would herald the beginning of the kingdom? when will these
things be . . . ? When implies immediacy. The disciples thought that
Jesus was about to usher in the kingdom of God at any time (cf. Lk
19:11), at least by the end of the Passover season. These things
refers to the desolation and destruction of the temple (cf. Mt 23:38;
24:2) the sign. The disciples probably expected some miraculous occurrencesuch as complete darkness, brilliant light, or an angel from
heavento announce the coming millennial kingdom (see note on Mt
24:3). All of those things will occur at that time (see notes on vv. 24-27).
13:5 See to it. This Gr. word was often used as it is here with the
idea of keep your eyes open, or beware.
13:6 I am He! Many false prophets will come forward claiming to
be messiahs and deliverers, offering themselves as the solution to the
worlds problems. Some will even claim to be Christ Himself. The
number of false christs will increase as the end nears (cf. Mt 24:23,24).
13:7 the end. The consummation of the present age (see note on
Mt 24:6).

ious places; there will also be famines.


These things are merely the beginning of
birth pangs.
9 But 1 be on your guard; for they will
a deliver you to the 2 courts, and you will be
flogged a in the synagogues, and you will
stand before governors and kings for My
sake, as a testimony to them. 10 a The gospel
must first be preached to all the nations.
11 a When they 1 arrest you and hand you
over, do not worry beforehand about what
you are to say, but say whatever is given
you in that hour; for it is not you who
speak, but it is the Holy Spirit. 12 Brother
will betray brother to death, and a father
his child; and children will rise up against
parents and 1 have them put to death.
13 a You will be hated by all because of My
name, but the one who endures to the end,
he will be saved.
14 But a when you see the b ABOMINATION
OF DESOLATION standing where it should not

13:8 the beginning of birth pangs. The Lord was referring to


the pain a woman experiences in childbirth. Birth pains signal the
end of pregnancythey are infrequent at first and gradually increase just before the child is born. Likewise, the signs of vv. 6-8 will
be infrequent, relatively speaking, in the beginning and will escalate
to massive and tragic proportions just prior to Christs second coming (cf. 1Th 5:3; see note on Mt 24:8).
13:9 courts. The Gr. word is lit. sanhedrins. These were local,
Jewish courts attached to the synagogues which tried charges of
heresy and normal infractions of the law. The historian Josephus
says that each citys court was composed of 7 judges (Antiquities,
4.8.14), and the Mishnah records that there were 23 judges in every
city with more than 100 Jewish men (Sanhedrin l.6). These courts
were like smaller versions of the great Sanhedrin that convened in
Jerusalem (see note on Mt 26:59). flogged. These local courts usually
administered 39 stripes so as not to violate Dt 25:2,3. The recipient
of the punishment was stripped bare to the waist. He received 13
lashings to his chest and 26 to his back (see note on 2Co 11:24). in
the synagogues. The synagogues were the places for Jewish assembly and worship. When the courts convened, they typically
met in the synagogue.
13:10 first be preached to all the nations. Before the end (see
note on v. 7), there will be a worldwide proclamation of the gospel.
This may even refer to the occasion when an angel will supernaturally proclaim the gospel throughout the world before God pours
out His judgment at the end of the Tribulation (Rev 14:6-8; see note
on Mt 24:14).
13:11 what you are to say. Although the persecution will be terrifying, Christians are not to be anxious in anticipation of those
events. for it is not you who speak. Rather than being fearful, believers can remain calm and depend on the Holy Spirit, who will give
them the appropriate and effective words to say in defense of their
faith in Christ. See note on Lk 12:11.
13:13 endures to the end, he will be saved. See note on Mt
24:13. This endurance does not produce salvation; it is Spiritempowered perseverance and proof of the reality of salvation in the
one who endures. Christ will eventually deliver such believers out of
the present evil system into Gods eternal kingdom (cf. Mt 10:22).
13:14 the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. This first referred to the desecration of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes, the king of Syria, in

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Page 1459

be (let the reader understand), then those


who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 15 a The one who is on the housetop
must not go down, or go in to get anything
out of his house; 16 and the one who is in
the field must not turn back to get his coat.
17 But woe to those who are pregnant and
to those who are nursing babies in those
days! 18 But pray that it may not happen in
the winter. 19 For those days will be a time
of tribulation such as has not occurred
a since the beginning of the creation which
God created until now, and never will.
20 Unless the Lord had shortened those
days, no 1 life would have been saved; but
for the sake of the 2 elect, whom He chose,
He shortened the days. 21 And then if anyone says to you, Behold, here is 1 the
Christ; or, Behold, He is there; do not believe him; 22 for false Christs and a false

 1459 

MARK 13:27

15 a Lk 17:31
19 a Da 12:1; Mk 10:6
20 1 Lit flesh 2 Or
chosen ones
21 1 I.e. the Messiah
22 a Mt 7:15

prophets will arise, and will show 1 b signs


and b wonders, in order to lead astray, if
possible, the elect. 23 But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.

The Second Coming

1 Or attesting

miracles b Mt 24:24;
Jn 4:48
24 a Is 13:10; Eze 32:7;
Joel 2:10, 31; 3:15;
Rev 6:12
25 1 Or heaven a Is
34:4; Rev 6:13
26 a Da 7:13; Rev 1:7
b Mt 16:27; Mk 8:38
27 1 Or chosen ones
a Dt 30:4 b Zec 2:6

the second century B.C. when he sacrificed a pig on the temple altar.
That event was similar in character to what Jesus refers to here, i.e.,
the Antichrists ultimate desecration when he sets up an image of
himself in the temple during the tribulation (see notes on Da 9:27;
11:31; Mt 24:15; 2Th 2:4). standing where it should not be.
Matthew 24:15 indicates the location as the holy place. On the
only other occasion where this phrase from Matthew appears in the
NT, it clearly refers to the temple (Ac 21:28). This specifically implies
that the temple will be rebuilt in the future and that the daily sacrificial system will be reinstated. Standing indicates that the abomination of desolation will be continuous, actually lasting for
3{{frac12}} years (Da 12:11; cf. Rev 12:6). let the reader understand. This indicates that Jesus was not issuing these warnings to
the disciples or to others of their generation who would not experience this event, but to believers in the end time. Those who will
read these truths will be prepared and understand the trials they
are enduring. flee to the mountains. The Gr. word for flee is related to the Eng. word fugitive, a person who is on the run to escape danger. Jesus warns those who live in Judea to escape the
holocaust by taking refuge in the mountains (see note on Mt 24:16).
13:15 not go down. So urgent will be the need to flee that if a person happens to be on the roof of his house (see note on 2:4) when he
hears the news, he is to run down the outside stairway and leave
town without going inside his house to retrieve any belongings.
13:16 coat. The Gr. word refers to the outer cloak. Jesus warns those
working in the fields not to take the time to retrieve their cloaks that
may be at home or some distance away at the entrance to the field.
13:17 pregnant and . . . nursing babies. Jesus certainly felt compassion for those women who will be hindered from fleeing quickly
because they carry children. But He may have been warning them
about atrocities that could include unborn children being slashed in
the wombs and tiny infants being crushed (cf. Hos 13:16).
13:18 in the winter. This refers to the rainy season in Israel,
when streams could become impassable and it would be difficult to
glean food from barren fields.
13:19 tribulation such as has not occurred. This reveals that the
tribulation Jesus was referring to is in the future and that it will be the
greatest that has ever occurred. It will be of long duration and characterized by severe pressure and continual anguish. This is the Great
Tribulation at the end of the age (cf. Rev 7:14; see note on Mt 24:21).
13:20 shortened. Lit. mutilated or amputated. Jesus was referring to the determination of God to cut short or limit the period of
time to only 312 years (cf. Da 7:25; Rev 12:14; see note on Mt 24:22).

Mt 24:29-31; Lk 21:25-28
24 But in those days, after that tribulation, a THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED AND THE
MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, 25 a AND THE
STARS WILL BE FALLING from heaven, and the
powers that are in 1 the heavens will be
shaken. 26 Then they will see a THE SON OF
MAN b COMING IN CLOUDS with great power
and glory. 27 And then He will send forth
the angels, and a will gather together His
1 elect from the four winds, b from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of
heaven.

sake of the elect. The elect could refer to the nation of Israel (cf. Is
45:4), or those who become Christians during the Tribulation (Rev
17:14). In either case, God cuts short the days for their benefit.
13:21 Behold, here is the Christ. Satan will cause false christs to
appear in an attempt to deceive the elect into leaving their places of
refuge. False teachers will claim that Christ is in their midst or is back
in Jerusalem or elsewhere in Judea.
13:22 signs and wonders. Satanic inspired pseudo-miracles employed to support their claims to be the true Christ (cf. 2Th 2:9).
13:23 take heed. Jesus issues a prophetic warning to be on
guard. He has told the elect refugees of the future all that they need
to know to avoid being misled and deceived by Satans emissaries.
13:24 in those days, after that tribulation. Those days describes the events of vv. 6-23 and, thus, that tribulation refers to the
Great Tribulation Jesus just spoke of. This also means that what He
was about to describe (vv. 24-27) will occur immediately at the end
of the future tribulation period (cf. Mt 24:29). THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED.
The sun will go black as the universe begins to disintegrate prior to
the return of Christ (see notes on Mt 24:29; Ac 2:20; Rev 6:12).
13:25 STARS WILL BE FALLING. Heavenly bodies will careen at random
through space (cf. Rev 6:13,14; 8:10-13; 16:8,17-20). powers . . . in
the heavens. All the forces of energy that hold everything in space
constant, and which Christ controls, He will allow to become random and chaotic (cf. Is 13:6-16; 34:1-5; 2Pe 3:10-12).
13:26 SON OF MAN. See note on 2:10. COMING IN CLOUDS with great
power and glory. Jesus will return to earth in the same manner in
which He left it (cf. Ac 1:9-11; cf. Da 7:13,14; Rev 1:7). The psalmist
said that God uses clouds as His chariot (Ps 104:3), and Is 19:1 pictures the Lord riding on a cloud. Although these clouds could be
natural, they more likely describe the supernatural glory cloud that
represented Gods presence in OT Israel (see note on Rev 1:7). While
Christ possesses great power and glory, His return will be accompanied with visible manifestations of that power and glory (cf. Rev
6:15-17; 11:15-19; 16:17-21; 19:11-16)He will redeem the elect,
restore the devastated earth, and establish His rule on earth.
13:27 angels. A number of angels return with Christ (cf. 8:38; Mt
16:27; see following note). gather . . . His elect. Angels are Gods
gatherersthey gather unbelievers for judgment (Mt 13:41,49, 50),
and they gather the elect for glory. The elect will include the
144,000 Jewish witnesses (see note on Rev 7:4), their converts (Rev
7:9), and the converts of the angelic preachers (see note on Rev 14:6).
They will also include the OT saints, gathered out of their graves and
united with their redeemed spirits (Da 12:1-3). from the four

