Mark 8 Commentary


I have compassion on the crowd- Jesus did not eat for forty days in during his temptation by the devil, and here he recognizes the hunger in his followers. He worries for their well-being, that they might faint if he were to send them away to eat. As we are told in Isaiah 40:31 : “but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

How can one feed these people with bread- A task too great for a man, we can only put our faith in God. Here the disciples do not recognize the divinity in Jesus despite his miracles, nor do they put their faith in the Father. Jesus does not rebuke them here. And they ate and were satisfied- content. And he sent them away- Only after they were nourished, and safe. The Lord does not send us where he wants us until we are prepared for our journeys.

The Pharisees came and began to argue with him- To snare him, to catch him as false, demanding signs, proof. I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation- They would not see it or dismiss it even if he had given one, their stubborn hearts would not allow it.

Now they had forgotten to bring bread- When we forget to take our spiritual bread our lives become worrisome, anxious, sinful. Beware the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod- That which is not from God. Beware the false doctrines, the false promises, the worldly desires that can not save your soul. They had no bread- Already their focus had been altered from the limitless capabilities of God onto to what they did not have. The anxieties of the world press upon us, and quickly we can surrender our faith, if we are not quicker to embrace it.

And some people brought to him a blind man- Incapable of seeing, but we have all walked in darkness. He had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him.- This is the second time Jesus spits in a miracle healing, the first being the deaf man in Chapter 7. The word spoken alone would be enough for the healing, but as in the cure of the deaf man, the actions of Jesus are a means of communication or the spit was a practical means of cleaning the eyes. It seems interesting that there was a pause here, with Jesus asking “Do you see anything?”, and then laid his hands on him again, and then his sight was restored. The man could only see a little at first, but then he saw all. Do not even enter the village- Do not return to where you have come from. Do not neglect the gift given you by backsliding into your past.

Son of Man must suffer many things- As the prophets said. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. Peter loved Jesus. We do not wish our loved ones to go through suffering. Get behind me, Satan- I don’t read here that Peter was possessed but that he was influenced in a way contrary to God’s plan. His thinking was a temptation to avoid the design of God. Satan influences our thoughts to hinder our potential and willingness to grow God’s kingdom.

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2 thoughts on “Mark 8 Commentary

  1. The disciples had been walking with Jesus for a while–listening, watching and learning from Him. I think it is such a beautiful and tender moment when He asks them “But what about you? Who do you say that I am?” We each have to answer that question in our own lives.

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