"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Death of John the Baptist
Mark 6:1-29 Commentary
by Robert Beck
When Jesus returns to his home place, he meets resistance.
Where earlier his family had moved to intervene and bring him home (Mark 3:12), now that he is there, he isn’t welcome. For some time, people have been responding to his call away from fear, toward belief (4:40; 5:33-34, 36). But not at Nazareth (6:6).
Mission of the Twelve and Herod’s surmise
If these doors are closed, it is time to knock on others. He sends the Twelve out on mission. They leave, two by two, with instructions. With this, a widening of Jesus’ mission begins, reaching areas beyond the edges of Galilee. It is marked by Herod’s question concerning the identity of Jesus. The answer (Mark 4:14-16) will be repeated when Mark’s narrative comes to the end of its Galilee phase (8:27-30), as Jesus and his followers turn toward Jerusalem, for the final act.
While the Twelve are away, Mark reports the death of the Baptist. Some scholars suggest that Mark’s gospel was intended to be recited aloud, rather than read quietly. It ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 395: Death of John the Baptist
February 09, 2020
Podcast on the Narrative Lectionary readings for Feb. 9, 2020, (Death of John the Baptist) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.