Mark 8

Listen to Mark 8

Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand

1 1In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them,
2 2"I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat.
3 And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away."
4 And his disciples answered him, "How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?"
5 And he asked them, "How many loaves do you have?" They said, 3"Seven."
6 And he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves, and 4having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd.
7 And they had a few small fish. And 5having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them.
8 And 6they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, 7seven baskets full.
9 And there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away.
10 And immediately he got into 8the boat with his disciples and went to the district of 9Dalmanutha.[a]

The Pharisees Demand a Sign

11 10The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, 11seeking from him 12a sign from heaven 13to test him.
12 And 14he sighed deeply 15in his spirit and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation."
13 And 16he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side.

The Leaven of the Pharisees and Herod

14 Now they had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
15 And he cautioned them, saying, "Watch out; 17beware of 18the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of 19Herod."[b]
16 And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread.
17 And 20Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? 21Do you not yet perceive 22or understand? 23Are your hearts hardened?
18 24Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?
19 When I broke 25the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?" They said to him, "Twelve."
20 "And 26the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?" And they said to him, "Seven."
21 And he said to them, "Do you not yet understand?"

Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida

22 And they came 27to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him.
23 And 28he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when 29he had 30spit on his eyes and 31laid his hands on him, he asked him, "Do you see anything?"
24 And he looked up and said, "I see men, but they look like trees, walking."
25 Then Jesus[c] laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
26 And he sent him to his home, saying, 32"Do not even enter the village."

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

27 33And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?"
28 And they told him, 34"John the Baptist; and others say, 35Elijah; and others, one of the prophets."
29 And he asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, 36"You are 37the Christ."
30 38And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

31 39And he began to teach them that 40the Son of Man must 41suffer many things and 42be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and 43after three days rise again.
32 And he said this 44plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, 45"Get behind me, Satan! For you 46are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man."
34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, "If anyone would come after me, let him 47deny himself and 48take up his cross and follow me.
35 For 49whoever would save his life[d] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake 50and the gospel's will save it.
36 51For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?
37 For 52what can a man give in return for his soul?
38 For 53whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this 54adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed 55when he comes in the glory of his Father with 56the 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.

Cross References 56

  • 1. For ver. 1-10, see Matthew 15:32-39; [Mark 6:32-44]
  • 2. [Matthew 9:36]
  • 3. Matthew 16:10
  • 4. Mark 14:23; Matthew 26:27; Luke 22:17, 19; John 6:11, 23; Acts 27:35; Romans 14:6; 1 Corinthians 10:30; 1 Corinthians 11:24; 1 Corinthians 14:16; 1 Timothy 4:3, 4
  • 5. See Matthew 14:19
  • 6. [2 Kings 4:42-44]
  • 7. [See ver. 5 above]
  • 8. See Mark 3:9
  • 9. [Matthew 15:39]
  • 10. For ver. 11-21, see Matthew 16:1-12
  • 11. 1 Corinthians 1:22; See Matthew 12:38
  • 12. Luke 11:16; Luke 21:11
  • 13. John 8:6
  • 14. Mark 7:34
  • 15. John 11:33
  • 16. Matthew 4:13; Matthew 21:17
  • 17. Luke 12:1
  • 18. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8; Galatians 5:9
  • 19. [Mark 3:6; Mark 12:13]
  • 20. Matthew 26:10
  • 21. Mark 7:18
  • 22. Mark 6:52
  • 23. Mark 6:52
  • 24. Jeremiah 5:21; Ezekiel 12:2; [Isaiah 42:18, 19; Isaiah 43:8; Matthew 13:13]
  • 25. Mark 6:41, 44
  • 26. ver. 6, 9
  • 27. See Mark 6:45
  • 28. Mark 7:33
  • 29. Mark 7:33
  • 30. John 9:6
  • 31. See Mark 5:23
  • 32. ver. 23; [Matthew 8:4]
  • 33. For ver. 27-29, see Matthew 16:13-16; Luke 9:18-20
  • 34. Mark 6:14; Matthew 14:2; Luke 9:7
  • 35. Luke 9:8; [Mark 9:11; Matthew 17:10; John 1:21]
  • 36. John 11:27
  • 37. Mark 14:61, 62; See Matthew 1:17
  • 38. Matthew 16:20; Luke 9:21; See Matthew 12:16
  • 39. For ch. 8:31 - 9:1, see Matthew 16:21-28; Luke 9:22-27
  • 40. Mark 10:33; [Luke 13:33]
  • 41. Mark 9:30, 31; Matt. 17:12, 22, 23; Luke 24:7
  • 42. Luke 17:25; 1 Peter 2:4; [Mark 12:10]
  • 43. Mark 10:34; Matthew 27:63; [Matthew 12:40]; See John 2:19
  • 44. John 16:25
  • 45. [Matthew 4:10]
  • 46. Romans 8:5; Philippians 3:19; Colossians 3:2; [Philippians 2:5]
  • 47. [2 Timothy 2:12, 13]
  • 48. See Matthew 10:38, 39
  • 49. [See ver. 34 above]
  • 50. Mark 10:29; [1 Corinthians 9:23; 2 Timothy 1:8; Philemon 13]
  • 51. [Luke 12:20]
  • 52. [Psalms 49:7, 8]
  • 53. Romans 1:16; 2 Tim. 1:8, 12, 16; Hebrews 11:16; 1 John 2:28; [Matthew 10:33]
  • 54. Isaiah 57:3; Matthew 12:39; James 4:4
  • 55. Daniel 7:10, 13; Zechariah 14:5; Matthew 24:30; Matthew 25:31; Matthew 26:64; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Jude 14; Revelation 1:7; [Deuteronomy 33:2]
  • 56. Acts 10:22; Revelation 14:10; [Matthew 13:41; Matthew 16:27]

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Some manuscripts Magadan, or Magdala
  • [b]. Some manuscripts the Herodians
  • [c]. Greek he
  • [d]. The same Greek word can mean either soul or life, depending on the context; twice in this verse and once in verse 36 and once in verse 37

Mark 8 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.