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Gospel of mark

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MARK 6:14-16 [MATTHEW 14:1-2, LUKE 9:7-9] see HARMONY 74-10
14 And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. 15 Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets. 16 But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.






Hear [Aorist Active Indicative]




Spread abroad


Become [Aorist Middle Indicative]



Say [Imperfect Active Indicative]

Was risen


Rise up [Perfect Passive Indicative]




Mighty Works


Great works

Shew forth


Show forth, Demonstrate [Present Active Indicative]



Others of the same kind



Say [Imperfect Active Indicative]



Keep on being [Present Active Indicative]



Say [Imperfect Active Indicative]



Keep on being [Present Active Indicative]









Hear [Aorist Active Participle]



Say [Imperfect Active Indicative]



Keep on being



Behead [Aorist Active Indicative]



Rise up [Aorist Passive Indicative]




14 And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. 15 Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets. 16 But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.
The miraculous activity of Jesus and the twelve throughout Galilee caught the attention of Herod Antipas son of Herod the Great. Herod Antipas was the Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, as a “client king” under the control of the Roman Senate from 4 BC to 39 AD. Officially he was not a full king, but called a tetrarch, however Mark’s use of the title king probably reflected local custom in view of Herod's political ambitions. He was seriously proud and ambitious, and immoral, and all his plots unhinged around his ears within five years of the Lord’s execution and resurrection.
This passage presents three opinions which were current unbelieving attempts to account for Jesus miraculous powers. It was believed by some, that he was either John the Baptist, who had risen from the dead, or Elijah, who was stated to be a forerunner of the Messiah in Malachi 4:5-6, or a prophet resuming the suspended line of Israel’s prophets.
Herod had ordered the death of John the Baptist, and so he was both intrigued and fearful of Jesus. He is an older man by this time and yet still insecure, as most evil lust filled men remain. Despite other opinions and options, Herod was troubled by his guilty conscience, and remains convinced at this point that Jesus was the man he had beheaded. Herod believed John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and was using miraculous powers. He thinks back to the execution, and we have Mark record the details of this event in verses 17 -29.
It is noted that in verse 16 “having heard” [participle form of Akouo], he kept on saying [Imperfect from of Epo] at this time. He had heard the evidence and came back to the conclusion that it was John the Baptist back from the dead. He will realize that this is not correct later. Guilty pagans will believe anything except face the truth about their lives and need for a Saviour. Psalm 53:1-5.
The power of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of other believers, often cause problems to people in high positions. In the case of some of the Caesars of the Roman Empire this led to them killing the best citizens in the provinces because as Christians they would not accept Caesar as god.
We should never underestimate the influence of a person who is under the control of the Holy Spirit. Without realizing it we may be convicting people of their sins and bringing them to the same place Herod got to by the ministry of Jesus and the Disciples. We should not think that a person in power is more stable or happier than people who appear to be inconsequential as far as history is concerned. Often celebrities and others in the media’s focus are amongst the most miserable and unstable people in society. They are often threatened by the truth we preach.
Whilst a person may be seen to be in a place of great power their conscience can give them some tremendous problems because of the evil that they have done. The guilty conscience of a person can also cause that person to make major errors of judgment.

The reason why people in Herod’s entourage we confused as to who Jesus might be is covered in part by the following prophecies.
Malachi 4:5,6 (425 BC): Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
1. The Old Testament closes with these verses from Malachi, looking forward to the day of the second advent of Jesus Christ specifically. A herald, Elijah, will come to prepare the way of the king. Like many prophecies the prediction of Elijah's return has a dual fulfilment in both cases the person acting as the herald of Jesus Christ
2. Malachi, in common with other Old Testament prophets, saw both advents of the Messiah blended into one horizon. He did not seethe separating interval described in Matthew 13:16,17. In addition, because of the lack of knowledge of the Church Age, this extended period was not seen in his prophecy (Ephesians 3:5; Colossians 1:26).
Matthew 17:12,13 (32 AD): But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
1. The initial fulfilment of this prophecy was in the person of John the Baptist, who was the herald of the Lord Jesus Christ at his first advent.

2. Recognising John as a man of God, the priests and Levites questioned him closely as to whether he was Elijah or not (Johnl:15-28) John states he is not Elijah (John 1:21), but is a type of Elijah and would have been Elijah if Jesus Christ had been accepted at the first advent.

