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Wednesday, June 19th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Mark 8

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Seeing Jesus As God's Son

Mark Eight

Mark provided more proof that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God. In Mark chapter eight we have record of Jesus feeding four thousand people with seven loaves and a few small fish. He also healed a blind man in Bethsaida. Again the Pharisees tempted Jesus desiring a sign from Him. His reply was, "There shall no sign be given unto this generation." His miracles provided ample proof that He is indeed the Son of God. There was no need for any other sign to be given. The Pharisees were very hypocritical as they kept challenging Jesus and kept rejecting His authority.

While the Pharisees rejected Jesus Peter confessed His true nature as the Messiah. From this point in the personal ministry of Jesus and onward everything led directly to His eventual suffering, death and resurrection. Jesus was indeed the Messiah, but He also identified Himself as the "Son of man." After Jesus' prediction of His suffering and death, He described the sort of life that He expected His followers to lead in His absence. Jesus said, "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."

Verses 1-21

Jesus is our powerful Lord -- Mar_8:1-21 : The multitudes of people still followed Jesus. Great leaders always train others. Therefore, Jesus did much of what He did through His apostles. He had pity or compassion on these people because they have been with Him for three days without food. The people had come from a great distance away and He was concerned that they would faint on the way home. The disciples asked, "How will it be possible to get enough food for these men here in this wilderness?" How strange that they seemed to have forgotten the feeding of the five thousand.

Jesus often asked His disciples questions. It was not for the purpose of gaining information, but He asked as a means of drawing the attention of the disciples to the matter at hand. He asked how much bread they had. Their answer was that they had seven loaves and a few small fish. Jesus had his disciples to ask the people to sit down. He then looked to heaven and blessed the loaves and fish or gave thanks for them. They were divided among the disciples who then shared them out with the people. The four thousand people were given all that they wanted. After they had eaten, seven baskets of fragments were collected and then the people were sent away.

In Dalmanutha the Pharisees asked Jesus questions tempting Him. They desired "a sign" after all that He had already done. Jesus was sad because they kept acting in their usual hypocritical manner. In Mat_16:4 we learn that Jesus did given them Jonah as a sign and then He left them. As the disciples moved about with Jesus He warned them to "Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod." At first they thought He said this because they had forgotten to take bread. They came to understand that "He bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." ( Mat_16:12 )

Verses 22-30

Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God -- Mar_8:22-30 : Faith in Jesus continued to grow among many people as He went about doing good. They brought a blind man to Him for healing. He took the man aside and with saliva touched his eyes. At first the man could see but things were out of focus. He saw men as trees walking. The Lord could have just as easily healed the man completely. He wanted to show that He is sovereign concerning His blessings and gave them on His terms, not on man's terms. We receive God's grace and salvation the same way, not on our terms but on His terms.

Jesus' miracles prove that He is the Messiah, the Son of God, and Savior of the world. He wanted to make sure that His disciples understood His mission and purpose. He first asked "Whom do men say that I am?" Many had high opinions of Jesus saying that He was John the Baptist, Elias or one of the prophets. Then He asked "Whom say ye that I am?" Their answer was "Thou art the Christ." They believed that Jesus was the promised and long expected Messiah. We must believe the same today. To be a Christian is to believe that Jesus is the Christ and to live and act accordingly.

Verses 31-33

Jesus foretold His suffering & death -- Mar_8:31-33 : Now that the disciples are convinced by Jesus' miracles that He is the Messiah they will be able to understand His imminent suffering and death. So "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." ( Mar_8:31 ) Instead of being crowned as an earthly king He would be crucified and after three days He would rise again. His sacrifice would be the means of our salvation. Peter opposed what Jesus said. He took him, and began to rebuke Him concerning what He had said about His suffering and death. Peter loved the Lord and did not want to think about Him having to suffer.

Jesus looked at the other disciples to see if they agreed with Peter. He told Peter "Get thee behind me, Satan." Peter spoke as one that did not understand the purpose and power of Christ's suffering. He did not seem to understand that the death of Jesus was necessary to the destruction of Satan and the salvation of man. His death would be for the glory of God. By the death of the Savior many sons will be brought to glory.

Verses 34-38

Jesus' instructions on discipleship -- Mar_8:34-38 : If we truly believe that Jesus is the Messiah we will follow Him at all cost. He calls people to Him, to know Him and to lovingly obey Him. The result of this loving obedience is that Jesus will heal sin sick souls. He said, "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." God's people must accommodate themselves to the will of God in all thoughts and actions. We must resolve that we will never forsake our Lord.

We must not dread the loss of our life for the sake of Christ. The loss of your life to gain Christ is the fountain of eternal hope. All that you lose for Christ in this life will be more than made up for in a far better life to come. Let us remember "that life is sweet, and death is bitter, but eternal death is more bitter, and eternal life is more sweet." Those that are ashamed of Christ in this world shall not share with Him in His glory in the world to come.

Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Mark 8". "Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/box/mark-8.html. 2014.
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