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MARK 13:28
Parable of the Fig TreeMt 24:32-35
Now learn the parable from the fig
tree: when its branch has already become
tender and puts forth its leaves, you know
that summer is near. 29 Even so, you too,
when you see these things happening,
1 recognize that 2 He is near, right at the
3 door. 30 Truly I say to you, this 1 generation will not pass away until all these
things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will
pass away, but My words will not pass
away. 32 a But of that day or hour no one
knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor
the Son, but the Father alone.
28

Exhortation to Watch
Mt 24:36-51; Lk 21:34-36
33 Take heed, a keep on the alert; for you
do not know when the appointed time 1 will
come. 34 a It is like a man away on a journey,
who upon leaving his house and 1 putting
his slaves in charge, assigning to each one
his task, also commanded the doorkeeper

 1460 
29 1 Or know 2 Or it
3 Lit doors
30 1 Or race
32 a Mt 24:36; Ac 1:7
33 1 Lit is a Eph 6:18;
Col 4:2
34 1 Lit giving the
authority to a Lk
12:36-38

to stay on the alert. 35 Therefore, a be on the


alertfor you do not know when the
1 master of the house is coming, whether in
the evening, at midnight, or b when the
rooster crows, or c in the morning 36 in
case he should come suddenly and find
you a asleep. 37 What I say to you I say to
all, a Be on the alert!

Leaders Plot to Kill Jesus


35 1 Lit lord a Mt 24:42;
Mk 13:37 b Mk 14:30
c Mt 14:25; Mk 6:48
36 a Ro 13:11
37 a Mt 24:42; Mk
13:35
CHAPTER 14
1 a Mk 14:1, 2: Mt 26:25; Lk 22:1, 2 b Ex 12:127; Mk 14:12; Jn
11:55; 13:1 c Mt
12:14
3 a Mk 14:3-9: Mt 26:613; Lk 7:37-39; Jn
12:1-8 b Mt 21:17

winds. A colloquial expression meaning from everywhere, and


similar to the expression from the four corners of the world. None
of the elect on earth or in heaven will miss entering the kingdom.
13:28 the parable. See note on 4:2. fig tree. See note on 11:13.
13:29 Just as the fig trees buds turning into leaves was a sign of
the nearness of summer, the events Jesus described as birth pains
(vv. 6-23) are to be a clear indication of the return of Christ (see note
on Mt 24:32). these things. The events of vv. 6-23. He is near. Luke
21:31 says, The kingdom of God is near. That is consistent with the
questions the disciples initially asked Jesus (v. 4), which was about
the signs that would herald the establishment of the kingdom.
13:30 Truly I say to you. See note on 3:28. this generation. The
generation of people living during the end times that witnesses the
signs and events leading to the return of Christ (see note on Mt 24:34).
13:31 Heaven and earth will pass away. The universe as we
know it will be dramatically altered after the thousand-year reign of
Christ (see notes on 2Pe 3:10-13). My words will not pass away. It is
impossible for Gods Word to be negated, destroyed, or altered in
any way (cf. Ps 19:9; Mt 5:18; Lk 16:17; Jn 10:35).
13:32 that day or hour. The exact day and time of Christs return
(see note on Mt 24:36). no one knows. The time of Christs return will
not be revealed in advance to any man. At this time, it was known
only to God the Father. angels. While all the angelic beings enjoy
intimacy with God, hover around His throne to do His bidding (Is
6:2-7), and continually behold Him (Mt 18:10), they have no knowledge of the time of Christs return. nor the Son. When Jesus spoke
these words to the disciples, even He had no knowledge of the date
and time of His return. Although Jesus was fully God (Jn 1:1,14),
when He became a man, He voluntarily restricted the use of certain
divine attributes (Php 2:6-8). He did not manifest them unless directed by the Father (Jn 4:34; 5:30; 6:38). He demonstrated His omniscience on several occasions (cf. Jn 2:25; 13:3), but He voluntarily restricted that omniscience to only those things God wanted Him to
know during the days of His humanity (Jn 15:15). Such was the case
regarding the knowledge of the date and time of His return. After He
was resurrected, Jesus resumed His full divine knowledge (cf. Mt
28:18; Ac 1:7).
13:33 keep on the alert. Christ sounded a warning for believers
to be on guard (see note on v. 5). Even believers do not have in

Mt 26:1-5; Lk 22:1, 2
a Now b the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away;
and the chief priests and the scribes c were
seeking how to seize Him by stealth and
kill Him; 2 for they were saying, Not during the festival, otherwise there might be a
riot of the people.

14

Mary Anoints Jesus


Mt 26:6-13; Jn 12:2-8
3 a While He was in b Bethany at the home
of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table,

themselves sufficient resources to be alert to spiritual dangers that


can so easily surprise them.
13:34 doorkeeper. In Jesus day, this individual guarded the
outer gate of the house, so as to be ready to let the returning master in upon his arrival. All Christs disciples are to be like doorkeepers, always remaining alert and vigilant for their Masters return.
13:35 in the evening . . . or in the morning. The normal expressions designating the 4 three-hour watches of the night from 6:00
p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Their names identify the ends of the three-hour
periods rather than the periods beginnings.
14:1 the Passover. Friday of Passover which would have begun
on Thursday at sunset. The Passover commemorated the passing
over of the homes of the Israelites by the angel of death, who killed
the firstborn of Egypt (Ex 12:113:16). The Passover began on the
14th day of Nisan (the first month of the Jewish calendar) with the
slaying of the Passover lamb, and continued into the early hours of
the 15th (see notes on Ex 12:6; Mt 26:2). Unleavened Bread. This
feast commemorated the departure of the Israelites from Egypt (Ex
23:15). It began immediately after the Passover and lasted from Nisan
1521. Unleavened bread refers to the type of bread the Israelites
were to take with them in their escape which represented the absence of the leaven of sin in their lives and household (see notes on Ex
12:14; Lv 23:6-8). two days away. In the context of Mt 26:2, Jesus predicted His crucifixion was to take place in two days, which would
be Friday since when He was speaking it was Wednesday evening.
Marks time line here is the same as Matthews (see note on Mt 26:2).
chief priests. See note on 8:31. scribes. See note on Mt 2:4.
14:2 Not during the festival. Because the Passover had to be
celebrated in Jerusalem, the city would have been overflowing
perhaps as many as two million people were there. Since many
would have been from Galileean area where Jesus had many followersand the religious leaders did not want to start a riot, they
determined to wait until after the Passover season when the crowds
would be diminished (see note on Mt 26:5).
14:3-9 The incident recorded here had occurred the previous
Saturday (cf. Jn 12:1). It is Marks account of the anointing of Jesus
by Mary in preparation for His crucifixion (cf. Mt 26:6-13; Jn 12:2-8).
14:3 Bethany. See note on 11:1. Simon the leper. This man is mentioned in the NT only in connection with this narrative. Since a leper was

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 1461 
there came a woman with an alabaster vial
of very c costly perfume of pure 1 nard; and
she broke the vial and poured it over His
head. 4 But some were indignantly remarking to one another, Why has this perfume
been wasted? 5 For this perfume might have
been sold for over three hundred 1 denarii,
and the money given to the poor. And they
were scolding her. 6 But Jesus said, Let her
alone; why do you bother her? She has done
a good deed to Me. 7 For you always have
a the poor with you, and whenever you wish
you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. 8 She has done what she
could; a she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. 9 Truly I say to you,
a wherever the gospel is preached in the
whole world, what this woman has done
will also be spoken of in memory of her.

Judas Plans to Betray Jesus


Mt 26:14; Lk 22:3-6
10 a Then Judas Iscariot, b who was one of
the twelve, went off to the chief priests in

3 1 An aromatic oil
extracted from an
East Indian plant
c Mt 26:6f; Jn 12:3
5 1 The denarius was
equivalent to a days
wages
7 a Dt 15:11; Mt 26:11;
Jn 12:8
8 a Jn 19:40
9 a Mt 26:13
10 a Mk 14:10, 11: Mt
26:14-16; Lk 22:3-6
b Jn 6:71

1 Or hand Him over


12 1 Lit they were
sacrificing a Mk
14:12-16: Mt 26:1719; Lk 22:7-13 b Mt
26:17 c Dt 16:5; Mk
14:1; Lk 22:7; 1Co 5:7
14 a Lk 22:11

an outcast in Jewish society, he was probably miraculously cleansed of


his leprosy by Jesus, and may have planned this meal for Jesus in gratitude (see notes on Lv 13; Mt 26:6). a woman. John 12:3 identifies her as
Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, who were also present at this
meal. alabaster vial. This long-necked bottle was made out of a special
variety of marble, a material which proved to be the best container for
preserving expensive perfumes and oils (see note on Mt 26:7). pure
nard. This oil was derived from the nard plant, which was native to
India. That it was pure meant it was genuine and unadulterated, which
is what made it so costly. broke the vial. She may have simply broken
the neck of the bottle so that she could pour out the contents more
quickly, an expression of her sincere and total devotion to the Lord.
14:4 some were indignantly remarking. John 12:4,5 says that
Judas was the instigator, and Mt 26:8 indicates that all the disciples,
following Judas lead, were angry with Marys waste of a very valuable commodity.
14:5 three hundred denarii. Since a denarius was a days wage
for a common laborer, it represented almost a years work for such a
person. given to the poor. While 11 of the disciples would have
agreed to this use of the money, the fact is the poor may never have
seen it. Since Judas was in reality a thief masquerading as the treasurer of the 12, he could have embezzled all of it (Jn 12:6).
14:7 you always have the poor with you. Opportunities to minister to the poor are always available, but Jesus would be in their
presence for only a limited time. This was not a time for meeting the
needs of the poor and the sickit was a time for sacrificial worship
of the One who would soon suffer and be crucified (see note on Mt
26:11; cf. 2:19).
14:8 anointed My body . . . for the burial. Mary did so probably
without ever realizing what she was doing. Her anointing of Jesus
became a symbol that anticipated His death and burial (see note on
Mt 26:12).
14:9 Truly I say to you. See note on 3:28. gospel. See note on 1:1.
14:10 Judas Iscariot. Standing in sharp contrast to the love and
devotion of Mary was the hatred and treachery of Judas. This disciple, who is understandably referred to last in the lists of the 12, was
the son of Simon, who was also called Iscariot. The name Iscariot
means man of Kerioth, which was a small town in Judea about 23

MARK 14:16
order to 1 betray Him to them. 11 They were
glad when they heard this, and promised
to give him money. And he began seeking
how to betray Him at an opportune time.

