Mark 8#Mr 8:1| In those days. That is, while Christ was in Decapolis. He called unto him his disciples. When the five thousand had been caught in similar circumstances, the apostles had come with suggestions to Jesus (#Mr 6:35,36 Mt 14:15 Lu 9:12|), but now, being taught by experience, they keep silence and let Jesus manage as he will. (TFG 405) #Mr 8:2,3| They continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat. The multitude had not been three days without food, but it had been with Jesus three days and was now without food. (TFG 405) #Mr 8:4| Whence shall one be able to fill these men with bread here in a desert place? It seems strange that the apostles should ask such a question after having assisted in feeding the five thousand. But the failure to expect a miracle, despite previous experience, was a common occurrence in the history of Israel and of the twelve (#Nu 11:21-23| #Ps 78:19,20|). In this case the failure of the apostles to expect miraculous relief suggests that they had probably often been hungry and had long since ceased to look for supernatural relief in such cases. Their disbelief here is so similar to their disbelief in the first instance that it, with a few other minor details, has led rationalistic commentators to confound the miracle with the feeding of the five thousand. But the words of Jesus forbid this (#Mt 16:9,10 Mr 8:19,20|). (TFG 405) #Mr 8:6| And he commandeth the multitude to sit down on the ground. They were on the bleak mountain, and not in the grassy plain of Butaiha. (TFG 405) #Mr 8:10| LXX. THIRD WITHDRAWAL FROM HEROD'S TERRITORY. A. PHARISAIC LEAVEN. A BLIND MAN HEALED. (Magadan and Bethsaida. Probably Summer, A.D. 29.) #Mt 15:39-16:12 Mr 8:10-26| And came into the parts of Dalmanutha. It appears from the context that he crossed the lake to the west shore. Commentators, therefore, pretty generally think that Magadan is another form of the name Magdala, and that Dalmanutha was either another name for Magdala, or else a village near it. (TFG 496) #Mr 8:11| And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him seeking of him a sign from heaven. They rejected his miracles as signs of his Messiahship, the Pharisees holding that such signs could be wrought by Beelzebub. See #Mr 3:22 Mt 12:24 Lu 11:15|. They therefore asked a sign from heaven such as only God could give, and such as he had accorded to Moses, Joshua, Samuel, and Elijah, or such as Joel foretold (#Joe 2:31|). Trying him. Testing the strength of his miraculous power. (TFG 406) #Mr 8:12| And he sighed deeply in his spirit. Being grieved deeply at the sinful obduracy which demanded signs in the midst of overwhelming demonstrations of divine power. There shall no sign be given unto this generation. That is, none such as was demanded. For comment on similar language see TFG "Mt 12:39". (TFG 407) #Mr 8:13| And he left them, and again entering into the boat departed to the other side. That is, from Magdala back again to the east shore, or rather, toward Bethsaida Julias, on the northeast shore. (TFG 407) #Mr 8:14| And they had not in the boat with them more than one loaf. This loaf was probably left over from the previous supply (#Mr 8:8|). (TFG 407) #Mr 8:15| Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and the leaven of Herod. Leaven, which answered to our modern yeast, was a symbol of a secret, penetrating, pervasive influence, usually of a corrupting nature. The influence of the Pharisees was that of formalism, hypocritical ostentation, and traditionalism; that of the Sadducees was sneering rationalistic unbelief, free thought and cunning worldliness, manifesting itself among the Herodians in political corruption. (TFG 407-408) #Mr 8:16| And they reasoned one with another, saying, We have no bread. They thought that Jesus reproved them for their carelessness in forgetting to take bread, since that carelessness might lead them to be without bread on their journey. So his rebuke in #Mr 8:17| indicates. (TFG 408) #Mr 8:19| Baskets. Cophini, probably traveling baskets. (TFG 408) #Mr 8:20| Baskets. Spurides, probably grain baskets or hampers. (TFG 408) #Mr 8:21| Do ye not yet understand? See TFG "#Mt 16:12|". #Mr 8:22| And they cometh unto Bethsaida. Not the suburb of Capernaum, but Bethsaida Julias, a town on the east side of the Jordan, near where it flows into the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was proceeding northward toward Caesarea Philippi (#Mr 8:27|). (TFG 409) #Mr 8:23| And he took hold of the blind man by the hand, and brought him out of the village. Jesus increased the sympathy between himself and the man by separating him from the crowd. Our greatest blessing can only come to us after we have been alone with God. And when he had spit on his eyes, and laid his hands upon him, he asked him, Seest thou aught? The man's eyes were probably sore, and Jesus made use of saliva to soften and soothe them. But it was our Lord's custom to give variety to the manifestation of his power, sometimes using one apparent auxiliary means, and sometimes another; and also healing instantly or progressively, as he chose, that the people might see that the healing was altogether a matter of his will. (TFG 409) #Mr 8:24| And he looked up, and said, I see men; for I behold them as trees, walking. The man had evidently not been born blind, else he would not have been able to recognize men or trees by sight, for those not used to employ sight can not by it tell a circle from a square. (TFG 409) #Mr 8:26| And he sent him away to his home, saying, Do not even enter into the village. The man, of course, lived in the village, and to send him home was to send him thither, but he was to go directly home and not spread the news through the town, for if he did the population would be at once drawn to Jesus, thus breaking up the privacy which he sought to maintain. (TFG 409) #Mr 8:27| LXX. THIRD WITHDRAWAL FROM HEROD'S TERRITORY. B. THE GREAT CONFESSION MADE BY PETER. (Near Caesarea Philippi, Summer, A.D. 29.) #Mt 16:13-20 Mr 8:27-30 Lu 9:18-21| Into the villages of Caesarea Philippi. The city of Paneas was enlarged by Herod Philip I, and named in honor of Tiberias Caesar. It also bore the name Philippi because of the name of its builder, and to distinguish it from Caesarea Palestinae or Caesarea Strotonis, a city on the Mediterranean coast. Paneas, the original name, still pertains to the village, though now corrupted to