Key Verse | Mark 6:50

[F]or they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid." 

Scripture | Mark 6

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief.

And he went about among the villages teaching.

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles

And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts— but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. 1 10 And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. 11 And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.

The Death of John the Baptist

14 King Herod heard of it, for Jesus' 2 name had become known. Some 3 said, “John the Baptist 4 has been raised from the dead. That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.” 15 But others said, “He is Elijah.” And others said, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” 16 But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” 17 For it was Herod who had sent and seized John and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because he had married her. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife.” 19 And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death. But she could not, 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly.

21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22 For when Herodias's daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.” 23 And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.” 24 And she went out and said to her mother, “For what should I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.” 25 And she came in immediately with haste 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 the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. 27 And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John's 5 head. He went and beheaded him 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 of it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. 35 And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. 36 Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii 6 worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” 38 And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. 41 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And they all ate and were satisfied. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.

Jesus Walks on the Water

45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. 47 And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48 And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night 7 he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, 50 for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 51 And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

Jesus Heals the Sick in Gennesaret

53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. 54 And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him 55 and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.


[1] 6:9 Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin
[2] 6:14 Greek his
[3] 6:14 Some manuscripts He
[4] 6:14 Greek baptizer; also verse 24
[5] 6:27 Greek his
[6] 6:37 A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer
[7] 6:48 That is, between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Do You Recognize Him? Behold!

Devo | Mark 6

Do you recognize Him? Behold!

The essential meaning of "to recognize":

1. To know and remember (someone or something) because of previous knowledge or experience;

2. To accept or be aware that...

Do you recognize Him? Behold!

The essential meaning of "to recognize":

1. To know and remember (someone or something) because of previous knowledge or experience;

2. To accept or be aware that (something) is true or exists;

3. To accept and approve of (something) as having legal or official authority.

Astonished family, friends, and neighbors in Nazareth did not recognize Him. Jesus marveled because of their unbelief (Mark 6:6). 

Jesus called His 12 disciples, sent them out and gave them authority over the unclean spirits, and gave them instructions. They served Him and were with Him, but they also did not recognize Him until He got into the boat with them and the wind ceased (Mark 6:51-52). They did not understand because their hearts were hardened.

John the Baptist, Jesus' cousin, did recognize Him, and it cost John the Baptist his life.  

Herod Antipas did not recognize Jesus (Mark 6:14-16). Herod thought Jesus was John the Baptist, whom Herod had beheaded and whom Herod thought had returned from the dead.

The crowd in the desolate place did recognize Jesus (Mark 6:33). The 5,000 men and the women and children accompanying them all ate and were satisfied. 

The crowd at Gennesaret (where Simon a/k/a Peter was first called in Luke 5:1) immediately recognized Jesus (Mark 6:33-34). They brought sick people to Him and all who touched even His clothes were healed.

Do we recognize Jesus at work in our lives?  What would it take to recognize Him? Would it take witnessing some amazing miracle in our life or the life of someone we love? Are we full and satisfied, or do we want more? I want all of Him!  I want Him to fill my life with Himself—whatever that looks like! I want to be His beloved disciple always. I don't want to miss what He is doing in my life or what He is saying to me through His Word or His people. I want to serve Him with gladness and love Him well. Lord, help us not to have hard hearts and help us to recognize You!

Discussion Questions

1. Jesus the Good Shepherd has a great picnic planned! Have you seen God's greatness and goodness and yet still struggle to believe? Is your heart hardened? Ask the Lord to soften it.

2. Do you fear rejection? Do you reject others because you are afraid of rejection? Are you a people pleaser like Herod who would do anything for approval?

3. The disciples were sent out with faith alone.  Are you like me—ready for anything and have something to meet everyone's needs? Are you carrying too much baggage and need to learn to let go and let God work through you?

Meet Katherine Thomas

Mark: Name of my beloved husband (married for 36 years), my favorite re|engage leader, and father of my son and daughter.  

6: Age when I came to believe in Jesus as my savior and friend and the number of my wonderful grandchildren.  

Mark and I have been serving in re|engage, and I love serving couples with Jesus and him. I love serving women and children in Women's Bible Study. But most of all, I love spending time with Jesus each morning and abiding in Him daily, and Join The Journey has been a great way to do that. 



9 Comments available

Hugh Stephenson 6 days ago

GM Katherine! THANK YOU both for serving in re|engage and WBS! What an amazing ministry. I am sure the Lord has blessed many people through y’all’s faithfulness.

Q1. I have seen God provide so many miracles that it would take more faith to NOT believe than to believe. Chief among them is my own healing from addiction. I am taught that His miracles validate the message and the messenger. So, this chapter encourages me greatly.