The Passover Is Prepared


Mt 26:17-19; Lk 22:7-13
12 a On the first day of b Unleavened
Bread, when 1 the Passover lamb was being
c sacrificed, His disciples *said to Him,
Where do You want us to go and prepare
for You to eat the Passover? 13 And He
*sent two of His disciples and *said to them,
Go into the city, and a man will meet you
carrying a pitcher of water; follow him;
14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner
of the house, The Teacher says, Where is
My a guest room in which I may eat the
Passover with My disciples? 15 And he
himself will show you a large upper room
furnished and ready; prepare for us there.
16 The disciples went out and came to the
city, and found it just as He had told them;
and they prepared the Passover.

mi. S of Jerusalem (cf. 3:19). Thus Judas was not a Galilean like the
other disciples. It is clear that Judas never had any spiritual interest
in Jesushe was attracted to Him because he expected Jesus to
become a powerful religious and political leader. He saw great potential for power, wealth, and prestige through his association with
Him. But Jesus knew what Judas was like from the start, and that is
why He chose him as one of the 12. He was the one who would betray Him so that the Scripture and Gods plan of salvation would be
fulfilled (Pss 41:9; 55:12-15,20,21; Zec 11:12,13; Jn 6:64,70,71; 13:18;
17:12). the twelve. See note on 3:14. chief priests. See note on 8:31.
14:11 money. Matthew says the amount Judas agreed to as blood
money was 30 pieces of silver (see note on Mt 26:15). seeking how to
betray . . . opportune time. Seeking is better translated began to
seek. Judas was looking for a suitable occasion to carry out his evil
plan, which would be when Jesus was away from the crowds (Lk 22:6).
14:12 Unleavened Bread. Passover and the Feast of Unleavened
Bread were so closely associated that both terms were used interchangeably to refer to the 8-day celebration that began with the
Passover. Although Unleavened Bread is used here, Marks clear intention is the preparation for Passover (see notes on v. 1; Mt 26:17). the
Passover lamb was being sacrificed. The lambs were killed on 14
Nisan at twilight (Ex 12:6), a Heb. term meaning, between the two
evenings, or between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. After the lamb was slaughtered and some of its blood sprinkled on the altar, the lamb was taken
home, roasted whole, and eaten in the evening meal with unleavened
bread, bitter herbs, charoseth (a paste made of crushed apples, dates,
pomegranates, and nuts, into which they dipped bread), and wine.
14:13 two of His disciples. Peter and John (Lk 22:8). Only two
people were allowed to accompany a lamb to the sacrifice. man . . .
carrying a pitcher of water. This is the only way that Jesus identified the man. But he stood out because it was uncommon for a man
to carry a pitcher of waterwomen usually performed that chore
(see note on Mt 26:18).
14:14 guest room. The word is translated inn in Lk 2:7. It typically referred to a place where a traveler could spend the nighta
place of lodging or a guest room in someones home, as was the
case here (cf. Mt 26:18).
14:15 large upper room. This indicates the room was located

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MARK 14:17
The Passover Is Celebrated
Mt 26:20-25; Lk 22:14-16; Jn 13:21-30
17 a When it was evening He *came with
the twelve. 18 As they were reclining at the
table and eating, Jesus said, Truly I say to
you that one of you will 1 betray Me2 one
who is eating with Me. 19 They began to
be grieved and to say to Him one by one,
Surely not I? 20 And He said to them, It
is one of the twelve, 1 one who dips with
Me in the bowl. 21 For the Son of Man is to
go just as it is written of Him; but woe to
that man 1 by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good 2 for that
man if he had not been born.

The Lords Supper Is Instituted


Mt 26:26-29; Lk 22:17-23
22 a While they were eating, He took some
bread, and 1 after a b blessing He broke it,
and gave it to them, and said, Take it; this
is My body. 23 And when He had taken a

 1462 
17 a Mk 14:17-21: Mt
26:20-24; Lk 22:14,
21-23; Jn 13:18ff
18 1 Or deliver Me over
2 Or the one
20 1 Or the one
21 1 Or through 2 Lit
for him if that man
had not been born
22 1 Lit having blessed
a Mk 14:22-25: Mt
26:26-29; Lk 22:1720; 1Co 11:23-25; Mk
10:16 b Mt 14:19

24 a Ex 24:8 b Jer
31:31-34
26 a Mt 26:30 b Mt
21:1
27 1 Or stumble a Mk
14:27-31: Mt 26:3135 b Zec 13:7
28 a Mt 28:16
29 1 Or stumble
30 1 Lit today, on this
night a Mt 26:34 b Mk
14:68, 72; Jn 13:38

upstairs, and may have been a roof chamber built on top of the
house. prepare. Peter and John were to prepare the Passover meal
for Jesus and the other disciples.
14:17 evening. The Passover meal was to be eaten at night after
sunset, but had to be completed before midnight (Ex 12:8-14). with
the twelve. Peter and John may have rejoined Jesus and the other
disciples and led them to the upper room. This may also be a general reference to the 12, meaning that Jesus came with the other 10
disciples to meet Peter and John.
14:18 reclining . . . eating. The order of the Passover meal was:
1) drinking a cup of red wine mixed with water (cf. Lk 22:17); 2) the
ceremonial washing of hands symbolizing the need for spiritual and
moral cleansing; 3) eating the bitter herbs, symbolic of the bondage
in Egypt; 4) drinking the second cup of wine, at which time the head
of the household explained the meaning of Passover; 5) singing of
the Hallel (Pss 113118)at this point they sang the first two; 6)
the lamb was brought out, and the head of the household distributed pieces of it with the unleavened bread; 7) drinking the third
cup of wine (see notes on 1Co 10:16).
14:20 dips with Me in the bowl. There were likely several dishes
around the tableJudas was probably one of several sitting near
Jesus and thus would have dipped in the same bowl with Him.
14:21 Son of Man. See note on 2:10. as it is written. Jesus was
no victimHis betrayal by Judas was prophesied in the OT (Ps 22; Is
53), and was part of Gods predetermined plan to provide salvation
(Ac 2:23). good . . . if he had not been born. Cf. Jn 8:21-24; 16:811. This is because the terror Judas would experience in hell would
be so great. The severest punishment is reserved for Judas and others like him (Heb 10:29). This is one of the strongest statements in
Scripture on human responsibility for believing in Jesus Christ, coupled with the consequences of such unbelief.
14:22-25 At this point in the narrative, it appears that Judas had
gone (Jn 13:23-30) and Jesus was alone with the faithful 11 disciples
(see note on Lk 22:21). Then it was that He transformed the Passover of
the Old Covenant into the Lords Supper of the New Covenant, creating a new memorial feast to remember Gods deliverance from sin.
14:22 While they were eating. There is no indication from any of
the gospel accounts as to which part of the meal they were eating, but
it is likely that this occurred just prior to eating the roasted lamb or
concurrently with it. It is significant that Jesus established the truth of

cup and given thanks, He gave it to them,


and they all drank from it. 24 And He said
to them, This is My a blood of the
b covenant, which is poured out for many.
25 Truly I say to you, I will never again
drink of the fruit of the vine until that day
when I drink it new in the kingdom of
God.

Jesus Predicts Peters Denial


Mt 26:30-35; Lk 22:31-39; Jn 13:36-38
26 a After singing a hymn, they went out
to b the Mount of Olives.
27 a And Jesus *said to them, You will all
1 fall away, because it is written, b I WILL
STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP
SHALL BE SCATTERED. 28 But after I have been
raised, a I will go ahead of you to Galilee.
29 But Peter said to Him, Even though all
may 1 fall away, yet I will not. 30 And Jesus
*said to him, Truly I say to you, that 1 a this
very night, before b a rooster crows twice,

New Covenant while in the midst of eating the Passover. this is My


body. Jesus gave new meaning to eating the bread. The unleavened
bread symbolized the severing of the Israelites from the old life in
Egypt. It represented a separation from worldliness, sin, and false religion and the beginning of a new life of holiness and godliness. From
then on in the Lords Supper, the bread would symbolize Christs body,
which He sacrificed for the salvation of men (see note on Mt 26:26).
14:23 a cup. The third cup of wine in the ceremony (see note on
1Co 10:16).
14:24 My blood of the covenant. The shedding of blood in a sacrifice was always Gods requirement in establishing any covenant (cf.
Ge 8:20; 15:10; Ex 24:5-8). Here, Christs blood needed to be shed for
the remission of sins (Heb 9:22; 1Pe 1:19; see note on Mt 26:28). for
many. This lit. means for the benefit of many. The many are all
who believe, both Jew and Gentile. See note on 10:45; cf. Mt 20:28.
14:25 Truly I say to you. See note on 3:28. I will never again
drink. Jesus declared that this would be the last Passover, and that
He would not even drink wine with them again, since this was His
last meal. Until the inauguration of the millennial kingdom, believers
are to share this memorial meal (see notes on 1Co 11:23-34). drink it
new. This served as an assurance to them of Jesus return and His
establishment of His earthly, millennial kingdom. It possibly implies
that the communion service will continue to be observed in the millennial kingdom, as a memorial to the cross. It more probably indicates that Jesus would not have another Passover with them until
the kingdom (see notes on Eze 45:18-25; 45:21-24). It is also true that
in the kingdom, commemorative sacrifices from the Old Covenant
will be restored (Eze 4345) which will have meaning never understood before the cross of Christ to which they pointed. kingdom of
God. The earthly millennial kingdom is in view.
14:26 singing a hymn. Probably Ps 118, the last psalm of the traditional Hallel sung at Passover (see note on Mt 26:30). Mount of
Olives. See note on 11:1.
14:27 fall away. See note on 4:17; Mt 26:31. This refers to the disciples temporary falling away from their loyalty to Jesus. it is written. Quoted from Zec 13:7.
14:28 to Galilee. Jesus promise to meet the disciples in His postresurrection form (cf. 16:7; Mt 28:16,17; see note on Mt 28:7).
14:30 Truly I say to you. See note on 3:28. before a rooster
crows twice. In Jewish reckoning of time, cock crow was the third

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 1463 
you yourself will deny Me three times.
31 But Peter kept saying insistently, Even if
I have to die with You, I will not deny
You! And they all were saying the same
thing also.

