Mark 8 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Mark 8)

Verse 8

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

So they did eat — This miracle was intended to demonstrate, that Christ was the true bread which cometh down from heaven; for he who was almighty to create bread without means to support natural life, could not want power to create bread without means to support spiritual life. And this heavenly bread we stand so much in need of every moment, that we ought to be always praying, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

Verse 11

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

Tempting him — That is, trying to ensnare him. Matthew 16:1.

Verse 12

[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.

Matthew 16:4.

Verse 15

[15] And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.

Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod, or of the Sadducees; two opposite extremes. 17,18. Our Lord here affirms of all the apostles, (for the question is equivalent to an affirmation,) That their hearts were hardened; that having eyes they saw not, having ears they heard not; that they did not consider, neither understand: the very same expressions that occur in the thirteenth of Matthew. And yet it is certain they were not judicially hardened. Therefore all these strong expressions do not necessarily import any thing more than the present want of spiritual understanding.

Verse 23

[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.

He led him out of the town — It was in just displeasure against the inhabitants of Bethsaida for their obstinate infidelity, that our Lord would work no more miracles among them, nor even suffer the person he had cured, either to go into the town, or to tell it to any therein.

Verse 24

[24] And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.

I see men as trees walking — He distinguished men from trees only by their motion.

Verse 27

[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?

Luke 9:18.

Verse 30

[30] And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.

He enjoined them silence for the present, 1. That he might not encourage the people to set him up for a temporal king; 2. That he might not provoke the scribes and Pharisees to destroy him before the time and, 3. That he might not forestall the bright evidence which was to be given of his Divine character after his resurrection.

Verse 31

[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.

Luke 9:22.

Verse 32

[32] And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.

He spake that saying openly — Or in express terms. Till now he had only intimated it to them.

And Peter taking hold of him — Perhaps by the arms or clothes.

Verse 33

[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.

Looking on his disciples — That they might the more observe what he said to Peter.

Verse 34

[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.

And when he called the people — To hear a truth of the last importance, and one that equally concerned them all.

Let him deny himself — His own will, in all things small and great, however pleasing, and that continually: And take up his cross - Embrace the will of God, however painful, daily, hourly, continually. Thus only can he follow me in holiness to glory.

Verse 35

[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.

John 12:25.

Verse 38

[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.

Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words — That is, avowing whatever I have said (particularly of self denial and the daily cross) both by word and action. Luke 12:8.