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Mark Chapter Eight


I. Content of the Chapter


The Service and Training of the Bondman the Savior with His Disciples

A.   He fed four thousands men with seven loaves (v.1-19).

B.   He refused to show signs before the Pharisees (v.10-13).

C.   He asked the disciples to take heed of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod (v.14-21).

D.   He healed the blind man in Bethsaida (v.22-26).

E.   Peter knew that Jesus is the Christ (v.27-29).

F.    He prophesied His death and resurrection (v.30-33).

G.   He encouraged His disciples to take their crosses to follow Him (v.34-38).


II. Verse by Verse commentary


Mark. 8:1 In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them,

YLT: “In those days the multitude being very great, and not having what they may eat, Jesus having called near his disciples, saith to them,”

Literal Meaning:in those days, the multitude being very great”, “in those days” referred to the period when they were in Decapolis (see 7:31). Judging from the time and place, among the multitude there were not only the Jews but also the Gentiles.


Mark. 8:2 "I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat.

YLT: “`I have compassion upon the multitude, because now three days they do continue with me, and they have not what they may eat;”

Literal Meaning: “I have compassion on the multitude”, “compassion”, it also appeared in verse 34 of chapter six, so He was moved with compassion for them, “because they were as sheep not having a shepherd”. In the Lord’s humanity, He is full of the virtue of compassion, mercy and kindness.

  “Have nothing to eat”, that the multitude had nothing to eat indicated that the Lord Himself also had nothing to eat. However, what He was concerned about was not whether He had food or not, but whether the whole people had food to eat.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The Lord did not change the rock into bread for Himself when He had been hungry for forty days (see Matt. 4:1-4). However, He had compassion on the multitude when they were hungry for three days. The mind of Christ is to take care of others instead of Himself (see Pill. 2:4-5).

2)    Eating the Lord is not a thing that can be done once and for all. We must eat, drink and enjoy the Lord everyday.


Mark. 8:3 And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar."

YLT: “and if I shall let them away fasting to their home, they will faint in the way, for certain of them are come from far.'”

Literal Meaning: “they will faint on the way”, “faint”, it is used to describe the unfastened bow, so it means becoming powerless, weary, infirm and exhausted.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    We are running the heavenly race. If we do not look steadfastly on Jesus, we may be weary and faint (see Heb.12:1-3).

2)    But they that wait upon Jehovah shall renew strength: they shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run, and not tire. They shall walk, and not faint (Is. 40:31).


Mark. 8:4 Then His disciples answered Him, "How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?"

YLT: “And his disciples answered him, `Whence shall any one be able these here to feed with bread in a wilderness?'”

Literal Meaning: since the disciples had already witnessed the sign of five thousands men fed by loaves and two fish last time (see 6:30-44), they still asked such question this time. Such folly was really unbelievable.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    If our eyes are fixed on the environment (“the wilderness”), we will find we are too limited to deal with the great need (“the multitude”).

2)    The eyes of faith neither see us nor the environment, but the Lord.

3)    Faith makes us look into the future according to our experience in the past. We should have perfect faith so that we can transform the past experience into the present help.


Mark. 8:5 He asked them, "How many loaves do you have?" And they said, "Seven."

YLT: “And he was questioning them, `How many loaves have ye?' and they said, `Seven.'”

Literal Meaning: the Lord might ask the question here with the purpose of reminding the disciples.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Though the provision was out of the “compassion” of the Lord (see v.2), it still needed the cooperation of men ---- to devote the loaves and fish. Though He is a God who “calls the things which be not as being” (Rom.4:17), He is willing to manifest His fullness through our poverty.

2)    “How many loaves do you have?” ---- The Lord blesses others with what we have had instead of what have not had.

3)    No matter how poor or young we are, there must be something that we can dedicate to the Lord for His use.


Mark. 8:6 So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude.

YLT: “And he commanded the multitude to sit down upon the ground, and having taken the seven loaves, having given thanks, he brake, and was giving to his disciples that they may set before ; and they did set before the multitude.”

Meaning of Words: “gave thanks”: be grateful, express gratitude; “set”: deposit, present;

Spiritual Meaning: please see the commentary of verse 41, chapter 6.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    In quietness and confidence shall be our strength (see Is. 30:15).

2)    If the loaves and fish have been kept whole, they cannot be food of the multitude. If we have not been “broken” by the Lord, we will not be the blessings of others.

3)    “Gave them to His disciples to set before them”, we shall desire to be channels of delivering the Lord’s abundant grace. Nevertheless, we shall firstly receive something from the Lord and then we are able to give something to others.


Mark. 8:7 They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them.

YLT: “And they had a few small fishes, and having blessed, he said to set them also before ;”

Meaning of Words: “bless”: praise, speak well of;

Spiritual Meaning: “They also had a few small fish”, “loaves” represent resources in the land, and “fish” stands for the resources in the sea; the former is on behalf of plants, and the latter represents animals. The former symbolizes the richness prodeuced from death (see John 12:24), and the latter indicates the blessings after shedding blood (see Heb.9:22).


