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God Continues to Provide

Mark 8:6-10

This simple narrative almost duplicates the amazing feeding of 5,000 (Mark 6:35-44), only this time there were 4,000 people.  Instead of five loaves and two fish there were seven loaves and some small fish.  Instead of twelve baskets full of leftovers there were seven.  The numbers changed but Jesus did not. His heart was still of compassion, His priority was to feed their souls, but His love wanted to meet their human hunger too.  Once again, when Jesus fed people they were satisfied (soul and body), and once again there were plenty of leftovers for the disciples.

God Does Not Play Games

Mark 8:11-13

Astonishing!  After two miraculously produced meals for over 9,000 people, religious leaders demanded a miraculous sign to prove who He was!  What sort of sign did they want?  Healings, exorcisms, crowd-picnics from nowhere?  Jesus had already done all of these, and far more.  But that is the problem with blindness - it cannot see ... even if the evidence is right under its nose.  Spiritual blindness is usually surrounded by the evidence which is denied.  

Another Misunderstanding

Mark 8:14-16

Despite the miraculous feeding of another 4,000 people, 12 grown men were arguing because they had forgotten to take more than one loaf of bread with them on the boat - even though Jesus was with them in the boat.  

Simple Questions Unmask Stubborn Unbelief

Mark 8:17-21

When Jesus asks a question, it is not a sign of His ignorance, but of His right to challenge people's thinking.  The scene for this tutorial with the disciples is a fishing boat.  The disciples were discussing their forgetfulness to buy enough bread for their journey (Mark 8:14-16).  Even though they had recently witnessed more than 9,000 people being miraculously fed by their Master (Mark 6:30-44; Mark 8:1-8), somebody was to blame, and the others were worried – it was up to them to get the bread and they had failed.

Willing to Let Jesus Help You to See

Mark 8:22-26

In the previous passage (Mark 8:14-21) the disciples could not understand who Jesus was.  They obeyed His call to follow but did not trust His sovereignty.  They were blind to the truth.  Now, a blind man's friends believed that Jesus could bring new sight.  It happened away from the glare of publicity, and was not to be celebrated in the village afterwards - because Jesus wanted a personal encounter with the man, and with His faithless, trainee apostles.  So Jesus led the man away from his friends and the crowds: but the disciples were there to witness a miracle that needed to happen insid

Who is Jesus?

Mark 8:27-30

'On the way' may sound like a casual comment, but with Jesus, nothing is random or haphazard.  He chooses His time and place to intervene in people's lives.  As usual, the Master was teaching His future church leaders; searching their understanding with His questions.  He wanted to know if they understood who He was, but He introduced the conversation by asking what they had heard from other people.  The favourite idea was - 'a prophet'.  It was obvious that Jesus spoke with authority from God (Mark 1:27), and the miracles confirmed His words (John 14:11).  But somehow, 'prophet' was a safe

Godly or Human Concerns?

Mark 8:31-33

After Peter's dramatic confession of the identity of Jesus, perhaps he expected a triumphant procession to start.  But even before the transfiguration (Mark 9:2-10), Jesus has to teach the apostles that He was to be the Christ who suffered.  To be glorified, yes … eventually: but to suffer was the first essential.  That had been prophesied about Jesus (Isaiah 53:1-12); it was the pattern of the Old Testament prophets (Matthew 5:11-12; Matthew 23:35) and would be the life-expectation of the apostles (John 15:18-21).  They needed to be prepared.

The Call to Follow Jesus and Deny Self

Mark 8:34-38

After Jesus announced Himself as the suffering Christ (Mark 8:31), Peter rebuked Him but only to earn the worst critique this side of hell: 'Get behind me Satan' (Mark 8:32-33).  Doubtless the other disciples were alarmed … if Peter could be so wrong, what hope had the others?  Were they in danger of being excluded from Jesus' select group?  At that point Jesus called the crowd to join them, announcing that they were all welcome to follow Him, but on one condition: they must be willing to sacrifice all self-interest, even being willing to die for His sake.  If they were to keep on

The Power and the Glory

Mark 9:1-4

What a rollercoaster of mind-bending teaching (Mark 8:27-38).  First an apparently casual enquiry about who people thought Jesus was.  Then the direct question about the disciples' view on Jesus' identity … followed by Peter's confession … almost immediately followed by Peter's staggering rebukes to Jesus about the cross. Then, Jesus not only rebuked his words as being Satanic, but told all the disciples that they were to suffer too!  Now there is a promise of glory, followed by a brief experience of it!  Unforgettable!  And just as intended.

Whose Voice is Important?

Mark 9:5-8

These verses describe what happened when the 'three witnesses of glory', Peter, James and John (2 Peter 1:16) saw Jesus transfigured.  It was an awesome sight; one which they needed to drink in - prostrating themselves to the ground in worship.  But worship was not on their mind at that moment.  It would come later when Father God spoke (Matthew 17:5-8).  But initially they were excited by this unusual sign; they wanted it to stay with them, and Moses and Elijah to remain too.