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Bible Commentaries
Mark 8

Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NTLuscombe's NT Commentary

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Verses 1-8

TITLE: Dinner on the ground TEXT: Mar_8:1-8 PROPOSITION: Jesus teaches us from this miracle. QUESTION: What? KEY WORD: Lessons SCRIPTURE READING: Same INTRODUCTION:

1. Some will remember “preaching all day and dinner on the ground”

2. On at least two occasions Jesus fed many with little food

3. There are 2 events - 5,000 and here 4,000 men

4. Matthew and Mark record both. Luke and John tell of the 5,000.

5. At 5,000 - 5 loaves and 2 fish: at 4,000 7 loaves and few fish.

6. At 5,000 - 12 baskets taken up: at 4,000 7 large baskets left over.

Many are hungry

1. Physical - poverty, alcohol, drugs, economy, etc.

2. Spiritual - many dying and don't know it.

3. Malnutrition - bloated stomach deceives some to think they are fat

4. People died of starvation - ate berries - no nutritional value

Location, Location, Location

1. Starting a new business - 3 rules to remember

2. Not only are there too many people to feed - in WILDERNESS

3. Excuses for churches not growing - building in wrong place, hard area

Daily Bread

1. Mat_6:11 - Give us this day our daily bread

2. Manna - one day supply, don't hoard - it will spoil

3. We want the whole load now. Store it up.

4. We want meat, 3 vegetables, desert, too.

5. LEARN: We are dependant on God for everything.

Jesus is our Bread

1. Joh_6:48-58 - I am the bread of life

2. Not about communion - about digesting Jesus

All were filled

1. They were all satisfied - not stuffed

2. Joh_6:35 - never hunger, never thirst

3. Many sermons, classes - are not filling

Waste not, want not

1. Both at 5,000 and 4,000 - took up the remains

2. Remains were more than they started with.

3. Here started with 7 loves of bread - took up 7 large baskets

4. What did he do with this “left over” food?

1. Distributed it among the people to take home.

2. Saved for apostles and self for next day.

3. Fed some to animals and birds.

Verses 9-12

TITLE: Deep in his spirit TEXT: Mar_8:9-12 PROPOSITION: We must learn to share our deep feelings with others. QUESTION: What? KEY WORD: Feelings SCRIPTURE READING: Same INTRODUCTION:

1. We are often very private, secretive, don't show emotions

2. When you read about Christ, you see the inside (emotions, pain, sorrow)

3. We put on a happy face, smile. No one knows what is inside.

Why don't we express our emotions openly?


I don't want you to know . None of your business.

1. I am not ready to discuss my deep felt emotions, pain, fear, guilt, etc.

2. I am not sure that I trust you.

1. Confidentiality - Can you keep it to yourself?

2. You might tell the wrong people.

3. 3 preachers in boat - confess personal weakness - women, alcohol, 3rd - “Gossip and I can't wait to get home.”

3. You might think less of me if you knew.

4. I might appear to be griping , complaining, all the time.

Problems from not sharing our troubles:

1. We have no support system to help us.

2. We miss out on helpful information.

3. No one will be praying for us.

Was Jesus ever __?


1. Mar_8:12 - When he saw the attitude of the Pharisees

2. Mar_9:19 - How long must I bear with you?


1. Luk_22:44 - in agony, sweat drops of blood

2. Joh_12:27 - My soul is troubled


1. Mar_3:5 - looked on them with anger - healed the withered hand

2. Over threw the money changers in the temple


1. Isa_53:3 - a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief

2. Mat_26:37-38 - Soul exceeding sorrowful

3. Mat_23:37 - O Jerusalem, Jerusalem

4. Luk_19:41 - Beheld city, wept over it

5. Joh_11:35 - Jesus wept

Verses 13-21

TITLE: Oops! I forgot. TEXT: Mar_8:13-21 PROPOSITION: We forget the wrong things. QUESTION: Who? KEY WORD: Forgets READING: Same Introduction:

1. Have you ever forgotten anything? Of course.

2. Went camping - forgot the coffee. (Unpardonable sin)

3. Apostles forgot to bring bread on their trip.

Sometimes we forget:

1. Bread ( Mar_8:14 ) And the disciples had forgotten to take loaves, and they did not have more than one loaf in the boat with them.

