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Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Mark 8

Verse 1

1 Jesus did many of his works through cooperation with his disciples.

Verse 2

2 The compassion of Jesus was caused by the lack of food among the multitudes. That would be emphasized by the motive that had kept them there for three days, which was that they might hear the teaching He was giving.

Verse 3

3 For comments on this verse see those on Mat 15:32.

Verse 4

4 It is strange the disciples forgot the occasion of chapter 6:35-44.

Verse 5

5 Jesus never had to ask questions for information (Joh 2:24-25), but he often asked them as a means of drawing the disciples into the matter at hand, to let them feel a sense of responsibility concerning the welfare of others.

Verse 6

6 They were to sit down for the sake of orderliness. The bread was first handed to the disciples who then did set ("place near"--Thayer) the bread before them.

Verse 7

7 He blessed is equivalent to "gave thanks" in the preceding verse.

Verse 8

8 Having the baskets of scraps left denoted that their being filled was not just an imagination. This is especially significant in view of the fact that they had been fasting for three days and must have been very hungry.

Verse 9

9 Mat 15:38 says this many men besides women and children.

Verse 10

0 After dismissing the people Jesus got into a boat and came to the region of Dalmanutha, a town on the west side of the Sea of Galilee.

Verse 11

1 It is honorable to ask questions for information, but the Pharisees asked them as a temptation of Jesus, thus acting in their usual hypocritical manner.

Verse 12

2 Sighed deeply means Jesus made a deep groan over the perversity of those people. He did not consider them worthy of much attention. In Mat 16:4 he did tell them about Jonah, but that was not what they really wanted.

Verse 13

3 Leaving the crowd, Jesus again recrossed the sea.

Verse 14

4 They were about to enter a region where public markets were scarce at best, which ought to have prompted the disciples to make special provision for it. Jesus knew they had forgotten about it and used the circumstance to test them.

Verse 15

5 The disciples knew that the Pharisees and Herod were in an unfavorable light with Jesus, but they did not grasp the comparison that was made to leaven.

Verse 16

6 "A guilty conscience needs no reproof" is an old saying, and it about describes the state of mind the disciples were in. There was scarcely any connection between what Jesus said and the fact of their having forgotten to take bread.

Verse 17

7 They had done their reasoning to themselves but Jesus knew about it and rebuked them for their dullness of heart which almost amounted to unbelief.

Verse 18

8 This verse means they did not use their faculties to arrive at just conclusions, even when they had visible facts on which to base their reasoning.

Verse 19

0 To show that it was not a lapse in their memory, Jesus specified that part of the previous feedings that especially demonstrated the greatness of the miracle (the amount of scraps left) and they remembered both instances.

Verse 21

1 Jesus rebuked them with a question as to their understanding. Mat 16:12 states that the disciples then did understand what Jesus meant by leaven.

Verse 22

2 The request for Jesus to touch the man showed their faith in his power.

Verse 23

3 Jesus anointed the man with saliva and touched his eyes.

Verse 24

4 Men looked like trees walking to this man; that is, he saw that much but the vision was indistinct.

Verse 25

5 Jesus next touched the man's eyes and he saw clearly. This circumstance has been referred to by some as an answer to our claim that miraculous cures were instantaneous. But it is no valid argument, for Jesus just saw fit to perform two miracles, and each was instantaneous. To be like the modern so-called miracles, the man should have been receiving repeated treatments and the sight returning gradually, little by little, until he could see clearly. Instead, as soon as Jesus touched the man's eyes the first time he could see objects. Had nothing more been done he would always have seen that well. So that each of the miracles was complete and instantaneous.

Verse 26

6 See the comments on Mar 7:36 for the present verse.

Verse 27

7 The origin of the name Caesarea Philippi is explained at Mat 16:13. The question Jesus asked his disciples was for the introduction to the more important subject of the faith they had in him.

Verse 28

8 These opinions were based on the doctrine called "transmigration," which is explained by a note at Mat 14:2.

Verse 29

9 Whom say ye was addressed to all the apostles, but Peter usually was the spokesman and he made the confession of faith on behalf of the others.

Verse 30

0 This charge was not like the one in verse 26 and others as it had nothing directly to do with his miracles. It meant that it was not time to "release" the fundamental claim of his divinity to the whole world.

Verse 31

1 It was near enough to the end to introduce the sad information of how Jesus was to be treated by the Jewish leaders. This one verse covers the persecution, death and resurrection of Jesus. But it seems that Peter noticed only the bad part of it and overlooked the glorious assurance of the resurrection. Doubtless that was because he was still under the delusion that Jesus was to set up an earthly kingdom, which he could not do if he died a violent death.

Verse 32

2 With that error in mind Peter spoke against the prediction of Jesus.

Verse 33

3 Satan accomplished his purpose in the garden by contradicting the saying of God. Peter contradicted the statement of Jesus and hence he called him by that name. Savourest means to be interested in a thing, and Jesus meant that Peter was interested in a temporal kingdom instead of the spiritual kingdom of God.

Verse 34

4 Cross is used figuratively and means that following Christ requires one to make sacrifices. Many things must be denied to a man who tries to serve Jesus.

Verse 35

5 Two kinds of life are considered in this verse. The passage would read that whoever seeks to save his temporal life at the expense of righteousness will lose his spiritual life. And of course the opposite is true of the man who puts spiritual things above everything else.

Verse 36

6. Profit means to obtain from an investment more than was put into it. If a man buys the whole world with the price of his soul he will be a loser, for the price paid is many times more valuable than the thing purchased.

Verse 37

7 This verse has the same thought as the preceding but with a different figure. It is compared to a man pawning his soul for the pleasures of this world. When he would wish to redeem his soul from the "pawn shop" of the world he will not be able because the things of the world will then be gone out of existence.

Verse 38

8 Whosoever therefore. Since a wasted life will have nothing with which to redeem the soul, it is folly to disregard Jesus (be ashamed of him) in this world. Such a man will be disregarded by Jesus when he is in his presence and that of his angels.
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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Mark 8". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/mark-8.html. 1952.