MARK 14:43

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

32 a Mk 14:32-42: Mt
26:36-46; Lk 22:40-46
33 1 Or Jacob a Mk
9:15; 16:5, 6
34 a Mt 26:38; Jn 12:27
35 1 Lit pass from Him
a Mt 26:45; Mk 14:41
36 a Ro 8:15; Gal 4:6
b Mt 26:39

Mt 26:36-46; Lk 22:39-46
32 a They *came to a place named Gethsemane; and He *said to His disciples, Sit
here until I have prayed. 33 And He *took
with Him Peter and 1 James and John, and
began to be very a distressed and troubled.
34 And He *said to them, a My soul is
deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch. 35 And He
went a little beyond them, and fell to the
ground and began to pray that if it were
possible, a the hour might 1 pass Him by.
36 And He was saying, a Abba! Father! All
things are possible for You; remove this
cup from Me; b yet not what I will, but what
You will. 37 And He *came and *found
them sleeping, and *said to Peter, Simon,

are you asleep? Could you not keep watch


for one hour? 38 a Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation;
the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
39 Again He went away and prayed, saying the same 1 words. 40 And again He
came and found them sleeping, for their
eyes were very heavy; and they did not
know what to answer Him. 41 And He
*came the third time, and *said to them,
1 Are you still sleeping and resting? It is
enough; a the hour has come; behold, the
Son of Man is being 2 betrayed into the
hands of sinners. 42 Get up, let us be going;
behold, the one who betrays Me is at
hand!

38 a Mt 26:41
39 1 Lit word
41 1 Or Keep on
sleeping therefore
2 Or delivered a Mk
14:35
43 1 Lit and with him
a Mk 14:43-50: Mt
26:47-56; Lk 22:4753; Jn 18:3-11

Judas Betrays Jesus

watch of the night, ending at 3:00 a.m., which was when roosters
typically began to crow (see note on 13:35). Mark, alone of the
gospels, indicates that the cock crowed two times (v. 72; see note on
Mt 26:34).
14:32 Gethsemane. The name means oil press, and referred to
a garden filled with olive trees on a slope of the Mt. of Olives. Jesus
frequented this spot with the disciples when He wanted to get away
from the crowds to pray (cf. Jn 18:1,2; see note on Mt 26:36).
14:33 Peter and James and John. See note on 5:37. Jesus likely
had them accompany Him into the garden because they were the
leaders of the 12 and had to learn an important lesson to pass on to
the others (vv. 34-42). troubled. The Gr. word refers to a feeling of
terrified amazement. In the face of the dreadful prospect of bearing
Gods full fury against sin, Jesus was in the grip of terror (see note on
Mt 26:38).
14:34 to the point of death. Jesus sorrow was so severe that it
threatened to cause His death at that moment. It is possible for a
person to die from sheer anguish (cf. Lk 22:44; see note on Mt 26:38).
14:35 if . . . possible. Jesus was not asking God if He had the
power to let the cup pass from Him, but if it were possible in Gods
plan. Christ was to soon partake of this cup in the cross as Gods
only sacrifice for sin (cf. Ac 4:12). the hour. The time of His sacrificial
death as decreed by God. It included everything from the betrayal
(v. 41) to Jesus trials, the mockery, and His crucifixion.
14:36 Abba! An endearing, intimate Aram. term that is essentially equivalent to the Eng. word Daddy (cf. Ro 8:15; Gal 4:6). All
things are possible. Jesus knew that it was in the scope of Gods
power and omniscience to provide an alternate plan of salvation, if
He desired (see note on v. 35). cup. This was the cup of divine wrath
referred to in the OT (Ps 75:8; Is 51:17; Jer 49:12). Christ was to endure the fury of God over sin, Satan, the power of death, and the
guilt of iniquity (see notes on Mt 26:39; Lk 22:42; Jn 18:11). not what
I will, but what You will. This reveals Jesus total resolution and
resignation to do the will of God. He came into the world to do
Gods will, and that remained His commitment while here (see notes
on Mt 26:39; cf. Jn 6:38-40).
14:37 Simon. Jesus use of Simon may have implied that Peter
was not living up to the significance and meaning of his new name,

Mt 26:47-56; Lk 22:47-53; Jn 18:1-11


43 a Immediately while He was still
speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, *came
up 1 accompanied by a crowd with
swords and clubs, who were from the chief
priests and the scribes and the elders.

Peter (see note on Mt 16:18). one hour. This suggests that Jesus
had spent an hour praying, a duration in which Peter had been unable to stay awake.
14:38 watching. This Gr. word means to keep alert. Jesus was
encouraging Peter, James, and John to discern when they were
under spiritual attack. They were not to let their self-confidence lull
them to sleep spiritually. the flesh is weak. Because willing spirits
are still attached to unredeemed flesh, believers are not always able
to practice the righteousness they desire to do (cf. Ro 7:15-23; see
note on Mt 26:41).
14:41 Are you still sleeping and resting? The 3 disciples remained indifferent not only to the needs of Christ at that moment,
but their need of strength and watchfulness for the impending
temptation that all 11 would face. The disciples needed to learn that
spiritual victory goes to those who are alert in prayer and depend on
God, and that self-confidence and spiritual unpreparedness lead to
spiritual disaster. Son of Man. See note on 2:10.
14:43 Judas, one of the twelve. See notes on 3:19; Mt 26:47. All
the gospel writers refer to him this way (vv. 10,20; Mt 26:14,47; Lk
22:47; Jn 6:71); and in so doing, they display remarkable restraint in
describing and evaluating Judas. Especially in this context, such a
simple description actually heightens the evil of his crime more than
any series of derogatory epithets or negative criticisms could do. It
also points out the precise fulfillment of Jesus announcement in vv.
18-20. a crowd with swords and clubs. This crowd was a carefully selected group whose sole purpose was arresting Jesus so He
could be put to death. A cohort (600 men at full strength) of Roman
soldiers (Jn 18:3,12) was in this crowd because the Jewish leaders
(cf. Lk 22:52) who organized the throng needed permission from
Rome to carry out the death penalty and feared the crowds. The
swords were the regular small hand weapons of the Romans, and
the wood clubs were ordinary weapons carried by the Jewish temple police. chief priests . . . scribes . . . elders. Although 3 distinct
sections of the Sanhedrin (as indicated by the Gr. definite article
with each), they were acting in unity. These Jewish leaders had evidently for some time (see notes on 3:6; 11:18) hoped to accuse Jesus
of rebellion against Rome. Then, His execution could be blamed on
the Romans and the leaders could escape potential reprisals from

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MARK 14:44
44 Now he who was betraying Him had
given them a signal, saying, Whomever I
kiss, He is the one; seize Him and lead Him
away 1 under guard. 45 After coming,
Judas immediately went to Him, saying,
a Rabbi! and kissed Him. 46 They laid
hands on Him and seized Him. 47 But one
of those who stood by drew his sword, and
struck the slave of the high priest and 1 cut
off his ear. 48 And Jesus said to them,
Have you come out with swords and
clubs to arrest Me, as you would against a
robber? 49 Every day I was with you a in the
temple teaching, and you did not seize Me;
but this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures. 50 And they all left Him and fled.
51 A young man was following Him,
wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his
naked body; and they *seized him. 52 But he

 1464 
44 1 Lit safely
45 a Mt 23:7
47 1 Lit took off
49 a Mk 12:35; Lk
19:47; 21:37

52 1 Lit left behind


53 a Mk 14:53-65: Mt
26:57-68; Jn 18:12f,
19-24
54 1 Or servants 2 Lit
light a Mk 14:68 b Mt
26:3 c Mk 14:67; Jn
18:18
55 1 Or Sanhedrin a Mt
5:22

those Jews who admired Jesus. The Sanhedrin likely had hurried to
Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, to ask immediate use of his soldiers; or perhaps acted on a prearranged agreement for troop use
on short notice. Whatever the case, the leaders procured the assistance of the Roman military from Fort Antonia in Jerusalem.
14:44 kiss. In addition to being a special act of respect and affection, this kind of kiss was a sign of homage in Middle East culture.
Out of the varieties of this kiss (on the feet, on the back of the hand,
on the palm, on the hem of the garment), Judas chose the embrace
and the kiss on the cheekthe one that showed the closest love
and affection, normally reserved for one with whom a person had a
close, intimate relationship (such as a pupil for his teacher). Judas
could not have chosen a more despicable way to identify Jesus, because he perverted its usual meaning so treacherously and hypocritically.
14:45 Rabbi! My master (see note on 9:5). kissed Him. Kissed
is an intensified form of the verb for kiss in v. 44, and it denotes a
fervent, continuous expression of affection (cf. Lk 7:38,45; 15:20; Ac
20:37). It was with intensity that Judas pretended to love Christ. The
act was likely prolonged enough so the crowd had time to identify
Jesus.
14:47 one of those who stood by. Simon Peter (Jn 18:10), one of
the two disciples who brought a weapon (Lk 22:38). Mark and the
other synoptic writers do not identify Peter explicitly, perhaps because they wrote earlier than John, during the time when Peter
would still have been in danger of Jewish revenge. the slave of the
high priest. Malchus (Jn 18:10). He was neither a soldier nor temple
policeman, but rather was a high-ranking personal slave of Caiaphas, the High-Priest, probably sent along to observe Judas and
report on the events of the evening.
14:48 as . . . against a robber. Jesus expressed a righteous resentment toward the crowds actions and attitudes. Robber was
normally a highwayman or armed bandit who would resist arrest.
The setting which the crowd orchestrated was completely inconsistent with His well known ministry as a religious teacher.
14:49 temple. See note on 11:11. This was the most public place
in Jerusalem. to fulfill the Scriptures. Entirely apart from the
crowds sinful intentions against Jesus, God was sovereignly using
them to fulfill prophecy (cf. Is 53:7-9,12) and accomplish His gracious purposes (see note on Mt 26:54).
14:50 left Him. The disciples found no comfort in Jesus reference to Scripture, but instead their faith in Him collapsed as they re-

1 pulled free of the linen sheet and escaped


naked.

The Sanhedrin Tries Jesus


Mt 26:57-68; Lk 22:54, 55, 63-65;
Jn 18:12, 18, 24
53 a They led Jesus away to the high
priest; and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes *gathered together.
54 Peter had followed Him at a distance,
a right into b the courtyard of the high
priest; and he was sitting with the 1 officers
and c warming himself at the 2 fire. 55 Now
the chief priests and the whole 1 a Council
kept trying to obtain testimony against
Jesus to put Him to death, and they were
not finding any. 56 For many were giving
false testimony against Him, but their testimony was not consistent. 57 Some stood
up and began to give false testimony

alized He would not resist arrest and that they also might be captured.
14:51 A young man. This perhaps was Mark himself. If the mob
under Judas guidance had first gone to Marks mothers house in
search of Jesuspossibly where the last Passover was observed by
Jesus and the 12Mark could have heard the noise, suspected
what was happening, and hurried to follow the multitude. a linen
sheet. Either a loose-fitting linen sleeping garment or a sheet Mark
had hastily wrapped around himself after being roused from bed.
14:52 escaped naked. Mark escaped capture and ran, but in so
doing his covering came off or was pulled off, and he left with nothing at all on, or nothing more than undergarments.
14:5315:15 Marks account of Jesus trials, like that of all the
gospels, makes it clear that Christ was tried in two general phases:
first, before the religious authorities (the Jewish Sanhedrin), and second, before the secular political authorities (Rome, represented by
governor Pontius Pilate). Each of these phases had 3 parts: preliminary interrogation, formal arraignment, and formal sentencing.
Mark, like the other gospel writers, did not include a comprehensive
account of all the details and stages. A complete picture requires the
material from all 4 gospels being combined.
14:53 high priest. Caiaphas, the leader of the Sanhedrin (see
notes on Mt 26:3,57; cf. Jn 18:24). He was the official High-Priest in
A.D. 1836. chief priests . . . elders . . . scribes. See note on v. 43. The
entire Sanhedrin, the whole hierarchy, was out in force.
14:54 courtyard of the high priest. A quadrangle in the center
of the High-Priests residence.
14:55 Council. The Sanhedrin (see note on Mt 26:59).
14:56 Because Jesus was innocent, the Jewish leaders could not
convict Him except by relying on perjured testimony and perverted
justice. The Jews were intent on doing whatever was necessary,
even if they had to violate every biblical and rabbinical rule. many
were giving false testimony against Him. There was no lack of
people to come forward at the Sanhedrins invitation to consciously
present false, lying testimony. was not consistent. The testimonies
were grossly inconsistent. The law, however, required exact agreement between two witnesses (Dt 17:6; 19:15).
14:57,58 false testimony. The witnesses maliciously garbled and
misrepresented Jesus statements. Quite possibly they blended His
figurative statement regarding His death and resurrection in Jn 2:1922 with His prediction of a literal destruction of the temple in 13:2.
Their charge claimed He was disloyal to the present order of religion

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 1465 
against Him, saying, 58 We heard Him say,
a I will destroy this 1 temple made with
hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands. 59 Not even
in this respect was their testimony consistent. 60 The high priest stood up and came
forward and questioned Jesus, saying, Do
You not answer? 1 What is it that these men
are testifying against You? 61 a But He kept
silent and did not answer. b Again the high
priest was questioning Him, and 1 saying
to Him, Are You 2 the Christ, the Son of
the Blessed One? 62 And Jesus said, I am;
and you shall see a THE SON OF MAN SITTING
AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and b COMING
WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN. 63 a Tearing
his clothes, the high priest *said, What further need do we have of witnesses? 64 You
have heard the a blasphemy; how does it
seem to you? And they all condemned
Him to be deserving of death. 65 Some
began to a spit at Him, and 1 b to blindfold
Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and
to say to Him, c Prophesy! And the officers 2 received Him with 3 slaps in the face.

58 1 Or sanctuary a Mt
26:61; Mk 15:29; Jn
2:19
60 1 Or what do these
testify?
61 1 Lit says 2 I.e. the
Messiah a Mt 26:63
b Mk 14:61-63: Mt
26:63ff; Lk 22:67-71
62 a Ps 110:1; Mk
13:26 b Da 7:13
63 a Nu 14:6; Mt 26:65;
Ac 14:14
64 a Lv 24:16
65 1 Or cover over His
face 2 Or treated 3 Or
blows with rods a Mt
26:67; Mk 10:34 b Est
7:8 c Mt 26:68; Lk
22:64
66 a Mk 14:66-72: Mt
26:69-75; Lk 22:5662; Jn 18:16-18, 2527 b Mk 14:54
67 a Mk 14:54 b Mk 1:24
68 1 Or forecourt,
gateway 2 Later mss
add and a rooster
crowed a Mk 14:54
70 a Mk 14:68 b Mt
26:73; Lk 22:59

and worship (by replacing the current temple), and that He was
blaspheming God (by saying He would so quickly rebuild the temple
without hands).
14:58 I will destroy this temple made with hands. This refers to
the material sanctuary in Jerusalem. Jesus boldly made this assertion
in front of the temple the Jews revered, but His words were not fully
understood (see notes on 14:57,58; Jn 2:19,20).
14:60 Caiaphas attempted to salvage the tense situation when
the continued false charges were failing to establish a case or elicit a
response from the Lord. The High-Priest could not understand how
Jesus could remain silent and not offer any defense.
14:61 kept silent. The silence of innocence, integrity, and faith in
God. An answer by Jesus would have given all the false testimonies
and illegal proceedings an appearance of legitimacy. Christ. This
term refers to Jesus claim to be the promised Messiah (see note on
Mt 1:1). Son of the Blessed One. This refers to Jesus claim to deity.
This is the only NT use of the expression, and it is an example of
Jewish wording that avoided using Gods name (see note on Jn 8:58).
Jesus acceptance of messiahship and deity (cf. Lk 4:18-21; Jn
4:25,26; 5:17,18; 8:58) had always brought vigorous opposition from
the Jewish leaders (Jn 5:19-47; 8:16-19; 10:29-39). Clearly, the HighPriest was asking this question in hopes that Jesus would affirm it
and open Himself to the formal charge of blasphemy.
14:62 I am. An explicit, unambiguous declaration that Jesus was
and is both the Messiah and the Son of God. SON OF MAN. See notes
on 2:10; Mt 8:20. Jesus used this commonly acknowledged messianic
title of Himself more than 80 times in the gospels, here in a reference to Ps 110:1 and Da 7:13 (cf. Rev 1:13; 14:14). RIGHT HAND OF
POWER. Cf. 10:37; Ac 2:33; 7:55; Heb 2:9; Rev 12:5. Jesus glorified position is next to the throne of God (the Power is another reference
to God). CLOUDS. See note on 13:26; cf. Mt 24:30; 26:64; Lk 21:27; Ac
1:9-11; Rev 1:7; 14:14.
14:63 Tearing his clothes. A ceremonial, and in this case contrived, display of grief and indignation over the presumed dishonoring of Gods name by Jesus (cf. Gen 37:29; Lv 10:6; Job 1:20; Ac
14:14; see note on Mt 26:65). further need . . . of witnesses. A
rhetorical question that expressed relief that the tense and embar-

MARK 14:72
Peter Denies Jesus
Mt 26:69-75; Lk 22:55-62; Jn 18:15-18, 25-27
66 a As Peter was below in b the courtyard,
one of the servant-girls of the high priest
*came, 67 and seeing Peter a warming himself, she looked at him and *said, You also
were with Jesus the b Nazarene. 68 But he
denied it, saying, I neither know nor understandwhatyouaretalkingabout.Andhe
a went out onto the 1 porch.2 69 The servantgirl saw him, and began once more to say to
the bystanders, This is one of them! 70 But
again a he denied it. And after a little while
the bystanders were again saying to Peter,
Surely you are one of them, b for you are a
Galilean too. 71 But he began to 1 curse and
swear, I do not know this man you are talking about! 72 Immediately a rooster crowed
a second time. And Peter remembered how
Jesus had made the remark to him, Before
a a rooster crows twice, you will deny Me
three times. 1 And he began to weep.
71 1 Or put himself under a curse 72 1 Or Thinking of this, he began
weeping or Rushing out, he began weeping a Mk 14:30, 68

rassing situation was finally over. Because Jesus had allegedly incriminated Himself in the eyes of the Sanhedrin, they would not
need to summon any more lying witnesses.
14:64 blasphemy. See note on 2:7; cf. 3:29. Strictly speaking,
Jesus words were not blasphemy, or defiant irreverence of God
(Lv 24:10-23), but Caiaphas regarded them as such because Jesus
claimed for Himself equal power and prerogative with God.
14:65 spit at Him . . . beat Him. For the Jews, to spit in anothers face was the grossest, most hateful form of personal insult (cf.
Nu 12:14; Dt 25:9). Their brutal cruelty reached a climax and revealed the great depravity of their hearts when they beat Him, or
hit Him with clenched fists. Prophesy! They jeeringly and disrespectfully ordered Jesus to use the prophetic powers He claimed to
haveeven in the frivolous manner of telling them who struck Him
(Mt 26:68).
14:66 below. The apartments around it were higher than the
courtyard itself. one of the servant-girls. Female slave, or maid, in
the household of the High-Priest. She might have been the same
gatekeeper (cf. Jn 18:15,16) who admitted Peter, and who being curious and suspicious of him, wanted a closer look.
14:67 the Nazarene. Their reference to Jesus hometown communicates a feeling of contempt, in keeping with the views of the
Jewish leaders and the poor reputation Nazareth generally had (cf.
Jn 1:46).
14:68 the porch. Used only here in the NT, this term denotes
the forecourt, or entryway, a covered archway of the courtyard,
opening onto the street.
14:70 Galilean. Frequently used as a derisive label by people in
Jerusalem toward their northern neighbors. It strongly suggested
that natives of Galilee were deemed unsophisticated and uneducated (cf. Ac 4:13).
14:72 a rooster crowed. This reference brings to mind Jesus prediction in v. 30 (see note there) and Mt 26:34. Amid all the accusations being hurled at him, Peter either did not hear the roosters
crowing, or failed to realize its significance. When the rooster
crowed the second time, Jesus looked at Peter (Lk 22:61), triggering
Peters memory and bringing conviction of his denials (cf. v. 72).

