Contact: David Parham 940-322-4343

Website: Internet Bible Studies

Mark Menu

















Ball23A0.gif (3556 bytes)


Mark Chapter 08

Memory verses for this week:  Phil 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 

Introduction: We continue with our study of Mark Chapter 8.   In chapter 7, Christ was accused by the Pharisees on allowing the disciples to eat without having their hands properly washed.   Christ used this to teach how that it isn’t what we eat that causes defilement (with or without clean hands), but evil thoughts that proceed from the heart.  Later the Syrophenician woman comes seeking help for her daughter who was possessed by a devil.   Christ was greatly moved by her faith and healed the girl.  The chapter closed with Jesus healing the man who was deaf and dumb.


I.   4,000  Fed by Jesus

Mark 8:1  In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,

Mark 8:2  I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:

Mark 8:3  And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.

Mark 8:4  And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?

Mark 8:5  And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.

Again Jesus is with his disciples on the east side of the lake of Galilee and surrounded with a large crowd of people with nothing to eat.   It says in verse 2 that the people had been with the Lord for 3 days and had nothing to eat.    Jesus is concerned for them, and knows that if they were sent away without food, that many might faint from the journey since some had come from a far distance.   The disciples wonder how anyone could possibly feed this great number in the wilderness, but Jesus simply asks them how many loaves of bread did they have.   They reply that they have seven.

Mark 8:6  And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people.

Mark 8:7  And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.

Mark 8:8  So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.

Mark 8:9  And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

As in the case a few weeks earlier, Jesus takes the small amount of food (the seven loaves and few fishes), and blesses the food and tells the multitude to sit down.  Again, the little goes a long way and they feed over 4,000 people and still have seven baskets of meat left over.   I think that if things look hard and tough, we need to remember  that we have a God who can feed us even when the cupboard looks bare.   Praise the Lord for his love and provision.

King David said the Lord takes care of the righteous.

Psa 37:25  I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

Matthew Henry said this about Christ’s compassion:

As Christ has a compassion for all that are in wants and straits, so he has a special concern for those that are reduced to straits by their zeal and diligence in attending on him. Christ said, I have compassion on the multitude. Whom the proud Pharisees looked upon with disdain, the humble Jesus looked upon with pity and tenderness; and thus must we honour all men. But that which he chiefly considers, is, They have been with me three days, and have nothing to eat. Whatever losses we sustain, or hardships we go through, for Christ’s sake, and in love to him, he will take care that they shall be made up to us one way or other. They that seek the Lord, shall not long want any good thing, Ps. 34:10 [i]

II.  The Pharisees Ask for A Sign

Mark 8:10  And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha.

Mark 8:11  And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.

Mark 8:12  And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.

The Pharisees come to Jesus after he arrives in Dalmanutha, and ask a sign of him to prove His Messiah ship.   How many times had the Pharisees tempted Christ before this day.   It seemed that they lived to find fault with Jesus.  Jesus tells them that there would be no sign given them of his messiah ship.   They would have to accept what God had recorded in the Word of God about his appearance.   If they had checked the scriptures, they would have found that every single  prophecy concerning the messiah was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.   I heard radio teacher and author R. C. Sproul say last week that some scientist had done a study on the odds of him coming on the scene and fulfilling all those predictions, and if he was  not the true son of God, the numbers were so high that he could not read it… like whatever is beyond trillions to one.     We don’t need a mathematician to give us odds to know Jesus was true.  The bible says He is the Son of God, and my heart testifies that He saved my soul over 38 years ago.   Jesus is God’s only begotten Son.    All of us who are saved are sons of God, but only Jesus was with the Father from the beginning.

John 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

John 1:13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.


1 John 4:9  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

1 John 4:10  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4:11  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.


John 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:2  The same was in the beginning with God.

John 1:3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.


Mark 8:13  And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.

Mark 8:14  Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.

Mark 8:15  And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.

Mark 8:16  And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.

Mark 8:17  And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?

Mark 8:18  Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?

The disciples and the Lord board the ship and leave Dalmanutha and go to the other side of the lake.  Jesus warns the disciples to not believe the doctrine of the Pharisees or of Herod.  He calls their doctrine the ‘leaven’ of the Pharisees, and the ‘leaven’ of Herod.  The disciples feel he is telling them this because they had failed to bring any bread with them.   Jesus knew all things, and when he perceives what they are thinking, he asks them why do you so reason?   He questions why they relate this to bread… did they have on understanding or was their hearts hardened?   We need to be careful that we don’t get hard hearts in our Christian walk.  If the disciples could have hard hearts and be with the very Son of God, how much more can we fall into  this trap being out in the world day after day.   That is why we are commanded to not be a part of the world or to think like the world, but to transform our minds and thinking to the ways of God.

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Mark 8:19  When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.

Mark 8:20  And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.

Mark 8:21  And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

Jesus is not happy with the disciples and chides them for their slowness of understanding.  He asks them if they remembered the feeding the 5,000 and later the 4,000,  and how in each case, they had many baskets remaining.   If he could feed those 9,000 with a few pieces of bread, could he not take care of himself and the disciples.  Food was not the issue at hand.  It was about the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod in regards to bad doctrine.

J.  Vernon McGee hit the nail on the head with his comments on the leaven.

In the Scriptures leaven represents wrong or evil teaching; it never means the gospel. One of the fallacious things that is being taught today is that leaven represents the gospel in the parable of the woman who hid leaven in three measures of meal (Matt. 13:33). The meal symbolizes the gospel, and the leaven, which represents wrong teaching, was hidden in it. It is the process of making something taste good to the natural man. Actually, what is liberalism? It all came into existence by the pulpit trying to please the unsaved church members. And today we have a lot of men trying to please the congregation, even when they are unsaved. And that, may I say, is putting leaven in—that is, mixing wrong teaching with the truth of the gospel. The only kind of bread they will eat is that which has leaven because leaven makes bread taste good. I was brought up on hot biscuits, friend, and the natural man likes them. Leaven is the evil that is put in. And here He is warning them about the wrong teaching of the Pharisees and Herod.  [ii]

III. The Blind Man Healed Outside of Bethsaida

Mark 8:22  And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.

