|Mark 8 |
1 In those days, the multitude [following him] was very great and had nothing to eat; so Jesus called his disciples to him and said to them,
2 "I have compassion on the multitude because they have now been with me three days and have nothing to eat;
3 And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for many of them came from far away."
4 And his disciples asked him, "How can anyone satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?"
5 He asked them, "How many loaves do you have?" And they said, "Seven."
6 So he commanded the people to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before them.
7 They also had a few small fish, and he blessed them and commanded that these should also be set before them.
8 So they ate and were filled, and they picked up seven baskets full of the broken food that was left.
9 And those who had eaten were about four thousand; then he sent them away.
10 Immediately he entered into a boat with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha.
11 Then the Pharisees came out and began to question him, testing him by asking for a sign from heaven from him.
12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, "Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign shall be given to this generation."
13 Then he left them, and entering into the boat again, he departed to the other side.
14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they had no more than one loaf in the boat with them.
15 And he charged them, saying, "Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the leaven of Herod."1
16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is because we have no bread."
17 But being aware of it, Jesus said to them, "Why do you reason about having no bread? Do you not yet perceive, nor understand? Are your hearts hardened?
18 Having eyes, do you not see; and having ears, do you not hear; and do you not remember?
19 When I broke the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you pick up?" And they said to him, "Twelve."
20 "Also, when I broke the seven loaves among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you pick up?" And they said, "Seven."
21 So he said to them, "How is it that you do not understand?"
22 Then they came to Bethsaida, and they brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him.
23 So 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 something.
24 And he looked up and said, "I see people, but they look like trees walking."
25 After that he again put his hands on his eyes and made him look up; and he was restored and saw everything clearly.
26 Then he sent him away to his house, saying, "Do not go into the town or tell anyone."
27 Now Jesus went out with his disciples into the towns of Caesarea Philippi, and on the way he asked his disciples, saying to them, "Who do men say that I am?"
28 And they answered, "Some say John the Baptist; but others say Elijah; and others say one of the prophets."
29 And he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered him, "You are the Christ."
30 Then he commanded them that they should tell no man about him.
31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, by the chief priests and scribes, and be killed; and after three days rise again.
32 He spoke this plainly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
33 But when he had turned around and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, "Get behind me Satan, for You are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but on man’s.”
34 And when he had called the people and his disciples to himself, he said to them, "Whoever would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. [To follow Jesus we must first seek to hear the Lord speak to us by patiently and persistently listening in humble silence. To obey what we hear Him command us to do is to follow Jesus. From the Word of the Lord within: "Stop following men. Everyone listen to what the Spirit says; this you follow. Master following. Follow precisely; do not deviate."]
35 For whoever would save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.2 [Those who live in the flesh (sinful nature) cannot please God. Rom 8:8. You must mortify all sin in your body to save your soul and obtain the superior life of God, making Christ the Lord of all your words and deeds, while on earth, and then forever.]
36 For what does it profit a man, if he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?3
37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
38 Therefore, whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; the Son of man will be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
1 Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which can infect a man and completely take him over. What is the leaven of the Pharisees? Hypocrisy — to talk about religion, while continuing to walk in sin. Such people draw near with their mouths, and honor Me with their lips; but have removed their hearts far from Me. Isa 29:13. When an obviously unfinished man talks about God, many people see his lack of living up to what he professes, and disbelieve anything he says; such a man scatters. So be doers of the word, the commands of Jesus, not just hearers. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror, who sees himself truly, goes away, and immediately forgets what he looked like.
2 You must lose you life to save it. To attain salvation is to find the new life in God, to put on the incorruptible, to have become an entirely new creature, to have crucified the flesh [the sinful nature] with its passions and desires [lusts and affections] on the inward cross of self-denial. You must forsake all that you have. You must deny yourself and pick up your cross daily to follow Jesus. So where did just believe become enough? It never did; you must believe Jesus enough to obey him. Remember the father of our faith is Abraham, counted as righteous and blessed by God, because he believed: he believed enough to obey the command to circumcise himself and all the males of his household, to leave his home seeking a distant promised land, and to sacrifice his son, Isaac, (which was only a test of his faith). Abraham received the blessing of God because he obeyed God's voice. And so must we be obedient, or we will never have peace with God, much less his blessing. Blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep [obey, observe, practice] it. Luke 11:28. Listen to and obey My voice, and I will be your God and you will be My people; and walk in the whole way that I command you, that it may be well with you. Jer 7:23.
3 For what does it profit a man, if he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Notice! NOTICE! The Lord has just told us that to own the whole world is less valuable than a man's soul. The soul is more valuable than all the wealth, all the power, all the pleasures, and all the sought after exotic locations in the world combined. We have no idea what we have been given — the soul — because we cannot see what can become of that soul if we carry our cross to the death of our sinful nature. As Paul has said: "Man's eye has not seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, the things that God has prepared for those who love him." From the Word of the Lord within:
"Truly, I say to you, all the truth is magnificent; you will marvel when you see it.
There are very few people who, when they see what God is, would turn down union with him. "
Stephen Crisp spoke these words in his recorded sermon:
Where there is a great deal of pride, malice and envy, the spirit of Christ will root it up, and all that evil that the enemy has planted in men, he will pluck it up, and bring in everlasting righteousness, and plant love in the same soul, and establish and settle it. Such a one will have more joy, pleasure and delight, under the government of the Spirit of Christ in one day, than anyone can have that is governed by the evil spirit in a thousand days.
From the Word of the Lord within: "The potential fulfillment of the soul is beyond your ability to grasp. No soul is immortal apart from me."
The fulfillment of the soul's potential is beyond man's wildest imaginations; it offers something to every man that is beyond our ability to grasp. If we fail to become free of sin in this life, when we see what we could have become, we will be devastated. Everyone will be devastated at what they could have obtained while living on the earth; and those who thought they had loved God will be further devastated over what they failed to give to Him in their life on earth, which was to deny their selfish nature, seek his guidance, follow it; thus to then bring honor and glory to Him by producing the fruit of the Spirit. To miss the opportunity to bring honor and glory to your creator, who created you and of all the universe and heavens, is to miss your lifetime's opportunity.
Those who die in their sins will shudder with deep sorrow when they look back at their petty, worthless, ridiculous pursuits while they were on the earth, when they could have followed God's promptings and realized the rewards that they then see and understand, but which will forever be unattainable for them. That sorrow will never leave those who fail to attain the kingdom in this life on earth.
Further, from the Word of the Lord within: "After death there is a sense of regret over their life. Everyone will be known by what they have said and done."
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter