Mark 8:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 8:14, NIV: The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat.

Mark 8:14, ESV: Now they had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.

Mark 8:14, KJV: Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.

Mark 8:14, NASB: And the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and did not have more than one loaf in the boat with them.

Mark 8:14, NLT: But the disciples had forgotten to bring any food. They had only one loaf of bread with them in the boat.

Mark 8:14, CSB: The disciples had forgotten to take bread and had only one loaf with them in the boat.

What does Mark 8:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After feeding four thousand men plus women and children in Decapolis on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus and the disciples returned to the west side. There, Pharisees demanded to see an unmistakable sign from heaven that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, come to free God's chosen people from Roman rule. Jesus derides them for wanting another sign when everything He does is in accordance with Messianic prophecy in the Old Testament, then escapes on a boat and sails with the disciples toward Bethsaida.

"Bread" or "loaf" is from the Greek root word artos. The term can mean food in general, but here means flatbread, like pita bread or naan. Some scholars say that the one loaf means Jesus, the bread of life (John 6:35). But it may mean that there is a stray loaf of bread left in a basket from when Jesus fed the crowd in Decapolis, especially since the text specifically says that the disciples forgot to bring any bread.

We don't know what the disciples were doing in Dalmanutha (Mark 8:10). Possibly they thought they had enough time to find food later, or even head north to Capernaum, where some of them had their homes. Jesus' altercation with the Pharisees, however, has led to an abrupt departure.

We are just as likely to make assumptions about our service to God. Perhaps we signed up to teach Sunday school for a year, and we plan to take a couple months off—but then discover there is no one to organize the nursery schedule. When serving Jesus, we should schedule time to rest, but we should also make the most of every moment so we are ready if He calls us when we least expect.