Mark 8:23  And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.

When they come to shore here on the other side, they go to Bethsaida, and a blind man is brought to Jesus.  The man asks the Lord to touch him.   Jesus takes the blind man by the hand and leads him out of the town before he healed him.    It says that Jesus spit on his eyes and put his hands upon him, and asks him if he could see clearly.    Why would Jesus take this man outside of the city of Bethsaida before doing this?   Apparently, Jesus had abandoned this city to Judgment, and he would not heal there nor allow further testimony to be born there.  The city might have been forsaken, but praise God, Jesus still showed mercies to those who would come in faith to Him.   It is a fearful thing to reject God when the Holy Spirit deals with your heart.  None of us know how long we have to live.   If we are alive and lost, we are but a heart beat away from living eternity separated from God.   So if you know you are lost, now is the accepted time to repent of your sins and turn to Jesus for salvation.   It will be a decision you will never regret. 

Mat 11:21  Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

Mat 11:22  But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.

Mat 11:23  And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

Mat 11:24  But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.


Mark 8:24  And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.

Mark 8:25  After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.

Mark 8:26  And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.

The first time the man looked out, he said he could not see clearly, but men appeared to him as trees.  Jesus again puts his hands on his eyes, tells him to look up (from which out help cometh says the bible), and when he looked the second time, his sight was restored and he could see clearly.   There is no clear explanation for this in the bible as to why he was not healed the first time.  Perhaps the man’s faith was weak, and God allowed him to almost see before he had the faith it took to be healed.  No one knows for sure.  But what we do know is that Jesus healed the man ultimately and tells him to go to his house and to not tell anyone about how he was healed.

IV.  Peter’s Confession of Faith

Mark 8:27  And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?

Mark 8:28  And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.

Mark 8:29  And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.

Mark 8:30  And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.

Jesus poses a question to the disciples… Whom do men say that I am?  They answered him and said some say John the Baptist, some Elias, other say one of the prophets.  He then directs the question at them.   Peter speaks up and says “Thou art the Christ.”   What others think is interesting, but what you and I think makes an eternal difference in our lives.  Jesus wanted his disciples to recognize Him as the Messiah, but it was not yet time for it to be revealed.   He charges them to tell no man of him.

In the Matthew account of this discourse, we have a more full rendering of the conversation, and I think the other verse is important.

Mat 16:15  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

Mat 16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Mat 16:17  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Mark 8:31  And 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.

Mark 8:32  And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.

Mark 8:33  But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

This was the first time Jesus taught his disciples that he would die and be resurrected.  He taught them on this three times, and this was the first.   It says ‘He began to teach them.’  Sometimes we have to be taught something more than once before we comprehend it.  This was new to them and it marked a new departure in his teaching.  The confession of His messiah ship by Peter was the midpoint of this account of the Gospel.   It also was a turning point in Jesus’ ministry.  A new theme was introduced, which Jesus would continue to teach until his death… “The Son of man must suffer, and be killed, and rise again.”    When Jesus teaches on this, it is offensive to Peter and he speaks out against this and rebukes Christ.   I know Peter did this out of his love for the Lord, but when Jesus is teaching, you need to listen and not speak.   Jesus turns to Peter and  rebukes him openly, when he states “Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the thinks that be of God, but the things that be of men.”   Satan wanted nothing more than for Jesus to not die there on the cross according to God’s plan.   But Jesus was in the very perfect Will of God, and nothing would deter Him of doing what He had set out to do, which was to pay the sin debt of the world by His sacrificial death on Calvary.

V.  Teaching on the True Use of Life and the Value of a Soul

Mark 8:34  And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Mark 8:35  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.

To follow Jesus, we have to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow him daily.  The cross speaks of death, and that is what God wants us to do daily.  Take up our cross and put the earthly, physical man to death.  There is a battle for the mind and soul daily, and it takes tremendous dedication to serve God fully the way we should.  It says if we lose our life for Jesus and the Gospel’s sake, the same shall save it.

Mark 8:36  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Mark 8:37  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Mark 8:38  Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

We spend many days of our lives trying to make a living and to store up money and belongings  for tomorrow.  But the teaching here asks a good question… what if we gained the whole world and lost our soul?   What would be the gain in that?  I’m sure the rich man who wanted Lazarus to go and preach to his five brothers would give anything to have another opportunity to be saved.   But many never give a thought about their souls.   Jesus makes it perfectly clear.   There is nothing we can give in exchange for our soul unless we come through him.   And if we are ashamed of Jesus down here, he will be ashamed of us when we die.  God help us all to live for God in such a way that we can be instruments used of the Lord to reach others that they too might know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

J. Vernon McGee closed his comments on Chapter 8 with a good question.

The Lord does not reveal His person apart from His work of redemption. After Peter confessed who He was and they truly recognized Him, He immediately told them, “… 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” (Mark 8:31). And then He gives the passage we have quoted. Here He is not putting down a condition of salvation, but stating the position of those who are saved. This is what He is talking about. “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me.” What kind of a Christian are you today? Are you one who acknowledges Him and serves Him and attempts to glorify Him? My friend, this is all important in these days in which we live.  [iii]



Internet Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge.  The lessons may not be sold without consent.   If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343.


Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


e-mail at:



Practice Random Acts of Kindness.  Each act spreads, and many will be blessed.



[i]Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.

[ii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

[iii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.