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1 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him , and saith unto them,
Ver. 1. The multitude being very great ] Yet not so great as the five thousand before fed with fewer loaves and more leavings. To teach us, that God’s blessing, and not the quantity of meat, feeds and satisfies.
2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:
Ver. 2. I have compassion, &c. ] See Trapp on " Mat 15:32 " See Trapp on " Mat 15:33 " See Trapp on " Mat 15:34 "
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.
Ver. 3. They will faint ] εκλυθησονται , "their sinews will be loosened," as it useth to fare with men in fainting fits. Physicians sometimes let blood usque ad deliquium animae; so doth God, as he did David often. See Trapp on " Mat 15:32 "
4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?
Ver. 4. With bread ] That is, with the coarsest fare. Horatius opponit panem libis et placentis, lib. i. eph 10. Bread is used for homely provision.
5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.
Ver. 5. See Trapp on " Mat 15:34 "
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.
Ver. 6. See Trapp on " Mat 15:35 "
7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them .
Ver. 7. See Trapp on " Mat 15:36 "
8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.
Ver. 38. See Trapp on " Mat 15:37 "
9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.
Ver. 9. See Trapp on " Mat 15:38 "
10 And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha.
Ver. 10. See Trapp on " Mat 15:39 "
11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.
Ver. 11. See Trapp on " Mat 16:1 "
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.
Ver. 12. And he sighed deeply ] His heart was straitened (as the word αναστεναξας signifies) and would have burst, but for a vent.
" Expletur lachrymis egeriturque dolor. "
So those marked mourners sighed and cried for others, who were altogether insensible of their own miseries, Ezekiel 9:4 . So Habakkuk trembled and quivered for the Chaldeans’ calamities, Habakkuk 3:16 .
13 And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.
Ver. 13. And he left them ] See Trapp on " Mat 16:13 "
14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.
15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.
Ver. 15. Of the leaven of Herod ] Of the Sadducees, saith Matthew; to the which sect some conceive that Herod had now joined himself, the better to still the noise of his conscience by making himself believe there was no judgment to come.
16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.
Ver. 16. See Trapp on " Mat 16:7 "
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?
Ver. 17. Perceive ye not yet ] Christ reckons upon our time, and looks for improvement of our talents.
18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?
Ver. 18. Do ye mot remember ] All is lost that is not well laid up in this pot of manna, the sanctified memory, 1 Corinthians 15:2 .
19 When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.
Ver. 19. See Trapp on " Mat 16:9 " See Trapp on " Mat 16:10 "
20 And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.
Ver. 20. See Trapp on " Mat 16:9 " See Trapp on " Mat 16:10 "
21 And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?
Ver. 21. How is it that ye do not understand? ] It is very ill taken when we improve not experiments. Of all things God can least abide to be forgotten.
22 And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.
Ver. 22. And they bring a blind man unto him ] This is another of those miracles mentioned by St Mark only. SeeMark 7:32; Mark 7:32 .
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.
Ver. 23. He took the blind man by the hand ] He could have delivered him to his friends, to lead him; but he did it himself, as holding it an honour, a pleasure, to do men in misery any office of courtesy.
And led him out of the town ] Either that the miracle he wrought might be the less noticed, or as holding the inhabitants unworthy to behold it. All Israel might see Moses go towards the rock of Rephidim; none but the elders might see him strike it. Their unbelief made them unworthy this privilege; so might their unthankfulness the men of Bethsaida. Woe to thee, Bethsaida! It is no small favour of God to make us witnesses of his great works.
24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
Ver. 24. I see men as trees, walking ] This was done, saith an expositor, to the end that Christ’s power might be the more distinctly known; as also to instruct men in their degrees and progresses of spiritual illumination, to give God the glory wholly, both for the beginning and for the accomplishment. He is author and finisher of our faith, Hebrews 12:2 .
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.
Ver. 25. He saw every man clearly ] τηλαυγως , Procul et dilucide, longe lateque. When we come to heaven, we shall see as we are seen, who now see but as in a glass obscurely, as old men do through spectacles, 1 Corinthians 13:12 .
26 And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.
Ver. 26. Neither go into the town ] Christ would not vouchsafe such an ungrateful people the benefit of one more preacher, though never so mean. This was a greater judgment upon them than if he had turned some other way that arm of the sea that brought so much wealth into their town.
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?
Ver. 27. See Trapp on " Mat 16:13 "
28 And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say , Elias; and others, One of the prophets.
Ver. 28. See Trapp on " Mat 16:13 "
29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.
Ver. 29. Thou art the Christ ] This was much in few. Here is not Thou art Peter, and upon this rock, &c. Which if either St Mark or St Peter had esteemed (as Papists now do) the foundation of the Christian Church, it had not been here omitted (as Beza well observeth), since it goes for current among the ancients, that St Mark wrote this Gospel at St Peter’s mouth.
30 And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
Ver. 30. See Trapp on " Mat 16:20 "
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.
Ver. 31. And after three days ] That is, within three days, or on the third day.
32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.
Ver. 32. See Trapp on " Mat 16:22 " See Trapp on " Mat 16:23 "
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.
Ver. 33. See Trapp on " Mat 16:22 " See Trapp on " Mat 16:23 "
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.
Ver. 34. Whosoever will come after me ] See Trapp on " Mat 10:38 " See Trapp on " Mat 16:24 "
Let him deny himself ] Christianity (saith one) is perpetua naturae violentia, a continual crossing of corrupt nature.
Take up his cross ] It is but a delicacy that men dream of to divide Christ and his cross. Every Christian must be a Crucian, said Luther, and do somewhat more than those monks that made themselves wooden crosses, and carried them on their backs continually, making all the world laugh at them.
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.
Ver. 35. For whosoever will save his life ] As that revolting priest, host to Philbert Hamlin, martyr, slain by his enemy upon a private quarrel. As those Angrognians that yielded to the Papists that came against them, and were more cruelly handled by them than their neighbours they continued constant in the truth. As Denton, the smith of Wells, in Cambridgeshire, that could not burn for Christ, and was afterwards burned in his own house, As West, that was chaplain to Bishop Ridley, who, refusing to die for Christ’s cause with his master, said mass against his conscience, and soon after pined away for sorrow. If I shrink from God’s truth (said Doctor Taylor, martyr), I am sure of another manner of death than had Judge Hales, who being drawn, for fear of death, to do things against his conscience, did afterwards drown himself. (Acts and Mon.)
36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Ver. 36. For what shall it profit a man ] And yet many do as Shimei, that, to seek his servants, lost himself. And as Jonah, that was content to be cast into the sea, that the ship with her lading might come safe to shore.
37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Ver. 37. Or, what shall a man give? ] See Trapp on " Mat 16:26 "
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.
Ver. 38. In this adulterous and sinful, &c. ] The worse the times are the better we should be. Stars are most needed in a dark night. We may as well, saith Zuinglius, Ad aram Iovis aut Veneris adorare, ac sub Antichristo fidem occultare. Antichrist’s limbs have their mark in their hand, which they may show or hide at pleasure; but Christ’s members have their marks in their foreheads only. David’s parents and brethren came down to him to the cave of Adullam, though to their great danger, 1 Samuel 22:1 . Onesiphorus was not ashamed of Paul’s chain at Rome, 2 Timothy 1:16 .
When he cometh in the glory ] David going against Goliath, took only his sling, and a few stones; but when against Nabal, he marched better appointed. So Christ came at first in a mean condition; but when he comes again to judgment, he shall march furiously, attended with troops of saints and angels.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Mark 8". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany