What does Mark 8:1 mean?
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,
NIV: During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said,
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,
CSB: In those days there was again a large crowd, and they had nothing to eat. He called the disciples and said to them,
NLT: About this time another large crowd had gathered, and the people ran out of food again. Jesus called his disciples and told them,
KJV: In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,
NKJV: In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them,
Verse Commentary:
"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.
Verse Context:
Mark 8:1–10 is the third of a series of stories about bread and the proper place of ceremonial cleanness. In Mark 7:1–5, the Pharisees condemn Jesus' disciples for eating bread with unclean hands. In Mark 7:24–30, a Syrophoenician woman boldly requests the metaphoric ''crumbs'' of God's provision. Here, Jesus feeds bread to a great crowd of Gentiles and Jews. Later, He will equate the insidious false teachings of the Pharisees with leaven (Mark 8:14–21). This account is also found in Matthew 15:32–39.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter describes another miraculous feeding of thousands by Jesus. He also counters the hard-hearted and selfish hypocrisy of the Pharisees in seeking even more miraculous signs. Speaking to the disciples, Jesus rebukes their short memories and reminds them about God's intent to provide for His followers. After healing a blind man, Jesus accepts Peter's proclamation that Jesus is the Messiah. Almost immediately, though, Jesus rebukes Peter for resisting the idea that the Messiah must suffer and die.
Chapter Context:
Mark 8 continues Jesus' attempts to teach the disciples God's plan for the Messiah. Jesus has not come for the religious Pharisees but for the meek who willingly respond to Him. He has not yet come as the glorious and victorious champion of Israel, but to die for the whole world. And His followers must also be willing to sacrifice their lives. The chapter marks a turning point in Jesus' ministry as His miracles grow fewer and His teaching increases. Interestingly, Jesus also faces a repeat of the temptations He experienced in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1–11).
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 7/23/2024 7:31:56 AM
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