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MARK 15:1
Pilate Tries Jesus
Mt 27:1, 2, 11-23; Lk 23:1-5, 13-23;
Jn 18:2819:15
a Early in the morning the chief
priests with the elders and scribes
and the whole 1 b Council, immediately held
a consultation; and binding Jesus, they led
Him away and delivered Him to Pilate.
2 a Pilate questioned Him, Are You the
King of the Jews? And He *answered him,
It is as you say. 3 The chief priests began to
accuse Him 1 harshly. 4 Then Pilate questioned Him again, saying, Do You not answer? See how many charges they bring
against You! 5 But Jesus a made no further
answer; so Pilate was amazed.
6 a Now at the feast he used to release for
them any one prisoner whom they requested. 7 The man named Barabbas had
been imprisoned with the insurrectionists
who had committed murder in the insurrection. 8 The crowd went up and began
asking him to do as he had been accustomed to do for them. 9 Pilate answered
them, saying, Do you want me to release
for you the King of the Jews? 10 For he
was aware that the chief priests had
handed Him over because of envy. 11 But

15

 1466 
CHAPTER 15
1 1 Or Sanhedrin a Mt
27:1 b Mt 5:22
2 a Mk 15:2-5: Mt
27:11-14; Lk 23:2, 3;
Jn 18:29-38
3 1 Or of many things
5 a Mt 27:12
6 a Mk 15:6-15: Mt
27:15-26; Lk 23:1825; Jn 18:39-19:16

the chief priests stirred up the crowd a to


ask him to release Barabbas for them instead. 12 Answering again, Pilate said to
them, Then what shall I do with Him
whom you call the King of the Jews?
13 They shouted 1 back, Crucify Him!
14 But Pilate said to them, Why, what evil
has He done? But they shouted all the
more, Crucify Him! 15 Wishing to satisfy
the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for
them, and after having Jesus a scourged, he
handed Him over to be crucified.

Jesus Is Beaten

11 a Ac 3:14
13 1 Or again
15 a Mt 27:26
16 1 Or court 2 Or
battalion a Mk 15:1620: Mt 27:27-31 b Mt
26:3; 27:27 c Ac 10:1
19 1 Or staff (made of
a reed)
21 a Mk 15:21: Mt
27:32; Lk 23:26

15:1 Early in the morning. At daybreak, probably between 5:00


and 6:00 a.m. Having illegally decided Jesus guilt during the night
(14:53-65; Jn 18:13-24), the Sanhedrin formally convened after daybreak to pronounce a sentence. chief priests. See note on Mt 2:4. elders and scribes. See notes on 14:43; Mt 2:4. the whole Council.
The entire Sanhedrin (see notes on 14:43,53; Mt 26:59). a consultation. This meeting is described in Lk 22:66-71. It amounted to little
more than reiterating the charges earlier made against Jesus and affirming His guilty verdict. Pilate. Roman procurator (governor) of
Judea from A.D. 2636. His official residence was at Caesarea, but he
was in Jerusalem for Passover.
15:2 Pilate questioned Him. John records (Jn 18:30) that the Jewish leaders demanded that Pilate simply agree to the death sentence
they had already pronounced on Jesus (14:64). Pilate refused, and the
Jewish leaders then presented their false charges against Jesus (Lk
23:2). Having heard those charges, Pilate then questioned Him. Are
You the King of the Jews? The only charge Pilate took seriously was
that Jesus claimed to be a king, thus making Him guilty of rebellion
against Rome. Pilates question reveals that he had already been informed of this charge (Lk 23:2). It is as you say. Jesus answer acknowledged that He was the rightful king of Israel, but implied that
Pilates concept of what that meant differed from His (cf. Jn 18:34-37).
15:4 Do You not answer? Pilate was amazed at Jesus silence,
since accused prisoners predictably and vehemently denied the
charges against them. Jesus may have remained silent in fulfillment
of prophecy (Is 42:1,2; 53:7), because Pilate had already pronounced
him innocent (Lk 23:4; Jn 18:38), or both.
15:6 at the feast. The Passover. used to. Ancient secular sources
indicate that Roman governors occasionally granted amnesty at the
request of their subjects. Assuming that the people would ask for
their king (whom they had so acknowledged earlier in the week;
11:1-10) to be freed, Pilate undoubtedly saw this annual custom as
the way out of his dilemma regarding Jesus.

Mt 27:26-34; Lk 23:24-32; Jn 19:16-22


16 a The soldiers took Him away into b the
1 palace (that is, the Praetorium), and they
*called together the whole Roman 2 c cohort.
17 They *dressed Him up in purple, and
after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it
on Him; 18 and they began to acclaim Him,
Hail, King of the Jews! 19 They kept beating His head with a 1 reed, and spitting on
Him, and kneeling and bowing before
Him. 20 After they had mocked Him, they
took the purple robe off Him and put His
own garments on Him. And they *led Him
out to crucify Him.
21 a They *pressed into service a passer-by

15:7 Barabbas. A robber (Jn 18:40) and murderer (Lk 23:18,19) in


some way involved as an anti-Roman insurrectionist. Whether his involvement was motivated by political conviction or personal greed
is not known. It is impossible to identify the specific insurrection in
question, but such uprisings were common in Jesus day and were
precursors of the wholesale revolt of A.D. 6670.
15:10 because of envy. Pilate realized that the Jewish authorities
had not handed Jesus over to him out of loyalty to Rome. He saw
through their deceit to the underlying reasontheir jealousy over
Jesus popularity with the people.
15:13 Crucify. See note on v. 15.
15:15 scourged. With a whip (known as a flagellum) consisting of
a wooden handle to which metal-tipped leather thongs were attached. Being scourged with a flagellum was a fearful ordeal, ripping
the flesh down to the bone, causing severe bleeding. It was a beating from which prisoners often died. crucified. See note on Mt 27:31.
Crucifixion, the common Roman method of execution for slaves and
foreigners, was described by the Roman writer Cicero as the cruelest and most hideous punishment possible.
15:16 Praetorium. The governors official residence in Jerusalem,
probably located in the Fortress Antonia complex. whole Roman
cohort. The Roman cohort, consisting of 600 men, was stationed in
Jerusalem. All the soldiers who were not on duty at that time gathered to mock Jesus.
15:17 dressed Him up in purple . . . crown of thorns. Purple
was the color traditionally worn by royalty; the crown of thorns
was in mockery of a royal crown. The callous soldiers decided to
hold a mock coronation of Jesus as king of the Jews.
15:18 Hail, King of the Jews! The greeting was a parody of that
given to Caesar.
15:19 a reed. An imitation of a royal scepter.
15:21 Condemned prisoners were required to carry the heavy
crossbeam of their cross to the execution site. Exhausted from a sleep-

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 1467 
coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene
(the father of Alexander and b Rufus), to
bear His cross.

Jesus Is Crucified
Mt 27:35-56; Lk 23:33-49; Jn 19:18, 23-30
22 a Then they *brought Him to the place
b Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a
Skull. 23 They tried to give Him a wine
mixed with myrrh; but He did not take it.
24 And they *crucified Him, and *a divided
up His garments among themselves, casting 1 lots for them to decide 2 what each man
should take. 25 It was the 1 a third hour
2 when they crucified Him. 26 The inscription of the charge against Him 1 read,
a THE KING OF THE JEWS.
27 They *crucified two robbers with Him,
one on His right and one on His left.
28 [1 And the Scripture was fulfilled which
says, And He was numbered with transgressors.] 29 Those passing by were 1 hurling abuse at Him, a wagging their heads,
and saying, Ha! You who are going to b de-

21 b Ro 16:13
22 a Mk 15:22-32: Mt
27:33-44; Lk 23:3343; Jn 19:17-24 b Lk
23:33; Jn 19:17
23 a Mt 27:34
24 1 Lit a lot upon 2 Lit
who should take
what a Ps 22:18; Jn
19:24
25 1 I.e. 9 a.m. 2 Lit and
a Mk 15:33
26 1 Lit had been
inscribed a Mt 27:37
28 1 Early mss do not
contain this v
29 1 Or blaspheming
a Ps 22:7; 109:25; Mt
27:39 b Mk 14:58; Jn
2:19
31 1 Or can He not save
Himself? a Mt 27:42;
Lk 23:35
32 a Mt 27:42; Mk
15:26 b Mt 27:44; Mk
15:27; Lk 23:39-43
33 1 I.e. noon 2 Or
occurred 3 I.e. 3 p.m.
a Mk 15:33-41: Mt
27:45-56; Lk 23:44-49
b Mt 27:45f; Mk
15:25; Lk 23:44

less night and severely wounded and weakened by His scourging,


Jesus was unable to continue. The Roman guards conscripted, Simon,
apparently at random, to carry Jesus crossbeam the rest of the way.
Simon, from the North African city of Cyrene, was on his way into
Jerusalem. The identification of him as the father of Alexander and
Rufus (cf. Ro 16:13) is evidence of Marks connection with the church
at Rome (see Introduction: Background and Setting).
15:22 Golgotha . . . Place of a Skull. Golgotha is an Aram. word
meaning skull, which Mark translated for his readers (see Introduction: Background and Setting). Although the exact site is unknown,
today two locations in Jerusalem are considered as possibilities: 1)
Gordons Calvary (named for the man who discovered it in modern
times) to the N; and 2) the traditional site to the W at the Church of
the Holy Sepulchre, a tradition dating to the fourth century.
15:23 wine mixed with myrrh. To temporarily deaden the pain
(see note on Mt 27:34), the Romans allowed this drink to be administered to victims of crucifixion, probably not out of compassion, but
to keep them from struggling while being crucified.
15:24 crucified. See note on v. 15. None of the gospel accounts
give a detailed description of the actual crucifixion process. divided
up His garments. This was in fulfillment of Ps 22:18. The executioners customarily divided the victims clothes among themselves.
15:25 third hour. The crucifixion occurred at 9:00 a.m. based on
the Jewish method of reckoning time. John notes that it was about
the sixth hour when Pilate sentenced Jesus to be crucified (Jn
19:14). John apparently used the Roman method of reckoning time,
which counted the hours from midnight. Thus Johns sixth hour
would have been about 6:00 a.m.
15:26 inscription of the charge. The crime for which a condemned man was executed was written on a wooden board, which
was fastened to the cross above his head. Jesus inscription was
written in Lat., Heb., and Gr. (Jn 19:20). See note on Mt 27:37. THE
KING OF THE JEWS. Since Pilate had repeatedly declared Jesus to be
innocent of any crime (Lk 23:4,14,15,22), he ordered this inscription
written for Him. While Pilates intent was probably neither to mock
nor to honor Jesus, he certainly intended it as an affront to the Jewish authorities, who had given him so much trouble. When the outraged Jewish leaders demanded the wording be changed, Pilate

