Mark 8

Feeding 4,000

1 In those days there was again a large crowd, and they had nothing to eat. He summoned the disciples and said to them,
2 "I have compassion on the crowd, because they've already stayed with Me three days and have nothing to eat.
3 If I send them home famished, [a] they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a long distance."
4 His disciples answered Him, "Where can anyone get enough bread here in this desolate place to fill these people?"
5 "How many loaves do you have?" He asked them. "Seven," they said.
6 Then He commanded the crowd to sit down on the ground. Taking the seven loaves, He gave thanks, broke the [loaves], and kept on giving [them] to His disciples to set before [the people]. So they served the [loaves] to the crowd.
7 They also had a few small fish, and when He had blessed them, He said these were to be served as well.
8 They ate and were filled. Then they collected seven large baskets of leftover pieces.
9 About 4,000 [men] were there. He dismissed them
10 and immediately got into the boat with His disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.[b]

The Yeast of the Pharisees and Herod

11 The Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, demanding of Him a sign from heaven to test Him.
12 But sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, "Why does this generation demand a sign? I assure you: No sign will be given to this generation!"
13 Then He left them, got on board [the boat] again, and went to the other side.
14 They had forgotten to take bread and had only one loaf with them in the boat.
15 Then He commanded them: "Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod."
16 They were discussing among themselves that they did not have any bread.
17 Aware of this, He said to them, "Why are you discussing that you do not have any bread? Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Is your heart hardened? [c]
18 Do you have eyes, and not see, and do you have ears, and not hear? [d] And do you not remember?
19 When I broke the five loaves for the 5,000, how many baskets full of pieces of bread did you collect?" "Twelve," they told Him.
20 "When I broke the seven loaves for the 4,000, how many large baskets full of pieces of bread did you collect?" "Seven," they said.
21 And He said to them, "Don't you understand yet?"

Healing a Blind Man

22 Then they came to Bethsaida. They brought a blind man to Him and begged Him to touch him.
23 He took the blind man by the hand and brought him out of the village. Spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, "Do you see anything?"
24 He looked up and said, "I see people-they look to me like trees walking."
25 Again Jesus placed His hands on the man's eyes, and he saw distinctly. He was cured and could see everything clearly.
26 Then He sent him home, saying, "Don't even go into the village." [e]

Peter's Confession of the Messiah

27 Jesus went out with His disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the road He asked His disciples, "Who do people say that I am?"
28 They answered Him, "John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, one of the prophets."
29 "But you," He asked them again, "who do you say that I am?" Peter answered Him, "You are the Messiah!"
30 And He strictly warned them to tell no one about Him.

His Death and Resurrection Predicted

31 Then He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, be killed, and rise after three days.
32 He was openly talking about this. So Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.
33 But turning around and looking at His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind Me, Satan, because you're not thinking about God's concerns, [f] but man's!"

Take Up Your Cross

34 Summoning the crowd along with His disciples, He said to them, "If anyone wants to be My follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.
35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me and the gospel will save it.
36 For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his life?
37 What can a man give in exchange for his life?
38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."

Mark 8 Commentary

Chapter 8

Four thousand fed by a miracle. (1-10) Christ cautions against the Pharisees and Herodians. (11-21) A blind man healed. (22-26) Peter's testimony to Christ. (27-33) Christ must be followed. (34-38)

Verses 1-10 Our Lord Jesus encouraged the meanest to come to him for life and grace. Christ knows and considers our frames. The bounty of Christ is always ready; to show that, he repeated this miracle. His favours are renewed, as our wants and necessities are. And those need not fear want, who have Christ to live upon by faith, and do so with thanksgiving.

Verses 11-21 Obstinate unbelief will have something to say, though ever so unreasonable. Christ refused to answer their demand. If they will not be convinced, they shall not. Alas! what cause we have to lament for those around us, who destroy themselves and others by their perverse and obstinate unbelief, and enmity to the gospel! When we forget the works of God, and distrust him, we should chide ourselves severely, as Christ here reproves his disciples. How is it that we so often mistake his meaning, disregard his warnings, and distrust his providence?

Verses 22-26 Here is a blind man brought to Christ by his friends. Therein appeared the faith of those that brought him. If those who are spiritually blind, do not pray for themselves, yet their friends and relations should pray for them, that Christ would be pleased to touch them. The cure was wrought gradually, which was not usual in our Lord's miracles. Christ showed in what method those commonly are healed by his grace, who by nature are spiritually blind. At first, their knowledge is confused; but, like the light of the morning, it shines more and more to the perfect day, and then they see all things clearly. Slighting Christ's favours is forfeiting them; and he will make those who do so know the worth of privileges by the want of them.

Verses 27-33 These things are written, that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. These miracles of our Lord assure us that he was not conquered, but a Conqueror. Now the disciples are convinced that Jesus is the Christ; they may bear to hear of his sufferings, of which Christ here begins to give them notice. He sees that amiss in what we say and do, of which we ourselves are not aware, and knows what manner of spirit we are of, when we ourselves do not. The wisdom of man is folly, when it pretends to limit the Divine counsels. Peter did not rightly understand the nature of Christ's kingdom.

Verses 34-38 Frequent notice is taken of the great flocking there was to Christ for help in various cases. All are concerned to know this, if they expect him to heal their souls. They must not indulge the ease of the body. As the happiness of heaven with Christ, is enough to make up for the loss of life itself for him, so the gain of all the world in sin, will not make up for the ruin of the soul by sin. And there is a day coming, when the cause of Christ will appear as glorious, as some now think it mean and contemptible. May we think of that season, and view every earthly object as we shall do at that great day.

Footnotes 6

  • [a]. Or fasting
  • [b]. Probably on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee
  • [c]. Mk 6:52
  • [d]. Jr 5:21; Ezk 12:2
  • [e]. Other mss add or tell anyone in the village
  • [f]. Lit about the things of God

Mark 8 Commentaries