3. Both John and Elijah had similar ministries, with John exhorting the Jews to repentance (Matthew 3:1-12) and Elijah encouraging the conversion of the unbeliever in the Tribulation (Revelation 11:3).
Revelation 11:3-6 (Tribulation): And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
1 . Elijah here appears with Moses, as witnesses to warn the population of the world of the coming judgment of God.
2. Both heralds, John and the second Elijah, complete their ministry with martyrdom.
3. Because Elijah dies again in Revelation 11:9 it shows that he has as yet not received his resurrection body, which is imperishable. He will receive it at the second advent of Christ at the completion of the age of the Jews.
4. Elijah appears at the Second Advent of Christ with Moses, as shown at the Mount of Transfigura­tion (Matthew 17:1-13).

Malachi 3:1 (425 BC): Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
Malachi prophesied of the provision of a messenger to precede the Lord, to preach the good news and prepare the way for his arrival.
Mark 1:2; [30 AD] - As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Luke 1:76,77 [30 AD] And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
Luke 7:27,28 (30 AD): This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
1. John the Baptist is shown to be the messenger before the Lord predicted by Malachi.

2. John prepared the way for Jesus Christ by calling the attention of the Jews to the need to repent.

3. John is stated to be the greatest of the prophets, but less than the least in the kingdom of heaven: showing that the greatest which man can do is far less than what God can do through man, or what we will be like in our future state (1 Corinthians 15:22).
Isaiah 40:3 (712 BC): The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
In the year that Samaria went into dispersion, Isaiah informed King Hezekiah that Judah in the future would itself be carried in captivity to Babylon (Isaiah 39:6). Chapter 40 begins the second part of the prophecy of Isaiah, looking beyond these captivities to the suffering of Jesus Christ, culminating in Isaiah 53, and the Davidic kingdom which is to follow. In Isaiah 40:3-5 the mission of John the Baptist is outlined.
Matthew 3:3 (30 AD) For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Mark 1:3 (30 AD) The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
John 1:23 (30 AD) He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.:
1. John's role in calling for national repentance is portrayed by Isaiah stating that the voice would be crying out in the wilderness.
2. Preparation of straight paths is analogous to repentance and reconciliation with God.
3. John operated in the wilderness near the River Jordan. He wore a camels hair coat and ate locusts and wild honey. The religious leaders of Jerusalem came out and examined his ministry, as the truth he was teaching caused large crowds to gather in the wilderness (Matthew 3:1-12).
4. John recognised himself as a voice. As one seeing Jesus, he said, "He must increase and I must decrease".
The message remains unchanged. The voice showed that is it is the message, not the messenger, which is important.
1. SCRIPTURE 1 Kings 17 -19,21; 2 Kings 1,2.

Elijah was a 9th Century BC prophet. His name meant "Jehovah is God". He has very little background mentioned in the Bible even though he is one of the greatest prophets in Jewish history. He was called a Tishbite from Gilead (1 Kings 17:1) and suddenly appeared on the scene. He confronted Ahab with a prediction of drought (1 Kings 17) and retired to the desert. He reappeared where he challenged the prophets of Baal in the Mount Carmel contest (1 Kings 18). Having won a great victory over paganism he fled from Jezebel to Horeb where he resided in despair (1 Kings 19) (see Moses, Topic 30). The second half of his ministry involved the Naboth incident (1 Kings 21) and predicted judgment on Ahaziah for idolatry (2 Kings 1). Like Enoch before him, Elijah was translated without dying, in a fiery chariot (2 Kings 2) leaving his prophet's mantle to Elisha.


a) Ahab accuses Elijah of causing problems in Israel (1 Kings 18:17).

b) Elijah tells Ahab that the problems in Israel are caused by Ahab's disobedience to God's laws (1 Kings 18:18).

c) He challenges Ahab to assemble the prophets of Baal who were being kept at public expense to Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:19,20). They number 450.

d) Elijah tells the crowd that he is the last remaining prophet of the Lord and sets up a test of who is the true God (1 Kings 18:21-24).

e) The prophets of Baal, with incantation and ritual, attempt to invoke their God but to no effect (1 Kings 18:25-29).