MARK 15:36
stroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,
30 save Yourself, and come down from the
cross! 31 In the same way the chief priests
also, along with the scribes, were mocking
Him among themselves and saying, a He
saved others; 1 He cannot save Himself.
32 Let this Christ, a the King of Israel, now
come down from the cross, so that we may
see and believe! b Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him.
33 a When the 1 b sixth hour came, darkness 2 fell over the whole land until the
3 b ninth hour. 34 At the a ninth hour Jesus
cried out with a loud voice, b ELOI, ELOI,
LAMA SABACHTHANI? which is translated,
MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME? 35 When some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying,
Behold, He is calling for Elijah. 36 Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine,
put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink, saying, 1 Let us see whether Elijah will come
34 a Mt 27:45f; Mk 15:25; Lk 23:44 b Ps 22:1; Mt 27:46 36 1 Lit Permit
that we see; or Hold off, let us see

bluntly refused (see note on Jn 19:22). A comparison of all 4 gospel


accounts reveals that the full inscription read THIS IS JESUS OF
NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. See note on Lk 23:38.
15:27 two robbers. They were probably involved with Barabbas
in the rebellion (see note on v. 7), since robbery itself was not a capital offense under Roman law.
15:28 By placing Jesus cross between the two robbers (v. 27), Pilate may have intended to further insult the Jews, implying that
their king was nothing but a common criminal. God intended it,
however, as a fulfillment of prophecy (cf. Is 53:12).
15:29 wagging their heads. A gesture of contempt and derision
(cf. 2Ki 19:21; Pss 22:7; 44:14; 109:25; Jer 18:16; La 2:15). You who
are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days. The
passersby repeated the false charge made during Jesus trial before
Caiaphas (14:58). The charge was a misunderstanding of Jesus
words in Jn 2:19-21.
15:32 Christ. See note on 1:1. come down from the cross. A final
demand for a miracle by the unbelieving Jewish authorities (cf. 8:11).
Their claim that they would then see and believe was false, since they
later refused to believe the even greater miracle of Christs resurrection. Those who were crucified with Him. The two robbers joined in
the reviling of Jesus, though one later repented (Lk 23:40-43).
15:33 sixth hour. Noon, by Jewish reckoning, at the half-way
point of Jesus 6 hours on the cross (see note on v. 25). darkness. A
mark of divine judgment (cf. Is 5:30; 13:10,11; Joel 2:1,2; Am 5:20;
Zep 1:14,15; Mt 8:12; 22:13; 25:30). The geographical extent of the
darkness is not known, although the writings of the church fathers
hint that it extended beyond Palestine. ninth hour. I.e., 3:00 p.m.
15:34 ELOI . . . SABACHTHANI? The Aram. words of Ps 22:1. Matthew,
who also recorded this cry, gave the Heb. words (Mt 27:46). WHY HAVE
YOU FORSAKEN ME? Jesus felt keenly His abandonment by the Father,
resulting from Gods wrath being poured out on Him as the substitute for sinners (see notes on 2Co 5:21).
15:35 Elijah. Further mockery which in effect meant, Let the forerunner come and save this so-called Messiah (see note on Lk 1:17).
15:36 sour wine. Cheap wine commonly consumed by soldiers
and workers. It may have been an act of mercy, or merely intended
to prolong His suffering. a reed. A hyssop branch (Jn 19:29).

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MARK 15:37
to take Him down. 37 a And Jesus uttered a
loud cry, and breathed His last. 38 a And the
veil of the temple was torn in two from top
to bottom. 39 a When the centurion, who
was standing 1 right in front of Him, saw
2 the way He breathed His last, he said,
Truly this man was 3 the Son of God!
40 a There were also some women looking
on from a distance, among whom were
Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of
1 James b the 2 Less and Joses, and c Salome.
41 When He was in Galilee, they used to
follow Him and 1 a minister to Him; and
there were many other women who came up
with Him to Jerusalem.

Jesus Is Buried
Mt 27:57-61; Lk 23:50-55; Jn 19:38-42
42 a When evening had already come, because it was b the preparation day, that is,
the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of
Arimathea came, a a prominent member of
the Council, who himself was b waiting for

 1468 
37 a Mt 27:50; Lk
23:46; Jn 19:30
38 a Ex 26:31-33; Mt
27:51; Lk 23:45
39 1 Or opposite Him
2 Lit that He thus 3 Or
a son of God or son of
a god a Mt 27:54; Mk
15:45; Lk 23:47
40 1 Or Jacob 2 Lit little
(either in stature or
age) a Mk 15:40, 41:
Mt 27:55f; Lk 23:49;
Jn 19:25 b Lk 19:3
c Mk 16:1
41 1 Or wait on a Mt
27:55f
42 a Mk 15:42-47: Mt
27:57-61; Lk 23:5056; Jn 19:38-42 b Mt
27:62
43 a Mt 27:57; Lk
23:50, 51; Ac 13:50;
17:12 b Mt 27:57; Lk
2:25, 38; 23:51; Jn
19:38
c Jn 19:38
45 a Mk 15:39
47 a Mt 27:56; Mk
15:40; 16:1

15:37 uttered a loud cry. Demonstrating amazing strength in


light of the intense suffering He had endured, His shout reveals that
His life did not slowly ebb away, but that He voluntarily gave it up
(Jn 10:17,18). For the words of Christs cry, see Lk 23:46.
15:38 the veil of the temple was torn in two. The massive curtain separating the Holy of Holies from the rest of the sanctuary (Ex
26:31-33; 40:20,21; Lv 16:2; Heb 9:3). This rending signified that the
way into Gods presence was open by the death of His Son.
15:39 centurion. The Roman officer in charge of the crucifixion.
Centurions, considered the backbone of the Roman army, commanded 100 soldiers. saw the way He breathed His last. The centurion had seen many crucified victims die, but none like Jesus. The
strength He possessed at His death, as evidenced by His loud cry (v.
37), was unheard of for a victim of crucifixion. That, coupled with
the earthquake that coincided with Christs death (Mt 27:51-54) convinced the centurion that Jesus was the Son of God. According to
tradition, this man actually became a believer (see note on Mt 27:54).
15:40 Some of these women had earlier been at the foot of the
cross (Jn 19:25-27). By then, unable to watch Jesus suffering at such
close range, they were looking on from a distance. Their sympathetic loyalty was in sharp contrast to the disciples who, except for
John, were nowhere to be found. Mary Magdalene. She was from
the village of Magdala, on the W shore of the Sea of Galilee, hence
her name. Luke notes that Jesus had cast 7 demons out of her (Lk
8:2). She is usually named first when the women who followed Jesus
are listed, which may suggest that she was their leader. Mary the
mother of James the Less and Joses. She is distinguished from the
other Marys by the name of her sons. James the Less (called
James the son of Alphaeus in Mt 10:3) was one of the 12. Salome.
The wife of Zebedee (Mt 27:56), and the mother of James and John
(see note on 10:35).
15:41 many other women. They had been with Jesus since the
days of His Galilean ministry, traveling with Him and the disciples,
caring for their needs (cf. Lk 8:2,3).
15:42 preparation day. Friday, the day before the Sabbath (Saturday).
15:43 Joseph of Arimathea. Arimathea, known in the OT as
Ramah, or Ramathaim-zophim (the birthplace of Samuel, 1Sa 1:1,19;
2:11), was located about 15-20 mi. NW of Jerusalem. Joseph was a

the kingdom of God; and he c gathered up


courage and went in before Pilate, and
asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Pilate wondered if He was dead by this time, and
summoning the centurion, he questioned
him as to whether He was already dead.
45 And ascertaining this from a the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph.
46 Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him
down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth and
laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn
out in the rock; and he rolled a stone
against the entrance of the tomb. 47 a Mary
Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses
were looking on to see where He was laid.

The Resurrection of Jesus


Mt 28:1-8; Lk 24:1-9
a When the Sabbath was over, b Mary
Magdalene, and Mary the mother of
1 James, and Salome, c bought spices, so that

16

CHAPTER 16
1 1 Or Jacob a Mk 16:1-8: Mt 28:1-8; Lk 24:1-10; Jn 20:1-8 b Mk 15:47
c Lk 23:56; Jn 19:39f

prominent member of the council (or the Sanhedrin, see note on


14:43), who had opposed Jesus condemnation (Lk 23:51). kingdom
of God. See note on 1:15. gathered up courage. Pilate would not
likely have been pleased to see a member of the Sanhedrin, after
that group had forced him to crucify an innocent man. Further,
Josephs public identification with Jesus would enrage the other
members of the Sanhedrin. asked for the body of Jesus. Though
prisoners sentenced to death forfeited the right to burial under
Roman law, their bodies were usually granted to relatives who asked
for them, but Jesus mother was emotionally exhausted from the ordeal. There is no evidence that His brothers and sisters were in
Jerusalem, and His closest friends, the disciples, had fled (except for
John, who had Mary to take care of; Jn 19:26,27). In the absence of
those closest to Jesus, Joseph courageously asked Pilate for Jesus
body.
15:44 Pilate wondered. Victims of crucifixion often lingered for
days, hence Pilates surprise that Jesus was dead after only 6 hours.
Before granting Jesus body to Joseph, Pilate checked with the centurion in charge of the crucifixion (see note on v. 39) to verify that
Jesus was really dead.
15:45 he granted the body to Joseph. Having received confirmation from the centurion that Jesus was dead, Pilate granted Jesus
body to Joseph. By that act, the Romans officially pronounced Jesus
dead.
15:46 wrapped Him in the linen cloth. The Jews did not embalm corpses, but wrapped them in perfumed burial cloths (see
note on 16:1). Nicodemus, another prominent member of the Sanhedrin (cf. Jn 7:50), assisted Joseph in caring for the body of Jesus
(Jn 19:39,40). These men, who had kept their allegiance to Jesus secret during His lifetime, then came forward publicly to bury Him,
while the disciples, who had openly followed Jesus, hid (Jn 20:19).
tomb . . . hewn out in the rock. This tomb was located near Golgotha (Jn 19:42). Matthew adds that it was Josephs own (Mt
27:60), while Luke and John note that no one as yet had been
buried in it (Lk 23:53; Jn 19:41).
16:1 Sabbath was over. The Sabbath officially ended at sundown
on Saturday, after which the women were able to purchase spices.
Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome.
See note on Mt 27:56. Luke mentions that Joanna and other women