Q2. I used to be a first-class people pleaser; especially when it came to enabling my prodigals. Spending many seasons in the Word via Prodigal, re:gen, Forgotten Fathers, Equipping ministries etc. has redirected my focus to Him, (Galatians 1:10, Hebrews 12:1-3, Galatians 5:1).

Q3. I’ll always be carrying too much baggage, (Romans 3:23). The temptation to overpack and over prepare is nearly irresistible. Like so many other sins, God has shown me He will provide.

Hugh Stephenson 6 days ago

Thinking today about what this chapter tells me about God’s design for mission for me.

BELIEVE - (Mark 6:3). In Nazareth I see that “no mighty work” could be done without belief in who Jesus really is, (Matthew 16:15). I’m called to know Jesus so well and have a relationship with Him of such depth and intimacy that it’s become part of my DNA, my core identity.

GO - (Mark 6:7). If I am to be a latter-day apostle, (one who is sent), living into my calling means GO! Carry nothing material. He will give me all the spiritual provision needed. During the journey, I will be tempted by Satan to be drawn off mission. Titus 3:10-11 Informs me. As does Hebrews 12:1-3.

PROCLAIM - (Mark 6:34). teach, testify, evangelize. Seek the healing of sheep who are afflicted; and of sheep who are lost, (Luke 15:1-7).

Hugh Stephenson 6 days ago

GIVE - (Mark 6:37). Jesus calls me to be His hand and feet. If I kick back to Him what He intends for me to do, then He’ll just kick it right back.

TRUST - (Mark 6:38). God has told me to be His hands and feet. If He gives me a task, He will provide what I need for that task.

OBEY - (Mark 6:39-40). He will give me clear direction on how to fulfill my calling and the task at hand.

PROVISION - (Mark 6:41-44). God may call me into a mission where His supernatural work will need to be brought to bear. In knowledge of Him, my trust, surrender and obedience may compel me to pray for this supernatural work. His work may be way more impactful than I am able to imagine.

Jermaine Harrison 5 days ago

Thanks for highlighting the pattern of recognition and non-recognition in this chapter Katherine. Verse 56 stood out to me today because as Jesus was ministering to people, many came seeking healing by just touching the hem of his cloak. It’s obvious they had heard the story of the bleeding woman, and how her courageous faith brought healing. I love the idea that her boldness embolden others, her faith inspired faith in others. I pray that today, our living for Christ would encourage others to do the same!


Thank you Katherine! Our whole Community Group is doing re|engage this summer. Hope to see you around. I’ll try to “recognize” you from your picture.

But seriously, I never saw at the literary connection of recognition and blessing, so thanks for drawing attention to that. Also, how recognition of our need and His supply compels us to meet with him.

Those that recognize(d) Jesus were much better off: healed, satisfied. Re: JTB, to live is Christ and die is gain.

It’s crazy to ponder. I’ve seen four close and dear families of mine lose a loved one in the last couple of months. Two were “close to home.” Never enough time, it seems.

Here’s the deal….Even in death, “recognition” of Jesus is the most palatable hope I’m able to comprehend. So today I will hear him say, “Take heart. It is I, so not be afraid.” (Mark 6:50)

Sue Bohlin 5 days ago

Thanks so much, Katherine!

I see hardened hearts show up in three places in this chapter: in Jesus’ hometown where the people’s unbelief amazed Him (and not in a good way); Herodias and her daughter, who was able to waltz into Herod’s party with JTB’s head on a platter (I mean really–how gruesome was that!!!); and the Twelve, who completely missed the lesson of Jesus feeding 5000 men plus women and children with a handful of loaves and fishes.

I think the hard-hearted unbelief must have grieved His heart. Lord, please poke me when I’m in danger of hard-hearted unbelief so I can repent and turn to You in trust!

Michael Scaman 5 days ago

Jesus calms the winds and waves twice (Mark 4 and 6). The disciples were still astonished even the second time.

Jesus did advise the disciples to get away to a desolate place ad pray and rest after they went out to the cities preaching repentance.

Michael Scaman 5 days ago

Herod was paranoid, knowing “John was a holy and righteous man” but that didn’t stop Herod from killing John. That’s a hard heart.

Herod was conflicted, he listened to John but didn’t take it to heart. He feared John but didn’t repent.

Linda Green 5 days ago

Insightful take on these verses- you have made me think about recognizing our need, which can drive us to Jesus. In my early years, I would shake my spiritual fist at God about suffering in this world.

But what brought the crowds to Jesus? Some were just curious but many more were suffering, hungry, and in need of a Deliverer. Just like what brings us to Jesus now. Am now trying to wrap my mind around the truth that whatever suffering I encounter is meant to lead me to my Savior. That is a part of the goodness of God.

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