"The Lord saw the people around him being excited by his
miracles, but failing to appreciate their lessons. The 'multitude was very
great' as the people gathered around. The ever-merciful Lord responded to the
needs of the people, but desired that they should seek him for the words of his
Father, and therefore 'sighed deeply in his spirit' (v 12). So the record
reveals: (1) Feeding the 4,000: vv 1-9. (2) Christ removes to the western side
of the lake: v 10. (3) Pharisees and Sadducees seek a sign: vv 11,12. (4) Beware
of the leaven of the Pharisees: vv 13-21. (5) The blind man of Bethsaida: vv
22-26. (6) To the quietude of Caesarea Philippi, and the great confession: vv
27-30. (7) The first key expounded: vv 31-33. (8) Application of the first key
in a person's life: vv 34-37. (9) Introduction to the second key: v
The Lord was about to enter the final phase of his ministry
that would lead to his death. For this his disciples had to be prepared. Thus,
taking them into the quietude of the area of Caesarea Philippi, he introduced
this phase by extracting from them the confession that he was the Christ (v 29),
then revealing that he must die shamefully (v 31), in order that he might enter
into glory (Mar 9). But it was this very confession that would lay the basis for
the betrayal by Judas, and the ultimate condemnation of the Lord by the Jews.
This was the most singular moment in the ministry of the Lord Jesus, leading to
the 'baptism' of crucifixion that would be the means of his own redemption"
Jesus was truly a "shepherd", providing food for his flock (cp
THREE DAYS: So keen were they for the spiritual food
which only Jesus could provide.
An exhortation to exhorting brothers: Don't send your audience
The "remote place" of the wilderness was the very site of
God's previous miracle of feeding Israel.
What Jesus gave to his disciples, they must also share with
"I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor will I
satisfy with food" (Psa 132:15).
SEVEN BASKETFULS: "Spuris": very large baskets, the
sort in which Paul escaped from Damascus (Act 9:25; 2Co 11:32,33).
BROKEN PIECES: Which the Canaanite woman, like a "dog"
under the Jewish "table", was only too willing to eat (Mat 15:27; Mar
Jesus needs solitude for thought and prayer (cp Isa 50;4; Psa
119:147,148). A list of "solitude passages": Mar 1:35-37; 3:7,9,20,21; 4:35-38;
6:31; 7:17,18,24; 8:10,11,27; 9:30; 10:32; 14:32.
REGION OF DALMANUTHA: Called "the vicinity of Magadan"
in Mat 15:39. This visit is not mentioned in either of the other gospel
THE PHARISEES...: The Sadducees were there as well (Mat
A SIGN FROM HEAVEN: There were signs from heaven, but
none so explicit as to compel belief from the willfully disobedient. The ones
who received "signs" were those with some degree of faith already, ie those who
followed Christ for 3 days. As for the others (ie the Pharisees), no sign but
Jonah (the resurrection). Or again, Christ WAS the "sign from heaven", the bread
from heaven (Joh 6:35...), who multiplied the loaves and warned against the
false leaven of the Pharisees.
NO SIGN: That is, no other sign except Christ himself,
since they had rejected him. Or again, no sign except the sign of Jonah (Mat
16:4): Gospel preached to Gentiles, after resurrection of Jesus.
NO SIGN WILL BE GIVEN TO IT: The same Shekinah glory
they were now demanding had been nothing but darkness to the Egyptians. And
these men were "Egyptians"!
THEN HE LEFT THEM: Christ never performed miracles just
to satisfy men's curiosity.
EXCEPT FOR ONE LOAF: Perhaps, subconsciously, they were
not concerned any more with provisions. (One loaf was sufficient for Jesus to
THE YEAST (LEAVEN) OF THE PHARISEES: Their leaven:
doubt, continual seeking for more signs (v 12).
AND THAT OF HEROD: Herod also sought a sign (Luk 23:8).
In Luk 12:1, "leaven" also = hypocrisy. They would not believe, even if they saw
"He thinks we want him to do another miracle." Maybe, to some
degree, they did!
Open your eyes, open your ears, and stop thinking about things
of the flesh. Sometimes we do not recognize the power of God right away; this
was the disciples' problem.
BASKETFULS: "Kophinos" = small basket, in ct "spuris"
(large basket) of Mat 15:37; Mar 8:8.
TWELVE: Twelve full baskets, ie, the 12 apostles, full
of the "bread" of life. In ministering to others, they lost nothing themselves.
In the atonement of Christ, there is ample provision for all.
PIECES: Which the Canaanite woman, like a "dog" under
the Jewish "table", was only too willing to eat (Mat 15:27; Mar 7:28).
He told them: "Beware of the doctrine of the Pharisees" (Mat
All the occasions of Jesus touching, or being touched, in the
context of healing (notice that not one of them is in John's gospel): Mat
8:3,15; 9:20,21,29; 14:36; 17:7; 20:34; Mark 1:41; 3:10; 5:27,28,30,31; 6:56;
7:33; 8:22; 10:13; Luk 5:13; 6:19; 7:14,39; 8:44-47; 18:15; 22:51.
OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE: To avoid drawing attention to
himself or the man -- so as to work on his faith?
SPIT: Humiliation, degradation (Isa 50:6; Mat 26:67;
27:30; Mar 14:65; 15:19). Also, Num 12:14; Deu 25:9; Job 30:10. Allusion to v 31
here? Christ's spittle, given with a purpose, is more precious than the blood of
PUT HIS HANDS ON HIM: Comfort, blessing.
A step-by-step "healing". Typical of a conversion: blindness,
partial sight, and then full vision. Cp 1Co 12:9-13; Isa 42:16-20.
SAID: "Kept on saying", in excitement.
ONCE MORE...: "In cases of immature faith, Jesus sought
to perfect it in the process of healing. Thus, when the blind man looked up to
see, even dimly, for the first time, his faith would soar, and he would believe
Jesus could complete the cure. Thus prepared, the second touch perfected his
sight. The restored man was told to avoid the town and go straight to his home"
JESUS SENT HIM HOME: Doubtless, some in his own home
were waiting to hear what he would have to tell them.
DON'T GO AND TELL ANYONE IN THE VILLAGE: Bethsaida was
condemned for its unbelief (Mat 11:21). Silence was his settled policy for most
of his ministry (Mat 9:30; 17:9; 12:16; Mar 1:34; 5:43; 7:36; 8:26; Luk 5:14),
with one notable exception (Mar 5:19 -- Legion with his family). But in last
days of ministry, a change of course (Mat 21:1-11; Joh 7:37; 9:3;
CAESAREA PHILIPPI: The furthest poss point from the
Follow the religious notions of the crowd, and you are almost
certain to be wrong. (Notice that popular sentiment did not proclaim Jesus as
Messiah any more; very evidently, this man did not WANT to be king!)
Cp Elijah, rejected by Ahab and Jezebel, but "raised" from
despondency (1Ki 19:2-8).
PETER... BEGAN TO REBUKE HIM: The echo of Eden: "You
will not surely die!"
How quick a transition Peter made from Mat 16:18 / Mar 8:29 to
Mat 16:23 / Mar 8:33!
Jesus turned to: to the following multitude (Luk 14:25), the
backsliding disciple (Luk 22:61), the impulsive disciple (Mat 16:23; Mar 8:33),
and the trembling believer (Mar 5:30).
GET BEHIND ME: Peter was standing in front of Jesus, as
though to stop him from going further. What Peter did not see was that, even
with his good intentions, he was nevertheless attempting to destroy the mission
of his Savior. Christ says, 'Don't hinder me; help me. Get behind me -- follow
me... to Jerusalem!' And he does (cp 1Pe 2:21).
HE MUST DENY HIMSELF: "To deny one's self is more than
self-denial; it is to say 'No' to the very self with its tacit assumption of a
right to the life we possess; it is to repudiate the ego which claims a right to
go its own way. Man has no right in life, and therefore no right to use life as
he pleases for his own ends; and the meaning of the saying was to be
demonstrated fully and finally when Jesus himself went voluntarily to surrender
his life. He deliberately substituted his Father's will for his own, saying,
'Not what I will, but what Thou wilt'; and when his life was ended in the
darkness of death his own will was extinguished in oblivion" (SMk
TAKE UP HIS CROSS: Luke adds "daily" (Luk
AND FOLLOW ME: "Of the three things enjoined, the last
is a vital thing: to follow. The other two are utterly essential because through
the essential you achieve that which is vital. The reason is this. You can
approve, and not follow. You can applaud and not follow. You can understand and
preach, without following. You can defend the Truth pugnaciously, without
following. You can tire yourself out on busy works -- without following... The
central thing is the denial of self. It is utterly radical. Denial of self is
the inward thing. Taking up the cross daily is the external manifestation of the
inward condition. To talk of it is not to realize it. To write about it is not
to achieve it. The use of the word 'daily' emphasizes that it is not just a
theory but something that is real and practical; facing squarely every new
circumstance; confronting bravely every impediment; grasping joyfully every new
opportunity. In practice it means giving unhindered access to the Master into
every chamber and especially into every dark corner. To think of that
possibility might make us feel ashamed but at the same time it may do us good"
FOR A MAN TO GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD: Square miles they
1. Genghis Khan (1162-1227), 4,860,000.
2. Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) 2,180,000.
3. Tamerlane (1336-1405), 2,145,000.
4. Cyrus the Great (600-529 BC), 2,090,000.
5. Attila (406-453), 1,450,000.
6. Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), 1,370,000, all of which he lost
in 3 years.
7. Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) 720,000.
8. Mahmud of Ghazni (971-1030) 680,000.
9. Francisco Pizarro (1470-1541), 480,000.
10. Hernando Cortes (1485-1547), 315,000.
The Jews' judgments are for our example and admonition (1Co