f) Elijah now copies Joshua at Gilgal and makes an altar of 12 stones, places a bullock on wood and pours water on the sacrifice (1 Kings 18:30-36).

g) The power of God is demonstrated with fire from heaven consuming the sacrifice (1 Kings 18:38).

h) The drought which had been afflicting the land for 31/2 years was now broken (1 Kings 18:41-46).

i) Jezebel the queen reacted to the death of the priests of Baal who had been slaughtered at Elijah's insistence (1 Kings 18:40) and threatened to kill Elijah.

j) Elijah becomes depressed and flees into the wilderness. God provides food whilst he is under the juniper tree (1 Kings 19:4-8).

k) Dwelling in a cave at Mount Horeb, the Lord shows wind, fire and earthquake but the Lord is not in them (1 Kings 19:9-1 1).

l) The Lord appears in a still small voice and tells Elijah that he is not the last believer but that there are 7000 other servants of the Lord in Israel. He is to go and find Elisha, his successor as prophet; and anoint Jehu King over Israel (1 Kings 19:12-18).

a) Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).

b) Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).

c) Nothing is impossible with God (Mark 10:27).

d) The battle is the Lord's (1 Samuel 17:47).

e) God will provide great victories against apparently superior forces (cf. Gideon).

f) It is possible for a spiritual giant to become depressed and disillusioned (John 21:3).

g) In times of trouble the Lord will give guidance (Psalm 42:1 1).

h) God will not prosper a nation which has become apostate (Deuteronomy 28:15-68).

i) The Lord always has faithful representatives to continue His work in the devil's world.

j) Elijah parallels Moses his fellow herald at the Second Advent in many ways.

i) Both went to Horeb where God spoke to them.

ii) Both had a mysterious end to their ministry.

iii) Both are heralds at the Second Advent (Revelation 11).

iv) God used fire in both cases as a demonstration of power.

v) Both seen on the Mount of Transfiguration.

vi) Both had noteworthy successors.

k) The servant who fails can again have a major part to play in the plan of God (Jonah).

1. There are two witnesses mentioned in Revelation 11 who perform miracles and powerfully preach the Word of God from Jerusalem during the first half of the Tribulation.
2. Three resuscitated Old Testament saints are generally considered for the role of the two witnesses, Elijah, Moses and Enoch.
3. The Identity of the Two Witnesses
Jesus is returning as the King of the Jews, his heralds that point to his coming should therefore be Jews.

In the tribulation the Jews are responsible for spreading the good news. (Revelation 7)

Enoch who was translated before the flood as a type of rapture was a Gentile, Abraham being the first Jew. He is therefore not considered to be one of the witnesses.
Jesus gives identification to the witnesses in (Matthew 16:28-17:3) Moses and Elijah.
In (Malachi 4:5,6) if Jesus had been accepted at the first advent John the Baptist would have been Elijah.
In (Luke 1:16,17) John is put on the same footing as Elijah.
However John the Baptist was not Elijah (John 1:21)
John takes Elijah's place at the first advent (Matthew 11:11-14, Matthew 17:10-13).
Their miracles are typical of their work in the Old Testament. Elijah caused a drought. (Revelation 11:6),
Moses turned water into blood and brought forth plagues. (Revelation 11:6)
4. It is therefore concluded that the two witnesses of Revelation 11 are Moses and Elijah.
A herald is a person who preceded a King in ancient times to announce his arrival. The King that we study is the Lord Jesus Christ.
a) First Advent:

i) Human herald - John the Baptist (Matthew 3)

ii) Angelic heralds - Angels (Luke 2:1-15).
b) Second Advent:

i) Human heralds - Moses, Elijah (Revelation 11)

ii) Angelic herald - The mighty angel (Revelation 10).
1. SCRIPTURE Matthew 3:1-15; Mark 6:14-29; Luke 1:5-25, 57-80.

