Eighth Sunday after Pentecost (July 15th)

Pastor;s Summary of Mark 6:14-29

Jesus' disciples have gone out, preached repentance, cast out demons, and cured many sick people but, while the crowds mill round him, the authorities are beginning to reject him. Some people think he is John the Baptist (now dead) working powers, miracles. But others see Jesus' actions as sign of the end of the era: that he is "Elijah" (who was taken up to heaven, 2 Kings 2:11, and was expected to return at Judgement Day, Malachi 4:5), or a prophetic figure, or a prophet like Moses (promised in Sinai)-but not that he is the Messiah, also expected at that time. Herod's rection is: Not John back again! (v. 16)

Mark inserts a flashback to the story of John the Baptist to tell what discipleship may cost; anticipate Jesus' fate, and that of some disciples. Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Galilee, has had John arrested (v. 17) because he had denounced Herod for marrying his brother's wife, illegal per Leviticus 18:16; 20-21. Even so, because he found John fascinating ("liked to listen to him", and recognized his worthiness, he did not wish him dead. But Herodias "wanted to kill him" (v. 19). The story of her victory is horrifying tale. V 29 foreshadows Jesus' buried in 15:45-46, but there his disciples desert him.