Mark 8 Reading Guide
v1-9 - Once again a crowd of thousands have come out to the middle of nowhere to see Jesus.
They had already been out there for three days with nothing to eat (you think my sermons are long???)
This is now the second time Jesus has a hungry crowd, and even after seeing Jesus feed a larger crowd a few weeks before, the disciples still can't think of how they'll get enough bread to feed them.
Once again, Jesus miraculously feeds the crowd.
v10-13 - Jesus gets back in the boat and goes back to the Jewish side of the lake. You've probably not heard of the town they went to: Dalmanutha. Today nobody even knows where it was.
He arrives there to find Pharisees who immediately begin to test Him, asking Him "for a sign from heaven (v11)." The fact that they were asking for a sign above and beyond all of the miracles He's already performed shows the total lack of faith the establishment had.
Jesus immediately got back in the boat and left, and Dalmanutha was relegated to the dust bin of history.
v14-21 - Back in the boat and crossing back over the lake again, Jesus uses yeast as a metaphor for sin.
In one of the funniest lines in the Bible, the disciples totally miss the point and think they're being criticized for not bringing any bread along on the trip. All these guys can think about is food.
Jesus is exasperated with them. He has to remind them that they've just seen Him feed over 9,000 people in two different settings with a couple of loaves.
In other words, Jesus tells them to stop worrying about physical needs and concentrate on their Spiritual needs.
Praise God that Jesus didn't get out of the boat in the middle of the lake and walk away from these dolts. Praise God that He exercises the same patience with us!
v22-26 - Jesus heals a blind man, this time not just instructing the man to not tell anyone, but to not even go back into the village.
v27-38 - Mark's entire gospel hinges on this passage. The second half of the book will be much different than the first half. As they're walking, Jesus turns around and asks a couple of questions to the disciples.
The first question was easy to answer: who do others think Jesus is? It's always easy to relate what others think, and the disciples rattle off a few responses. They're probably a bit relieved at this point to have finally answered a question correctly.
The next question was much harder: Who do you think that I am? Peter's the only one brave enough to answer.
Jesus' question here is not just for the disciples.
You must answer it as well. Who do you think Jesus is?
The tone of Jesus' ministry changes here. There will be very few miracles, and lots more talk about the reason Jesus came: to suffer and die for our sins.
Just as Jesus' original questions were meant for us and not just the disciples, Jesus' scolding of "get behind men, Satan (v33)" was not just meant for Peter.
You have also been called to "deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus (v34)."
Don't let Satan entice you with worldly things- they'll be given to you at the cost of your soul (v36).
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
Jesus is not the first person to feed a crowd with a small amount of bread. Read 2 Kings 4:42-44 where Elisha does it.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: In the city of Bethsaida, a blind man was brought to Jesus to be healed. Jesus led the man by the hand to the spot where this healing took place. Where was it? (See verse 23.)
If you were asked to summarize the most important “marks of Christian maturity” as taught in this chapter, which ones would you mention first?
Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: A God who has compassion for people (v2)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will be able to deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow Jesus (v34)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: