Gospel of Mark Chapter Eight

8:1 At that time the crowds were very large – and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples over to him and said –
8:2 “I have compassion for the masses because they have been with me for three days and don’t have anything to eat.
8:3 And if I send them off to their homes fasting they will faint on the way – because many of them have come from far away.”
8:4 And his disciples responded, “How can someone satisfy them with bread here in the wilderness?”
8:5 So he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied.
8:6 Then he instructed the people to sit down on the ground. He took the seven loaves and offered them to God. Then he broke them and gave them to his disciples to pass out – so they distributed them to the people.
8:7 They also had a few small fishes. So Jesus offered them to God and instructed they also be distributed.
8:8 So everyone ate and were filled. And they picked up seven baskets of fragments that were left over.
8:9 About four thousand people had eaten. Then he sent them off.
8:10 Straightaway he boarded a boat with his disciples and traveled into the region of Dalmanutha.
8:11 Then the pharisees came up and began to question him – they sought a sign from heaven, and tested him.
8:12 From within his spirit he sighed deeply and said, “Why does this society seek a sign? Truly I tell you, there will be no sign shown to this society.”
8:13 Then he left them and boarded a boat again and left for the other shore.
8:14 Now they forgot to bring bread – and they didn’t have more than one loaf on the boat.
8:15 So he instructed them, saying, “Be careful, beware of the yeast of the pharisees – and the yeast of Herod.”
8:16 They debated among themselves about this and concluded, “This is because we have no bread.”
8:17 Knowing this, Jesus asked them, “Why are you debating about having no bread? Do you not see or understand? Have your hearts become hardened?
8:18 Do you have eyes yet don’t see? And ears, yet don’t hear? And don’t you remember?
8:19 When I broke the five loaves among the five thousand, how many baskets of fragments did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they replied.
8:20 “And when the seven were distributed among four thousand, how many baskets of fragments did you pick up?” “Seven,” they replied.
8:21 So he said to them, “How is it that you still don’t understand?”
8:22 Then he traveled to Bethsaida, and they brought to him a blind man and asked him to touch the man.
8:23 So he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. After he put saliva on his eyes and put his hands on him, he asked him if he was able to see.
8:24 The man looked up and said, “I see people that look like trees, walking about.”
8:25 Again Jesus put his hands upon his eyes, and had him look up – and his sight was restored and he saw everyone clearly.
8:26 Then Jesus sent him off to his house and said, “Don’t go into the village.”
8:27 Then Jesus departed with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. As they were on their way, he asked his students, “Who do people say I am?”
8:28 “John the Baptist – but some say Elijah and others say one of the Prophets,” they replied.
8:29 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Peter replied and said, “You are the Anointed of God [Messiah, Christ].”
8:30 He instructed them not to tell anyone about this.
8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Servant of Humanity must bear many things, and be rejected by the elders and by the chief priests and the scribes, and be murdered – and after three days, will rise from the body.
8:32 He spoke this openly. So Peter took him aside and began to admonish him.
8:33 But after he turned around and looked at his disciples, he chastised Peter, saying, “Get away from me, opposer of God – for you set your mind not upon God’s interests, but the interests of people.”
8:34 After he called the people over to him with his disciples, he said to them, “Whoever wants to follow me, let him deny himself and pull up his stakes1 and follow me.
8:35 Because whoever wants to save their life will lose it – but whoever will lose their life for my sake and the Teachings will be saving themselves.
8:36 For what shall one benefit if he gains the whole world yet loses his own soul?
8:37 Or what should a person give in exchange for his own soul?
8:38 Therefore, whoever is ashamed of me and my teachings to this adulterous and sinful society – the Servant of Humanity will be ashamed of them when he appears in the majesty of his Creator with the holy angels.


1. Verse 8:34. The Greek word, σταυρός (stauros) indicates a stake that is put in the ground around grape vines or other vines, to prop up the plant among farming communities. These were primarily rural people who were farmers or knew the farming life intimately. This phrase, “pull up stakes,” was and still is used to indicate leaving the farm and moving to another place. The text indicates that Jesus is using this phrase metaphorically as the departure from one's materialistic life – leaving behind the interests of society and embracing the interests of God (see Mark 8:33).

Continue to Gospel of Mark Chapter Nine