Jesus Multiplies Food Again
1During those days, another massive crowd gathered to hear Jesus, and again, there was no food and the people were hungry. So Jesus called his disciples to come near him and said to them, 2“My heart goes out to this crowd, for they’ve already been here with me for three days with nothing to eat. 3I’m concerned that if I send them home hungry, some may faint along the way, for many have come a long, long way just to be with me.”
4His disciples replied, “But could anyone possibly get enough food to satisfy a crowd this size out here in this isolated place?”
5He asked them, “How many loaves of flatbread do you have?”
“Seven,” they replied.
6Jesus instructed the crowd to sit down on the grass. After he took the seven loaves, he gave thanks to God, broke them, and started handing them to his disciples. They kept distributing the bread until they had served the entire crowd.
7They also had a few small fish, and after giving thanks for these, Jesus had his disciples serve them to the crowd. 8Everyone ate until they were satisfied. Then the disciples gathered up the broken pieces and filled seven large baskets # 8:8 This is the same word used for Paul escaping from Damascus by being lowered down the city wall in a basket (hamper). These baskets were large enough for a man to hide in. See Acts 9:25. with the leftovers. 9About four thousand # 8:9 Although four thousand people are mentioned by Mark, this does not include women and children. See Matt. 15:32–39; see also 2 Kings 4:42–44. All four Gospels record the feeding of the five thousand, but only Matthew and Mark give us the feeding of the four thousand. Many have called this the forgotten miracle. Jesus multiplied food twice with miracle power. Because of the locations of these two miracles, it is believed that the five thousand were mostly Jews and the four thousand mentioned here were mostly gentiles. First the Jew, then the gentile. First there were twelve baskets of leftovers, then seven large baskets full. Twelve is a distinctively Jewish number representing government, and seven represents fullness, indicating the fullness of blessing going out to the entire world. The Bread of Life, Jesus Christ, is now our feast. people ate what had been multiplied! Then he dismissed the crowd. # 8:9 The Aramaic uses an idiomatic saying that can mean “Jesus ended their fast.”
10Afterward, Jesus got into a boat and sailed to the vicinity of Dalmanutha. # 8:10 Some scholars believe that this may have been near Magdala on the western shore of Lake Galilee. See Matt. 15:39. The Aramaic word for Dalmanutha means “the land of oppression.”
The Pharisees Demand a Sign
11As soon as Jesus landed, # 8:11 Or “immediately.” he was confronted by the Pharisees, # 8:11 Or “separated ones” who saw themselves as Jewish purists and guardians of religious orthodoxy. Although the text does not say what sign they were demanding, they were requiring proof of Jesus’ divine mission and ministry. The text does imply that they were disingenuous and wanted only to discredit Jesus. who argued with Jesus and tested him. They demanded that he give them a miraculous sign from heaven.
12With a deep sigh from his spirit, he said, “What drives this generation to clamor for a sign? Listen to the truth: there will absolutely be no sign given to this generation!” # 8:12 The Greek word for “generation” can also mean “a tribe or nation.” 13Then he turned and left them, got back into the boat, and crossed over to the opposite shore.
Jesus Warns of the Yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod
14Now, the disciples had forgotten to take bread with them, except for one loaf of flatbread. 15And as they were sailing across the lake, Jesus repeatedly warned them, “Be on your guard against the yeast # 8:15 The yeast Jesus is referring to here is hypocrisy. See Luke 12:1. The yeast of religious and political hypocrisy is what Jesus warned them to avoid. inside of the Pharisees and the yeast inside of Herod!” 16But the disciples had no clue what Jesus was talking about, so they began to discuss it among themselves, saying, “Is he saying this because we forgot to bring bread?”
17Knowing what they were thinking, Jesus said to them, “Why all this fussing over forgetting to bring bread? Do you still not see or understand what I say to you? Are your hearts still hard? 18You have good eyes, yet you still don’t see, and you have good ears, yet you still don’t hear, neither do you remember. 19When I multiplied the bread to feed more than five thousand people, how many baskets full of leftovers did you gather afterward?”
“Twelve,” they replied.
20“And when I multiplied food to feed over four thousand, how many large baskets full of leftovers did you gather afterwards?”
“Seven,” they replied.
21“Then how is it that you still don’t get it?”
Jesus Heals Blind Eyes
22When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Jesus, begging him to touch him and heal him. 23So Jesus led him, as his sighted guide, outside the village. He placed his saliva on the man’s eyes # 8:23 This is not the common word for “eyes.” The Greek word omma can refer to both physical and spiritual sight. See also Matt. 20:34. and covered them with his hands. # 8:23 The Aramaic can be translated “Jesus placed his hands over his eyes and brought light.” Then he asked him, “Now do you see anything?”
24“Yes,” he said. “My sight is coming back! I’m beginning to see people, but they look like trees—walking trees.”
25Jesus put his hands over the man’s eyes a second time and made him look up. The man opened his eyes wide and he could see everything perfectly. His eyesight was completely restored! 26Then Jesus sent him home with these instructions: “Go home, but don’t tell anyone what happened, not even the people of your own village.” # 8:26 As translated from the Aramaic and some Greek manuscripts. The Greek contains many variations of this statement. Other manuscripts read “Go to your house, and if you go into the village, don’t tell anyone what happened.” Others read “Do not even go into the village.”
Peter Receives Revelation from God
27Then Jesus and his disciples walked # 8:27 This would likely have been a two-day journey of thirty miles north from Bethsaida. to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. # 8:27 This was a beautiful area north of Lake Galilee near Tel-Dan. Located at the foothills of Mount Hermon, it was an ancient Roman city rebuilt by Philip the tetrarch in honor of Augustus Caesar. On the way, he posed this question to his disciples: “Who do the people say that I am?”
28They replied, “Some say John the Baptizer, others say Elijah # 8:28 For the Jews, the return of Elijah would signal the end of days. See Mal. 4:5. the prophet, and still others say you must be one of the prophets.”
29He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter # 8:29 The Aramaic is “Shimon” (or “Simeon”), which presents an interesting word play. Shimon means “he who hears.” Simon Peter heard the question posed by Jesus and answered it. But he also heard the revelation from the Father that Jesus is the Messiah, God’s Son. See Matt. 16:17. Simon is the first one of the disciples who truly heard the Father’s revelation of the identity of Jesus Christ. spoke up, saying, “You are the Messiah, # 8:29 Or “the Christ,” which means “the Anointed One” (or “Messiah”). the Son of the Living God!” # 8:29 As translated from the Aramaic and a small number of Greek manuscripts.
30Then he warned them not to breathe a word of this to anyone.
Jesus Prophesies His Death and Resurrection
31From then on, Jesus began to tell his disciples that he, the Son of Man, was destined to go to Jerusalem and suffer great injustice # 8:31 This great injustice refers to the beatings, mockings, rejection, and illegal trial Jesus endured. To have the Messiah suffer was contrary to every belief system among the Jews. The Messiah was to be the King of Israel, surrounded with glory, not suffering. Mark gives us three instances of Jesus prophesying his death and resurrection (8:31, 9:31, and 10:33). Each time Jesus made this prediction, the disciples were confused and unable to understand. So each time Jesus took the opportunity to explain what being his follower really entailed (8:34–38, 9:33–37, and 10:35–45). from the elders, leading priests, and religious scholars. He also explained that he would be killed and three days later be raised to life again. 32Jesus opened his heart and spoke freely with his disciples, explaining all these things to them. # 8:32 Or “He spoke openly [boldly, plainly, freely, honestly] about this.”
Then Peter took him aside and rebuked him. # 8:32 Although Mark does not state what Peter was saying to Jesus, he was likely rebuking him for not understanding the role of the Messiah-King, who was going to suffer and die, but who would rise to power and bring glory to Israel. Peter wanted Jesus to come up with another plan. Yet Peter was the one who was mistaken, not Jesus. How many times have we assumed we had a better plan for our lives than God had? One moment Peter speaks profoundly about Jesus’ identity, and the next he rebukes the Messiah for choosing the wrong path. 33But Jesus turned around, and glancing at all of the other disciples, # 8:33 Jesus knew that Peter was merely being the spokesman for all twelve disciples, voicing their opinion to Jesus on their behalf. he rebuked Peter, saying, “Get out of my sight, Satan! # 8:33 Peter’s rebuke of Jesus became, as it were, the words of Satan himself. The word used for Satan here means “adversary.” For your heart is not set on God’s plan but man’s!” # 8:33 The Aramaic can be translated “For you never cheer God but the children of men!”
What It Means to Be a Follower of Jesus
34Jesus had his disciples and the crowd gather around him. And he said to them: “If you truly want to follow me, you should at once completely disown your own life. And you must be willing to share my cross and experience it as your own, as you continually surrender to my ways. # 8:34 Or “Follow me.” This powerful verse was shocking to those who heard Jesus that day. To follow Jesus is more than the dethroning of our own lives, but the enthroning of Christ. 35For if you let your life go for my sake and for the sake of the gospel, you will continually experience true life. # 8:35 Or “will save it” (his life). There is only one Greek word for both “soul” and “life.” The Aramaic uses a word that can mean “breath of life,” “person,” “soul,” or “self.” But if you choose to keep your life for yourself, you will forfeit what you try to keep. 36For what use is it to gain all the wealth and power of this world, with everything it could offer you, at the cost of your own life? 37And what could be more valuable to you than your own soul? 38If you are ashamed of me and my words while living among sinful and faithless people, then I, the Son of Man, will also be ashamed of you when I make my appearance with my holy messengers # 8:38 Or “angels.” in the glorious splendor of my Father!” # 8:38 See Dan. 7:13–14.