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 1469 
they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very
early on the first day of the week, they
*came to the tomb when the sun had risen.
3 They were saying to one another, Who
will roll away a the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb? 4 Looking up, they
*saw that the stone had been rolled away,
1 although it was extremely large. 5 a Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting
at the right, wearing a white robe; and they
b were amazed. 6 And he *said to them, a Do
not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus
the b Nazarene, who has been crucified. c He
has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the
place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His
disciples and Peter, a He is going ahead of
you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just
as He told you. 8 They went out and fled

3 a Mt 27:60; Mk
15:46; 16:4
4 1 Lit for
5 a Jn 20:11, 12 b Mk
9:15
6 a Mk 9:15 b Mk 1:24
c Mt 28:6; Lk 24:6
7 a Mt 26:32; Mk 14:28

9 1 Later mss add vv 920 a Mt 27:56; Jn


20:14
10 a Jn 20:18
11 a Mt 28:17; Mk
16:13, 14; Lk 24:11,
41; Jn 20:25
12 a Mk 16:14; Jn 21:1,
14 b Lk 24:13-35

were also there (Lk 24:10; cf. 15:41). spices. The women bought
more spices in addition to those prepared earlier (cf. Lk 23:56; Jn
19:39,40). anoint. Unlike the Egyptians, the Jewish people did not
embalm their dead. Anointing was an act of love, to offset the
stench of a decaying body. That the women came to anoint Jesus
body on the third day after His burial showed that they, like the disciples, were not expecting Him to rise from the dead (cf. 8:31; 9:31;
10:34).
16:2 when the sun had risen. John 20:1 says that Mary Magdalene arrived at the tomb while it was still dark. She may have gone
on ahead of the other women, or the whole party may have set out
together while it was still dark and arrived at the tomb after sunrise.
16:3 Who will roll away the stone . . . ? Only Mark records this
discussion on the way to the tomb. The women realized they had no
men with them to move the heavy stone (v. 4) away from the entrance to the tomb. Since they had last visited the tomb on Friday
evening, they did not know it had been sealed and a guard posted,
which took place on Saturday (Mt 27:62-66).
16:4 the stone had been rolled away. This was not to let Jesus
out, but to let the witnesses in. The earthquake when the angel
rolled away the stone (Mt 28:2) may have affected only the area
around the tomb, since the women apparently did not feel it.
16:5 Entering the tomb. The outer chamber, separated from the
burial chamber by a small doorway. young man . . . wearing a
white robe. The angel, having rolled away the stone (Mt 28:2), had
then entered the burial chamber. Luke records that there were two
angels in the tomb; Matthew and Mark focus on the one who spoke
(for similar instances, see note on 10:46).
16:6 Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. See note on
Mt 2:23. The inspired account leaves no doubt about who had been
in the tomb. The idea of some unbelievers that the women went to
the wrong tomb is ludicrous. He has risen. Christs resurrection is
one of the central truths of the Christian faith (1Co 15:4) and the
only plausible explanation for the empty tomb. Even the Jewish
leaders did not deny the reality of the empty tomb, but concocted
the story that the disciples had stolen Jesus body (Mt 28:11-15). The
idea that the fearful (Jn 20:19), doubting (vv. 11,13; Lk 24:10,11) disciples somehow overpowered the Roman guard detachment and
stole Jesus body is absurd. That they did it while the guards were
asleep is even more preposterous. Surely, in moving the heavy stone
from the mouth of the tomb, the disciples would have awakened at
least one of the soldiers. And in any case, how could the guards
have known what happened while they were asleep? Many other
theories have been sinfully invented over the centuries to explain
away the empty tomb, all of them equally futile.

MARK 16:12
from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said
nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

The Appearances of Jesus


Lk 24:13-48; Jn 20:1-10
9 [1 Now after He had risen early on the
first day of the week, He first appeared to
a Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast
out seven demons. 10 a She went and reported to those who had been with Him,
while they were mourning and weeping.
11 When they heard that He was alive and
had been seen by her, a they refused to believe it.
12 After that, a He appeared in a different
form b to two of them while they were
walking along on their way to the country.

16:7 and Peter. Peter was not singled out as the leader of the
disciples, but to be reassured that, despite his denials of Christ, he
was still one of them. He is going ahead of you to Galilee . . . as
He told you. See note on 14:28. The disciples lack of faith made
them slow to act on these words; they did not leave for Galilee (Mt
28:7,16) until after Jesus repeatedly appeared to them in Jerusalem
(cf. Lk 24:13-32; Jn 20:19-31).
16:8 afraid. They were overwhelmed by the frightening appearance of the angel and the awesome mystery of the Resurrection.
16:9-20 The external evidence strongly suggests these verses
were not originally part of Marks gospel. While the majority of Gr.
manuscripts contain these verses, the earliest and most reliable do
not. A shorter ending also existed, but it is not included in the text.
Further, some that include the passage note that it was missing
from older Gr. manuscripts, while others have scribal marks indicating the passage was considered spurious. The fourth-century church
fathers Eusebius and Jerome noted that almost all Gr. manuscripts
available to them lacked vv. 9-20. The internal evidence from this
passage also weighs heavily against Marks authorship. The transition between vv. 8 and 9 is abrupt and awkward. The Gr. particle
translated now that begins v. 9 implies continuity with the preceding narrative. What follows, however, does not continue the story of
the women referred to in v. 8, but describes Christs appearance to
Mary Magdalene (cf. Jn 20:11-18). The masculine participle in v. 9
expects he as its antecedent, yet the subject of v. 8 is the women.
Although she had just been mentioned 3 times (v. 1; 15:40,47), v. 9
introduces Mary Magdalene as if for the first time. Further, if Mark
wrote v. 9, it is strange that he would only now note that Jesus had
cast 7 demons out of her. The angel spoke of Jesus appearing to His
followers in Galilee, yet the appearances described in vv. 9-20 are all
in the Jerusalem area. Finally, the presence in these verses of a significant number of Gr. words used nowhere else in Mark argues that
Mark did not write them. Verses 9-20 represent an early (they were
known to the second-century fathers Irenaeus, Tatian, and, possibly,
Justin Martyr) attempt to complete Marks gospel. While for the
most part summarizing truths taught elsewhere in Scripture, vv. 920 should always be compared with the rest of Scripture, and no
doctrines should be formulated based solely on them. Since, in spite
of all these considerations of the likely unreliability of this section, it
is possible to be wrong on the issue, and thus, it is good to consider
the meaning of this passage and leave it in the text, just as with Jn
7:538:11.
16:9 He had risen early on the first day of the week. That is,
early Sunday morning. Mary Magdalene. See note on 15:40.
16:12,13 This incident is related in Lk 24:13-32.

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MARK 16:13
They went away and reported it to the
others, but they a did not believe them either.
14 Afterward a He appeared b to the
eleven themselves as they were reclining
at the table; and He reproached them for
their c unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had
seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He
said to them, a Go into all the world and
preach the gospel to all creation. 16 a He
who has believed and has been baptized
shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved
shall be condemned. 17 These 1 signs will
accompany those who have believed: a in
My name they will cast out demons, they
will b speak with new tongues; 18 they will
a pick up serpents, and if they drink any
deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they
will b lay hands on the sick, and they will
recover.
13

 1470 
13 a Mt 28:17; Mk
16:11, 14; Lk 24:11,
41; Jn 20:25
14 a Mk 16:12; Jn 21:1,
14 b Lk 24:36; Jn
20:19, 26; 1Co 15:5
c Mt 28:17; Mk 16:11,
13; Lk 24:11, 41; Jn
20:25
15 a Mt 28:19; Ac 1:8
16 a Jn 3:18, 36; Ac
16:31
17 1 Or attesting
miracles a Mk 9:38;
Lk 10:17; Ac 5:16;
8:7; 16:18; 19:12 b Ac
2:4; 10:46; 19:6; 1Co
12:10, 28, 30; 13:1;
14:2
18 a Lk 10:19; Ac 28:3-5
b Mk 5:23

19 a Ac 1:3 b Lk 9:51;
24:51; Jn 6:62; 20:17;
Ac 1:2, 9-11; 1Ti 3:16

16:14 the eleven. The 12 minus Judas, who had committed suicide (Mt 27:3-10). unbelief and hardness of heart. In not believing
the witnesses of the resurrection (vv. 12,13; cf. Lk 24:10, 11).
16:15,16 Similar to Matthews account of the Great Commission,
with the added contrast of those who have been baptized (believers) with those who refuse to believe and are condemned. Even if v.
16 is a genuine part of Marks gospel, it does not teach that baptism
saves, since the lost are condemned for unbelief, not for not being
baptized (see note on Ac 2:38).

The Ascension of Jesus


Lk 24:49-53; Ac 1:9
19 So then, when the Lord Jesus had
a spoken to them, He b was received up into
heaven and c sat down at the right hand of
God. 20 And they went out and preached
everywhere, while the Lord worked with
them, and confirmed the word by the
1 signs that followed.]
[2 And they promptly reported all these instructions to Peter and his companions. And
after that, Jesus Himself sent out through them
from east to west the sacred and imperishable
proclamation of eternal salvation.]

c Ps 110:1; Lk 22:69; Ac 7:55f; Ro 8:34; Eph 1:20; Col 3:1; Heb 1:3; 8:1;
10:12; 12:2; 1Pe 3:22 20 1 Or attesting miracles 2 A few late mss and
versions contain this paragraph, usually after v 8; a few have it at the
end of ch

16:17,18 These signs were promised to the apostolic community


(Mt 10:1; 2Co 12:12), not all believers in all ages (cf. 1Co 12:29,30).
All (with the exception of drinking poison) were experienced by
some in the apostolic church and reported in Scripture (e.g., Ac
28:5), but not afterward (cf. v. 20).
16:19 right hand of God. The place of honor Jesus assumed after
His ascension (see note on Ac 2:33).
16:20 confirmed the word by the signs. See notes on Ac 2:22;
2Co 12:12; Heb 2:4.