What does Mark 8:5 mean?
ESV: And he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.”
NIV: How many loaves do you have?' Jesus asked. 'Seven,' they replied.
NASB: And He was asking them, 'How many loaves do you have?' And they said, 'Seven.'
CSB: "How many loaves do you have? " he asked them."Seven," they said.
NLT: Jesus asked, 'How much bread do you have?' 'Seven loaves,' they replied.
KJV: And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.
Verse Commentary:
"Loaves" is another variant on the Greek word for bread. It may refer to flat bread, about the size of a dinner plate. Some draw a parallel between this moment and Jesus' breaking of bread at the Last Supper, but the intent and meaning are very different. Also, this probably wouldn't have been the same as the bread that Jesus tore off and dipped at the last supper (Mark 14:20), since the Jews only ate unleavened bread during the Passover feast.

Seven such loaves are obviously too small a meal for four thousand men plus women and children (Matthew 15:38), even adding a few small fish (Mark 8:7). In Jesus' hands, however, it is enough for everyone to have their fill (Mark 8:8)—for the moment. Jesus knows that His feeding miracles are a double-edged sword. The people are filled with bread now, but will be back when they get hungry again (John 6:26). Although they want bread, what they need more is the "the food that endures to eternal life" (John 6:27). Our physical needs are important, but they are not something to be anxious about (Matthew 6:31). Like the woman at the well needed living water, we need the bread of life—Jesus—who will fill our spiritual hunger for eternity (John 6:35).

Once we have Jesus, the worry for our earthly needs will diminish as our concern for God's kingdom increases. God promises that He knows what we need, and He will "add" to our supply, but He doesn't promise that we will never go hungry (Matthew 6:32–33). His goal is that we will grow to value Him even more than our own lives.
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 4/16/2024 12:51:49 AM
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