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Today’s Devotional: Mark 8

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Mark 8   Large crowds stayed with Jesus for three days and had exhausted whatever food they brought with them (vv. 1-3). Jesus then instructed his disciples to gather what food they had, told the people sit down, gave thanks, and dispersed it throughout the 4,000 present (vv. 6-9). Jesus and his disciples then sailed to the north western side of the Sea of Galilee (v. 10).  

Despite all Jesus’ teaching and miraculous works, the Pharisees’ spiritually hard hearts demanded yet more “proof” (vv. 11-12). What they needed was faith, not more miracles. Jesus warned his disciples of the danger of unbiblical teaching and living as illustrated by the Jewish religious and political leaders (vv. 13-21).  

Mark’s gospel is the only one that tells of Jesus’ healing the blind man in verses 22-26. Jesus touched the blind man’s eyes (cf. 7:33), and his eyesight miraculously returned (cf. Isa 35:5).  

Jesus and the disciples left Bethsaida and went north to Caesarea Philippi. On the way there Peter expressed his true belief that Jesus is the Christ, Israel’s promised Messiah (vv. 27–30). Most people wrongly viewed Jesus merely as a miracle working prophet.  

From this point Jesus began telling his disciples of his coming betrayal, rejection by Israel, death, and resurrection, but they failed to grasp the significance of what he said (vv. 31–33).   Jesus then taught what believing and following him means and involves (vv. 34–38).  

Truths to Nail Down and Apply

  1. “The leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod” (v. 15) is always present. “Leaven” works through dough, changing it entirely. Wrong teaching and living works through a person causing great, damaging change. Heed Jesus’ warning: “Take heed, beware”!!
  2. Jesus did not begin openly teaching about his coming death and resurrection (v. 31) until about a year before that happened.
  3. Jesus said that truly following him (which is just another way of saying believing in him) involves and demands willingly living according to God’s will, not your own (vv. 34–38).
  4. Jesus the Son of God describes those who do not believe him as “this adulterous and sinful generation” (v. 38).
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