2. Exhortation ( Heb_12:5 ) And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons, "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked by Him;

3. Who I am ( Jam_1:24 ) For he studied himself and went his way, and immediately he forgot what he was like.

Some things we should forget:

1. The Past ( Php_3:13 ) My brothers, I do not count myself to have taken possession, but one thing I do , forgetting the things behind and reaching forward to the things before,

Some things we should NOT forget:

1. Salvation ( 2Pe_1:9 ) For he in whom these things are not present is blind and cannot see afar off and has forgotten that he was purged from his sins in the past.

2. Hospitality, Kindness ( Heb_13:2 ) Do not be forgetful of hospitality, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.

3. Share ( Heb_13:16 ) But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

4. What you learn ( Jam_1:25 ) But whoever looks into the perfect Law of liberty and continues in it , he is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work. This one shall be blessed in his doing.

God does not forget:

1. Smallest ( Luk_12:6 ) Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? And not one of them is forgotten before God.

2. Your good work ( Heb_6:10 ) For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

God does forget:

1. Our forgiven sins - Isa_43:25 I, I am He who blots out your sins for My own sake, and will not remember your sins.

Verses 22-26

TITLE: Out of town TEXT: Mar_8:22-26 PROPOSITION: Jesus led the blind man out of the city before healing him. QUESTION: Why? KEY WORD: Reasons READING: Same INTRODUCTION:

1. Was this miracle incomplete? Did Jesus have to go back for a second try?

2. What was going on in this text?

3. Why did Jesus take the man out of town first? (23)

4. Why was he told not to return to town? (26)

5. Here are three reasons to consider.

Double miracle

1. He saw men as trees walking - Distinguish men from trees because of movement

2. Restored - 2nd miracle aided his mind to process the information from eyes

3. Saw all clearly - mind able to distinguish figures

4. Jamison, Fawcett, and Brown commentary suggests: “Perhaps the one operation perfectly restored the eyes, while the other imparted immediately the faculty of using them.”

Bethsaida (on Galilee, near Capernaum) was a city Jesus liked Apostles from this city

1. ( Joh_12:21 ) Then these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, Sir, we want to see Jesus.

2. ( Joh_1:44 ) Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

3. Name means = house of fishing, thought to be suburb of Capernaum - We know that Peter lived in Capernaum near the synagogue

Jesus went there to get away from stress

1. ( Mar_6:45 ) And immediately He constrained His disciples to get into the boat and to go before to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent away the crowd.

2. Other side = another point, past one or two coves on the lake

3. ( Luk_9:10 ) And returning, the apostles told Him all that they had done. And He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place of a city called Bethsaida.

4. Small, quiet, suburban location to “get away” from the stress

Situation changed

1. Jesus did many miracles here - BUT they rejected his teachings

2. Mat_11:21 - Woe to Chorazin, Bethsaida - (Same in Luk_10:13 )

3. Took blind man out of city, after miracle, told not to return to city (v. 26)

Purpose of miracles

1. NOT to attract attention, draw a following, publicity

2. To help people believe and accept the teachings.

3. Mar_16:19-20 - Confirming the Word with signs following

4. Heb_2:3-4 - Confirmed unto us, God bearing witness with signs and wonders

Verses 27-33

TITLE : Hills and Valleys of Life TEXT : 1Ki_20:20-29 ( Mar_8:27-33 ) PROPOSITION : We must trust in God at all times. QUESTION : Who? KEY WORD : Examples READING : INTRODUCTION : Syrians thinking A. Great slaughter of Syrian army 21 B. Second army 25 1. One day 127,000 killed 2. U.S. dead in WW I 53,402 C. Plan for second attempt 23 28 D. What was wrong? 1. Thought God only worked in certain areas 2. Draw them elsewhere = God will lose power Elijah, on Mt. Carmel 1Ki_18:1-46 ; 1Ki_19:1-21 A. Outnumbered 850 to 1 18:19 B. Challenge issued 18:21 1. Baal = god of lightening 2. Took all day, pray, shout, cry, cut themselves 3. Mocked by Elijah 27 C. Elijah's turn 1. In a 3 1/2 year drought - water precious 2. Four barrels of water - four more - four more 3. Simple prayer 36-37 Elijah, in the valley of Jezreel 19:1-3

1. Ran for 18 miles - servant quit 3

2. Ran for another 20 - 25 miles "day's journey" 4

3. Sat under juniper tree then to a cave 9

4. "What are you doing here?"