Banias. It is situated under the shadow of Mt. Hermon at the eastern of the two principal sources of the Jordan, and is the most northern city of the Holy Land visited by Jesus, and save Sidon, the most northern point of his travels. Who do men say that I am? Jesus asks them to state the popular opinion concerning himself as contrasted with the opinion of the rulers, Pharisees, etc. (TFG 410) #Mr 8:28| John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but others, One of the prophets. For comment on similar language, see TFG "Mr 6:15". It should be noted that popular opinion did not honor him as Messiah, but since it accepted him as a prophet, the people were therefore inexcusable in not receiving the statements which he made in regard to himself, and admitting the Messianic claims which he set forth. (TFG 410) #Mr 8:29| But who say ye that I am? Jesus here first asks the disciples this question, having given them abundant time and opportunity in which to form a correct judgment. The proper answer of the heart to this question forms the starting-point of the true Christian life. Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ. See TFG "#Mt 16:16|". (TFG 411) #Mr 8:30| And he charged them that they should tell no man of him. The people were not ready to receive this truth, nor were the apostles sufficiently instructed to rightly proclaim it. Their heads were full of wrong ideas with regard to Christ's work and office, and had they been permitted to teach about him, they would have said that which it would have been necessary for them to subsequently correct, thus producing confusion. (TFG 414) #Mr 8:31| LXX. THIRD WITHDRAWAL FROM HEROD'S TERRITORY. C. PASSION FORETOLD. PETER REBUKED. #Mt 16:21-28 Mr 8:31-9:1 Lu 9:22-27| And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things. Since the apostles, by the mouth of Peter, had just confessed Jesus as Christ (#Mr 8:29|), it was necessary that their crude Messianic conceptions should be corrected and that the true Christhood--the Christhood of the atonement and the resurrection--should be revealed to them. In discourse and parable Jesus had explained the principles and the nature of the kingdom, and now, from this time forth, he taught the apostles about himself, the priestly King. And be rejected by the elders, and the chief priests, and the scribes. The Jewish Sanhedrin was generally designated by thus naming the three constituent parts. See TFG "#Mt 2:4|". And be killed, and after three days rise again. See TFG "#Mt 12:40|". Very early in his ministry Jesus had given obscure intimations concerning his death (#Joh 2:19-22 3:14 Mt 12:38-40|), but these had not been understood by either friend or foe. Now that he thus spoke plainly, we may see by Peter's conduct that they comprehended and were deeply moved by the dark and more sorrowful portion of his revelation, and failed to grasp the accompanying promise of a resurrection. (TFG 414-415) #Mr 8:32| And he spake the saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. Evidently Peter regarded Jesus as overcome by a fit of despondency, and felt that such talk would utterly dishearten the disciples if it were persisted in. His love, therefore, prompted him to lead Jesus to one side and deal plainly with him. In so doing, Peter overstepped the laws of discipleship and assumed that he knew better than the Master what course to pursue. In his feelings he was the forerunner of those modern wiseacres who confess themselves constrained to reject the doctrine of a suffering Messiah. (TFG 415) #Mr 8:33| But he turning about, and seeing his disciples, rebuked Peter, and saith, Get thee behind me, Satan. Jesus withdrew from Peter and turned back to his disciples. By the confession of the truth Simon had just won his promised name of Peter, which allied him to Christ, the foundation. But when he now turned aside to speak the language of the tempter, Peter receives the name Satan, as if he were the very devil himself. Peter presented the same temptation with which the devil once called forth a similar rebuke from Christ (#Mt 4:10|). He was unconsciously trying to dissuade Jesus from the death on which the salvation of the world depended, and this was working into Satan's hand. Peter did not mind or think about the Messiah's kingdom as divinely conceived and revealed in the Scriptures. (TFG 415-416) #Mr 8:34| And he called unto him the multitude with his disciples. Despite the efforts of Jesus to seek privacy, the people were still near enough at hand to be called and addressed. If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Compare #Ro 8:36 1Co 15:31|. For comment, see TFG "Mt 10:38". The disciple must learn to say "no" to many of the strongest cravings of his earthly nature. The cross is a symbol for duty which is to be performed daily, at any cost, even that of the most painful death. The disciple must follow Jesus, both as to his teaching and example. (TFG 416) #Mr 8:35| For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's shall save it. Jesus here plays upon the two meanings of the word "life," one being of temporal and the other of eternal duration. For comment on a similar expression, see TFG "Mt 10:39". (TFG 416) #Mr 8:36,37| For what doth it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? Peter and the rest of the apostles had been thinking about a worldly Messianic kingdom, with its profits and rewards. Jesus shows the worthlessness even of the whole world in comparison with the rewards of the true kingdom. It is the comparison between the things which are external, and which perish, and the life which is internal, and which endures. External losses may be repaired, but a lost life can never be regained, for with what shall a man buy it back? (TFG 416-417) #Mr 8:38| Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words. Compare #Lu 12:9 2Ti 1:8,12 2:12|. In this adulterous and sinful generation. See TFG "#Mt 12:39|". The Son of man also shall be ashamed of him. Peter had just been ashamed of the words in which Christ pictured himself as undergoing his humiliation. Jesus warns him and all others of the dangers of such shame. When he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. The Father's glory, the angels, and the rendering of universal judgment form a threefold indication that Jesus here speaks of his final coming to judge the world. (TFG 417)
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