8:1 In those days1, when there was again a great multitude, and they had nothing to eat, he called unto him his disciples2, and saith unto them,
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
9:12), but now, being taught by experience, they keep silence and let
Jesus manage as he will.
8:2 I have compassion on the multitude,
because they continue with me now three days, and have
nothing to eat1:
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.
8:4 And his disciples answered him, Whence
shall one be able to fill these men with bread here in a desert place1?
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 (Numbers
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
8:6 And he
commandeth the multitude to sit down on the ground1: and
he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he brake, and gave to his
disciples, to set before them; and they set them before the multitude.
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.
8:10 And straightway he entered into the
boat with his disciples, and came into the parts of
THIRD WITHDRAWAL FROM HEROD'S TERRITORY. A. PHARISAIC LEAVEN. A BLIND MAN
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.
8:11 And the Pharisees came forth, and
began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, trying
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 Mark
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 (Joel
Trying him. Testing the strength of his miraculous powers.
8:12 And he sighed
deeply in his spirit1, and saith, Why doth this generation
seek a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign
be given unto this generation2.
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 Matthew
8:13 And he left
them, and again entering into [the boat] departed to the other side1.
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.
8:14 And they forgot to take bread; and
they had not in the boat with them more than one loaf1.
And they had not in the boat with them more than one loaf. This
loaf was probably left over from the previous supply (Mark
8:15 And he charged them, saying, Take
heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.
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.
8:16 And they
reasoned one with another, saying, We have no bread1.
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 Mark
8:19 When I brake the five loaves among the
five thousand, how many baskets1
full of broken pieces took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.
Baskets. In Greek, "kophini", probably traveling baskets.
8:20 And when the seven among the four
thousand, how many basketfuls of broken pieces took ye up? And they say unto
Baskets. In Greek, "spurides", probably grain baskets or
8:21 And he said unto them, Do
ye not yet understand1?
Do ye not yet understand? See Matthew
8:22 And they come unto Bethsaida. And they
bring to him a blind man, and beseech him to touch him.
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
8:23 And he took
hold of the blind man by the hand, and brought him out of the village1;
and when he had spit on his eyes, and laid his hands
upon him, he asked him, Seest thou aught2?
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, 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.
8:24 And he looked
up, and said, I see men; for I behold [them] as trees1,
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 cannot by it tell a circle from a square.
8:26 And he sent
him away to his home, saying, Do not even enter into the village1.
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.
8:27 And Jesus went forth, and his
disciples, into the villages of Caesarea Philippi1:
and on the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Who
do men say that I am2?
THIRD WITHDRAWAL FROM HEROD'S TERRITORY. B. THE GREAT CONFESSION MADE BY
PETER. (Near Caesarea Philippi, Summer, A.D. 29.) Matthew
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 Palestine 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,
8:28 And they told him, saying, John
the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but others, One of the prophets1.
John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but others, One of the prophets.
For comment on similar language, see Mark
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.
8:29 And he asked them, But
who say ye that I am1? Peter
answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ2.
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 Matthew
8:30 And he
charged them that they should tell no man of him1.
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.
8:31 And he began
to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things1,
and be rejected by the elders, and the chief priests,
and the scribes2, and be killed,
and after three days rise again3.
THIRD WITHDRAWAL FROM HEROD'S TERRITORY. C. PASSION FORETOLD. PETER REBUKED. Matthew
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
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 Matthew
And be killed, and after three days rise again. See Matthew
12:42. Very early in his ministry Jesus had given obscure intimations
concerning his death (John
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
8:32 And he spake
the saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him1.
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
8:33 But he
turning about, and seeing his disciples1, rebuked
Peter, and saith, Get thee behind me, Satan2; for thou
mindest not the things of God, but the things of men.
But he turning about, and seeing his disciples. 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
Rebuked Peter, and saith, Get thee behind me, Satan. 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
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.
8:34 And he called
unto him the multitude with his disciples1, and said unto
them, If any man would come after me, let him deny
himself, and take up his cross, and follow me2.
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 Romans
8:36; 1 Corinthians
15:31. See Matthew
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 his teaching and example.
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 it1.
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 Matthew
8:36 For what doth
it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life1?
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?
8:38 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me
and of my words in this adulterous and sinful
generation2, the Son of man also
shall be ashamed of him3, when he
cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels4.
Whoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words. Compare Luke
12:9; 2 Timothy
1:8,12; 2 Timothy
In this adulterous and sinful generation. See Matthew
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 from a
threefold indication that Jesus here speaks of his final coming to judge the