The lion of St Mark


Chapter 6: Overview

We begin by reading through the chapter as usual so as to sort out the various episodes. We can see that there is a new beginning in 6,1 and another in 7,1. The key to this chapter is to spot the sandwich in the middle. What might be the message of this sandwich?
How then do the other parts of the chapter fit together?
How does the first incident relate to the healings of chapter 5?
How has the second part of the chapter been edited? The Gospel of John is interesting here, Jn 6,1-21.

Then take a look at my response.

Reading the chapter

For this chapter it's easiest to take practical divisions as the basis of our reading, with a reasonable number of verses for each page. This won't fit exactly the editing of the chapter that we have discovered and this we will have to keep in mind as we read.

The first page therefore can read the two short episodes that open the chapter. We read first the incident at Nazareth, 6,1-6a which can be seen as closing the preceding chapter. We then continue by reading on the same page the mission of the twelve, 6,6b-13, even though it opens a new section of the chapter. Our first page therefore will be 6,1-13 with its two parts.

The second page will then read about Herod and the fate of John the Baptist, 6,14-29.

The third page will look at the return of the twelve and the feeding of the crowd, remembering that this return also closes the sandwich. That makes this page 6,30-44.

The fourth page finally will be the remainder of the chapter, 6,45-56. This includes the episode of the walking on the water even though it is traditionally linked to the feeding of the crowd.

The Sunday Gospels

Much of this chapter is read on Sundays. After the 15th Sunday (Mk 6,1-6), the presentation is not however straightforward. This is best considered as we go along.

Let us now begin our reading with the scene at Nazareth and the mission of the apostles, 6,1-13.