In chapter six, the 5,000 that were fed were mostly Jews. Now Jesus is in Decapolis, a mostly Gentile region. Mark’s primary audience was Roman Gentiles and he wanted the Roman’s to know Jesus was compassionate to them also.
Verse 1 – In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them.
Verse 2 – “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with Me three days and have nothing to eat.
Verse 3 – “And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.
Can we even imagine being in this multitude of people, watching the sick healed and learning from Jesus Himself? And then realizing after three days, that you needed to eat? Most people wouldn’t spend three hours let alone three days waiting on a healing. I watch people get up and leave at church, when its time for the altars to be open for the lost. Jesus showed compassion at all times, shouldn’t we do the same?
Verse 4 – Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread her in the wilderness?”
Weren’t the disciples present for the 5,000 feeding? Is this so with us? Are all former deliverance’s soon forgotten each time a new crises occurs? Trials and testings will come to every believer. Some lasting for years, but our great God will deliver us out of them all!
Verse 5 – He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven.”
Verse 6 – And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them, and they set them before the multitude.
Verse 7 – And they had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them.
Verse 8 – So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments.
Seven is the same number of loaves they had started with, but now they have seven baskets left over. There was nothing lost. Maybe Jesus is trying to tell us something.
Verse 9 – Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. And He sent them away.
Verse 10 – And immediately He got into the boat with His disciples and came to the region of Dalmanutha.
The Pharisees Seek a Sign
Verse 11 – And the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him.
A sign from heaven, a cosmic phenomenon. They wanted to discredit Jesus’ authority. The Pharisees needed to explain away the miracles that were happening so that the people would not believe that He was the Messiah. Hearts can become so hard that even the most visible facts cannot convince the hardest of hearts.
Verse 12 – But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.”
Have you ever asked God for a sign? Is the Bible in its entirety not enough? When we are waiting on an answer, we are to watch, wait, and pray, earnestly fro our answer. Too many times people will say, “This must be a sign…” Then nothing turns out the way they thought.
Verse 13 – And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side.
Verse 14 – Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat.
Verse 15 – Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”
Leaven is yeast in this passage representing evil and corruption. Food was on the disciple’s mind, but they had just left the Pharisees and Jesus was warning them about them. Beware of those working in secrecy and silence, twisting the scriptures for their gain – hypocrites.
Verse 16 – So they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.”
Verse 17 – And Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened?
Did you catch what Jesus related a hard-heart to? Evidently not perceiving nor understanding. Do you think it had anything to do with their intelligence level? I don’t believe it did. It had everything to do with the perception they had of Jesus being able to see into the heart of the Pharisees.
Verse 18 – “Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember?
Oh, how easily they forgot all the multitudes that Jesus had fed. Did they not think that He could feed only twelve? Do we not do the same thing every time a new situation arises? Are our memories so short they we forget that our God has delivered us before?
Verse 19 – “When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up? They said to Him, “Twelve.”
Verse 20 – “and when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did yo take up?” And they said, “Seven.”
Verse 21 – So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?”
This is the hardest rebuke recorded by Mark. He still wasn’t mean about it though. He wanted them, as He wants us, to remember the times He delivered and provided, and He is perfectly capable of doing it again.
Verse 22 – Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him.
Verse 23 – So 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 on him, He asked him if he saw anything.
Verse 24 – And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees walking.”
Verse 25 – Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.
Verse 26 – And He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into town, nor tell anyone in town.”
No reason is given to the man for not returning to the village, but there was one or Jesus wouldn’t have taken this man by the hand and led him out of that town. Also, perhaps this healing was done in two stages to show the disciples, and us, that sometimes a healing will come gradually.
Verse 27 – Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?”
Verse 28 – And they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others say one of the prophets.”
Verse 29 – He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”
Verse 30 – Then He charged them that they should tell no one about Him.
Verse 31 – And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Before the disciples could tell others that Jesus was the Christ, they needed to fully understand what the reason for His coming and dying was for. Unless someone understands the foundational basics of the Gospel, themselves they will only sound confused to someone else. We need to know “what” we believe, and “why” we believe it.
Verse 32 – He spoke this word openly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.
Verse 33 – But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Peter wasn’t considering God’s will or the purpose of His plan. He only knew that he didn’t want Jesus to die. Only after Jesus death and resurrection would they fully understand why Jesus had to die.
Verse 34 – And when He had called the people to Him, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
He asks us, as He did them, are you willing to put others first and carry the burden of being persecuted for My sake?
Verse 35 – “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
Verse 36 – “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
Verse 37 – “Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Verse 38 – “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with His holy angels.
I have one question: If you were standing in a court of law, would the prosecutor have enough evidence to convict you of being a follower of Jesus Christ?