Mark 8:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 8:1, NIV: During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said,

Mark 8:1, ESV: In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them,

Mark 8:1, KJV: In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,

Mark 8:1, NASB: In those days, when there was again a large crowd and they had nothing to eat, Jesus summoned His disciples and *said to them,

Mark 8:1, NLT: About this time another large crowd had gathered, and the people ran out of food again. Jesus called his disciples and told them,

Mark 8:1, CSB: In those days there was again a large crowd, and they had nothing to eat. He called the disciples and said to them,

What does Mark 8:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

"In those days" presumably refers to the time spent by Jesus and His followers in Decapolis (Mark 7:31). Decapolis is a territory with ten major cities on the east side of the Sea of Galilee. It was near here that Jesus saved the man possessed by a legion of demons (Mark 5:1–20). At the end of that encounter, as the on-lookers begged Jesus to leave, Jesus had uncharacteristically told the man to tell his friends how God had saved him. He did so, and his witness apparently changed the people's view of Jesus. When Jesus and His disciples return, the locals bring Him many lame, blind, and mute to heal (Matthew 15:29–31), most notably a deaf man (Mark 7:31–37).

"Disciples" is from the Greek root word mathetes. When Mark refers to Jesus' main twelve disciples, he calls them "the twelve" (Mark 6:7). The switch to "his disciples" may mean that more than just the Twelve are traveling with Him now. Since Mark 4:35, Jesus has been traveling, apparently looking for quiet places where He can train the disciples undisturbed. His route has taken Him mostly through Gentile territory—places where the people don't concern themselves with the coming Jewish Messiah. The quiet is essential; His disciples will be leaders of the new church. They need to understand Who He is and what He has come to do. They will face crowds, persecution, and even death. And they will write the Scriptures that believers will study thousands of years later.

But Jesus still takes time for the interruptions. He healed the Syrophoenician woman's daughter (Mark 7:24–30) and the deaf man (Mark 7:31–37). Now, He spends three days healing and teaching anyone who can reach Him. We need to follow His example. There is a time to close the office door to get strategic work done, but no one is above lending a helping hand when someone is in need.