John the Baptist (or Baptiser) was born in 6 BC to Zacharias the priest of the course of Abia (Luke 1:5) and Elisabeth, both of whom were descended from Aaron. He was related to Jesus through his mother, who was a cousin of Mary (Luke 1:36). He grew to manhood in the wilderness of Judea (Luke 1:80). He received his prophetic call (Luke 3:2) and became famous as an unorthodox preacher calling for national repentance. Jesus called John the greatest prophet (Luke 7:28) under the old covenant. He dressed in a coat of camel hair and ate locusts and wild honey. Many flocked to hear him preaching. He baptised those who had repented but refused the religious leaders who considered baptism as a possible source of power, calling them vipers (Matthew 3:1-7). Jesus was baptised by John to commence His ministry, John pointing to Him as the Messiah and contrasting his water baptism with the future spirit baptism of Christ (Matthew 3:11). John returned to the area of Herod Antipas (or Herod the Fox) causing turmoil with his messianic teaching. He also criticised Herod for marrying his brother Philip's wife Herodias. He was imprisoned in the Perean fortress of Machaerus and eventually beheaded (Mark 6:17-29). John was the herald of the king, Jesus Christ the Messiah.

3. EVALUATION: Matthew 3:1-12.

a) John preached in the wilderness. There are no people in the desert but people flock to hear him (verse 1).

b) His message is four-fold:

c) Identification of Jesus Christ (John 1:29).

d) The message is more important than the messenger (John 3:30).

e) A call to repentance (Matthew 3:2).

f) Faith in Christ brings salvation (Acts 19:4).

g) He shows he is fulfilling Isaiah 40:3 (verse 3).

h) The crowds did not go to see a fine dresser but went to hear his message (verses 4,5).

i) He baptised in the Jordan those who had confessed their sins (verse 6).

j) Religious leaders from Jerusalem approached John for baptism. John was intolerant of them and warned them of the baptism of fire to come (verse 7).

k) He tells them to produce good of eternal value which can only be performed after conversion (verse 8).

l) The Pharisees and Sadducees were proud of their ancestry to Abraham but John warns them that this will not save them (Romans 9:6-8) (verse 9).

m) The future dispersion of Israel is prophesied (verse 10) and that unbelievers will be judged.

n) John announces Jesus Christ as one who would give the superior baptism of the Holy Spirit or fire (verses 11,12).

o) The herald, who, through a fore-shadowing of Elijah (Malachi 4:5), is not Elijah (John 1:20-34), baptises the king, Jesus Christ to commence Jesus' ministry (verses 13-15) (Acts 10:37,38; 13:24,25).


a) Before the king are heralds: John the Baptist and the Herald angels for the first advent, and Moses and Elijah and the mighty angel for the second advent (Revelation 11:3-6).

b) As a herald, John emphasised the person and ministry of the king rather than his own ministry (John 3:30).

c) There are many messengers but only one message. Messengers pass away but the Word of God abides forever (Luke 21:33).

d) Tradition and religion are antagonistic to the truth (Matthew 23).

e) Divine good can only be produced by believers (Hebrews 11:3-39; James 2:18).

f) Ritual without reality has no meaning; in fact it can be a stumbling block (Isaiah 1:11).

g) Your ancestry or culture is unimportant as far as God is concerned (Romans 2:10,11). God treats everyone on an individual basis.

h) Christ is the answer to every problem (John 14:6).
1. Conscience is awareness of what is right and what is wrong, the ability to discern between good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14)
2. Conscience is imperfect, since it is based on human knowledge and ability.
3. Conscience is found in both saved and unsaved.
4. In the believer

a) it testifies (2 Corinthians 1:12).

b) it bears witness in the Holy Spirit (Romans 9:1).

c) it should be good (1 Timothy 1:5);

d) it leads to submission (1 Peter 2:19).

e) it is pure (1 Timothy 3:9).

5. In the unbeliever

a) it justified Paul's actions (Acts 23:1);

b) it convicted the scribes (John 8:9);

c) it bears witness (Romans 2:15);

d) it may be defiled (Titus 1:15);

e) it can be seared (1 Timothy 4:2).

6. A believer with a weak conscience has no right to evaluate any other believer (1 Corinthians 10:27-30).
7. The conscience in (1 Corinthians 8:1,13) causes Christians to act in a compassionate and thoughtful way in relation to weaker brothers.
8. The conscience works in conjunction with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. (Romans 9:1)

a) People who refuse to heed the conviction of God in the conscience "harden their hearts" and their conscience becomes less receptive (Ephesians 4:17-19, 1 Timothy 4:2)..

b) When the conscience is completely blinded, God delivers people over to their own delusions. (Romans 1:18-32, Revelation 17:8, 1 Timothy 4:1,2).

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