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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Mark Chapter 8

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: John Mark
Date Penned: (55-65 AD)
Overview: Mark Records the 1st Gospel Written (c 1-16)
Theme:  The Message and Ministry of Jesus, The Servant (c 1-13)
Message: Jesus Continues to Teach, Rebuke, Prophecy, and Performs Miracles  (v 1-38)

Mark 8 Commentary

(8:1-10) Jesus Feeds Four Thousand - Differences in detail distinguish this miracle from the feeding of the five thousand described in chapter 6. At that time, those fed were mostly Jews. This time, Jesus ministered to a mixed crowd of Jews and Gentiles in the predominantly Gentile region of the Ten Towns. Jesus also began with different quantities of bread and fish, and he did not require his disciples to admit their own inability to solve the problem. Even in Israel, Jesus took the gospel to a mixed audience. Jesus’ actions and message had a significant impact on large numbers of Gentiles right from the start. Mark had his readers in mind when he recorded these facts. Examples of Jesus’ compassionate ministry to non-Jews would be very reassuring to Mark’s primarily Roman audience.

(8:11-13) Leaders Demand a Miraculous Sign - Jesus had been able to escape the probing Pharisees for a while as he visited in Gentile areas (7:24–8:10). His last dealing with them had involved the issues of the law and ceremonial defilement, and Jesus had called the Pharisees hypocrites (7:6). But the Pharisees weren’t going to give up in their relentless attempts to discredit Jesus before the crowds. So they constantly demanded “proof”—even more than they had already seen. We can anticipate similar tactics in our own efforts to communicate the gospel. We may be asked to “prove” the existence of God. Such approaches are rarely honest; they are attempts to derail our message. These demands for proof, like the ones Jesus heard, are usually smoke screens covering up a refusal to believe. Though he was constantly under attack, Jesus always received those who were genuine seekers.

(8:14-21) Jesus Warns Against Wrong Teaching - Up to this point, Mark has conveyed the rejection of Jesus by his family and the religious leaders. At the same time, Mark has shown the inability of Jesus’ closest followers to grasp his identity. With the two feeding miracles still fresh in their minds, the disciples failed to reach a conclusion about Jesus. The question Jesus asked the original disciples applies to us: “Don’t you understand even yet?”

(8:22-26) Jesus Restores Sight to a Bloind Man - The miraculous healing of the blind man from Bethsaida showed how Jesus responded with compassion to an obvious need, and gave an “acted-out parable” to demonstrate that insight seldom comes instantly. The disciples’ struggle to grasp Jesus’ identity parallels the blind man’s experience of receiving his sight. The healing of this blind man and the healing of the deaf-mute (7:31-37) are recorded only in Mark’s Gospel. In both miracles, Jesus took the man away from the crowd before performing the miracle, used saliva, touched him, and did not publicize the event. This healing of the blind man is unique because it is the only record of Jesus healing in stages.

(8:27-30) Peter Says Jesus is the Messiah - The previous eight chapters recorded enough evidence to make Peter’s confession, described here, reasonable. Further evidence in the Gospel reveals that Peter was saying more than he knew for sure. Matthew’s parallel account of this incident includes Jesus’ statement that Peter had made this declaration with the Holy Spirit’s help. The final eight chapters of Mark’s Gospel point to Jesus’ death. From this point on, the journey leads to Jerusalem, and to Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. The full impact of Peter’s declaration would not be understood until Jesus’ resurrection. With that event, the central spotlight of history came to rest on the person of Christ.

(8:31-38) Jesus Predicts His Death the First Time - Matthew, Mark, and Luke connect Peter’s declaration that Jesus was the Messiah with the Lord’s teaching about his crucifixion. This comes as no surprise. After all, messianic expectations were in the air. A strong consensus had developed about the political role the Messiah would play once he made himself known. The idea that the Messiah would “save people from their sins” had gotten lost among the list of social and political evils that the Christ would correct. Ultimately, the people wanted a Messiah who would crush the Roman occupation and raise Israel to prominence among the nations. Instead, Jesus explained that the Son of Man must die. Peter’s response to Jesus clearly indicates how difficult it was for people to accept the idea of a suffering, dying Savior.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Who Do You Say That I Am?

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Mark with Chapter 8. In our text today we see Jesus feeding the 4 thousand, restoring the blind mans site, tells of His death to come, while warning against wrong teachings and a lack of faith. What catches my eye is how with all the disciples witness Him do Jesus asks in verse 29 - "Who do you say that I am?" In making application we see Jesus asking the same question, "Who do you day that I am?" Today we have the completed Word of God, the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, and the testimonies of the saints of God, we see Billions fail to come to Jesus for Salvation and a Blessed life. How about you? Who do you say that Jesus is? Is He your Lord and Savior? Let us learn from our text today with the Life and Ministry of Jesus to ask ourselves the Personal Question, "Who do you say that I am?" 


Mark 8

Mark 8

 1In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,

 2I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:

 3And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.

 4And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?

 5And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.

 6And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people.

 7And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.

 8So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.

 9And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

 10And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha.

 11And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.

 12And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.

 13And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.

 14Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.

 15And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.

 16And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.

 17And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?

 18Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?

 19When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.

 20And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.

 21And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

 22And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.

 23And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.

 24And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.

 25After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.

 26And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.

 27And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?

 28And they answered, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.

 29And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.

 30And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.

 31And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

 32And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.

 33But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

 34And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

 35For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.

 36For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

 37Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

 38Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.