John the Baptist

1. Mat_3:5-7

2. Mat_11:2-3 in prison = doubt


1. Transfiguration Mat_17:1-4

2. Denied Christ Mat_26:69-75

3. Text - Confess Christ - Called “Satan”


1. Had been blessed by God, had everything

2. Lost it all in one day - family, home, possessions


1. Triumphant entry - Palm fans, Hosana.

2. One week later - Crucify him!


1. Life is full of ups and downs

2. Jesus is always present if you are seeking Him

3. Act_17:27 - He is not far from everyone of us

Verses 34-38

TITLE: Claim is not Commitment TEXT: Mar_8:34-38 PROPOSITION: Often our claim does not match our level of commitment. QUESTION: How? KEY WORD: Ways SCRIPTURE READING: Same INTRODUCTION:

1. Quotes from “Faith, Lies, and Opinion Polls” (see below)

2. Quotes from Christians and Divorce (see below)

3. Often our life is not consistent with our claim to follow Christ.

Has Christ made a difference in your life?

1. How are you different from the world in what you do? - TV programs, movies, music, language, obey the laws (tax, speed limit), etc.

2. How are you different from the world in values? - Higher morals, richer values, honest, kind, willing to share, materialistic or spiritualistic, etc.

3. How are you different from the world spiritually? - Strong faith, trust in God, handle suffering, death, illness, etc.

Here are the demands of Christ

1. Deny yourself - What did you “give up” to become a Christian?

2. Take up your cross = Willing to die

3. Follow me - Obey without question

4. Save your life now means you will lose it for eternity

5. Lose your life now means you will save it for eternity

Conclusion :

1. We are a peculiar (different) people. ( 1Pe_2:9 )

2. We are to separate from the world. ( 2Co_6:17-18 )

3. Has Christ made a difference in your life?

Faith, Lies, and the Opinion Polls , by William H. Hinson, pages 13-14“Ninety percent of us claim that we believe in God, but the overwhelming majority of people - 93 percent! - say that they and nobody else determine what is and isn't moral in their lives. They base their decisions on their own experience. When they want answers to a question of right and wrong, they ask themselves.”“Almost as large a majority - 84 percent - confess that they would violate the established rules of their religion if they thought the rules were wrong.”“Better than 55 percent of the American people belong to a church, but surveys reveal that the rules that many people actually live by are very different from the commandments they hear in church.”“77 percent of us don't see any point in observing the Lord's Day; 74 percent indicate that they think it is all right to steal from those who will not really miss it; 64 percent feel it is okay to lie so long as it does not cause any real damage; 53 percent acknowledge that they would cheat on their spouse, and also believe that given the chance, their spouse would do the same.”“Almost 75 percent of the Baby Busters, those born after 1965, agree that there is no absolute truth. Even among the elderly of our land, 56 percent do not believe that there is any such thing as absolute truth.” Christian News Service (CNS) staff writer, John Rossomando, January 23, 2002 http://www.CNSNews.com wrote about divorce statistics.“Born-again Christian are just as likely to get divorced as anybody else in American society, and the vast majority of those identifying themselves as divorce and born-again actually got their divorces after converting to Christianity. Just being born again is not a rabbit's foot.”“The divorce statistics come from a 2001 Barna Research Poll, which indicated that 33 percent of born-again Christians end their marriages in divorce, roughly the same as the general population., and that 90 percent of those divorces happen after conversion to Christianity.”“We have found that in a lot of ways Christians are not living different lives than non-Christians, when we look at their behavior.”“We would love to report that Christians are living very distinct lives and impacting the community, but in the area of divorce rates they continue to be the same.”

Bibliographical Information
Luscombe, Manly. "Commentary on Mark 8". Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mlc/mark-8.html. 2021.
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