Mark. 8:8 So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments.

YLT: “and they did eat and were filled, and they took up that which was over of broken pieces -- seven baskets;”

Literal Meaning: “large baskets” were utensils weaved by rush and canes. Such baskets were larger than the “hand-baskets (see 6:43)” and could even hold a man (see Acts 9:25).

Spiritual Meaning: “they took up seven large baskets full of fragments that were left”, “fragments” symbolize the superfluous and abundant grace; “seven” is the number of perfectness in this age; “seven large baskets” indicate that the Lord’s provision is more than sufficient, and even the remnants after enjoyment are still abundant and perfect.


Mark. 8:9 Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. And He sent them away,

YLT: “and those eating were about four thousand. And he let them away,”

Literal Meaning: “four thousands”, it did not include women and children (see Matt.15:38).

Spiritual Meaning: “four thousand men”, “four” symbolizes the creatures (see Rev. 4:7). Here it means that all the creatures enjoy the Lord’s provision.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)     The signs of the same nature had repeated twice, which indicated that how to provide many people with limited amount of loaves was a matter we had to learn but uneasy to learn.

2)     We usually fix our eyes on the poor and limited loaves in our hands and the great multitude before our eyes, but forget the heavenly blessings. May the Lord lead us into the step of relying on the blessings of God.


Mark. 8:10 immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

YLT: “and immediately having entered into the boat with his disciples, he came to the parts of Dalmanutha,”

Meaning of Words: “Dalmanutha”: the torch burning slowing;

Literal Meaning: “came to the region of Dalmanutha,” “Magdala” was an area on the west bank of the Sea of Galilee. It was also called “Magdala” (see Matt. 15:39) but its certain position is not clear.


Mark. 8:11 Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him.

YLT: “and the Pharisees came forth, and began to dispute with him, seeking from him a sign from the heaven, tempting him;”

Meaning of Words: “sign”: indication; “test”: try, temp;

The Background: “the Pharisees” were in the beginning a group of people who loved the country and were pious to God. Then, they were separated from the Maccabean Party for the chief priest Simon was not for God but for himself, and therefore their rivals called them “the Pharisees” (it means “separation”). They tried to keep the law and traditions and made themselves higher than the common people. Therefore the word of Pharisees became their religious aim. Since they stressed on the law, gradually they were inclined to pay attention to men’s appearance instead of men’s heart. They prayed on the crossing, enlarged the borders and looked up at heaven lest they see women. They were strict to others and obstinately clung to regulations, but their hearts were still corruptible. Therefore men in the later generation explained “the Pharisees” as “hypocrites”.

Literal Meaning: “asked that He would show them a sign from heaven”, so far, the Lord had already showed many times of signs “on the earth”, but the hearts of the Pharisees were still hardened and refused to believe the Lord and even thought He cast out the demons by the power of the prince of the devils (see 3:22). Therefore, they asked Him to show them a sign “from heaven”, e.g. making a sound from heaven, or making the sun or moon go backwards and etc, and finally proved that He was sent from God.

  “Testing Him”, “testing” showed their unbelief towards the Lord.

Spiritual Meaning: “the Pharisees” symbolize the conservative fundamentalism in Christianity.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The Pharisees emphasize the apparent phenomena and signs (“signs”), but ignore the inner connotation and reality.

2)    The pursuit of signs may secretly carry the motivation of tempting the Lord. Believers who are zealous of signs today may compel the Lord to show signs according to their own heart and need. This is also a sort of tempt.

3)    He who prays to the Lord shall be answered. But those who ask amiss or have wrong heart ---- “tempt Him”, or have crooked purpose will all be rejected by the Lord.


Mark. 8:12 But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation."

YLT: “and having sighed deeply in his spirit, he saith, `Why doth this generation seek after a sign? Verily I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.'”

Literal Meaning: “generation”: the present age;

  “No sign shall be given to this generation.” ---- Seeing from the literal, it must be added another sentence so that the meaning shall be complete. Therefore the Lord’s words had a hidden meaning here, which was that if a sign would be given to this generation, it had to be a sign of another nature, namely, the sign of the prophet Jonah (see Matt. 12:39).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    No matter how many signs or wonders there are, they are still of no use to those who do not believe.

2)    Only the risen Christ can satisfy the need of this generation, so the sign believers shall seek is the manifestation of the life of the risen Christ in us (see Phil.1:20).


Mark. 8:13 And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side.

YLT: “And having left them, having entered again into the boat, he went away to the other side;”

Meaning of Words: “leave”: forsake, lay aside, send away;

Literal Meaning: “departed”, it indicated that the Pharisees tempted the Lord on purpose but were contrarily rejected by the Lord.

  “Getting into the boat again…to the other side”, “the other side” referred to the east bank of the Sea of Galilee.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    “He departed”, the wrong and superficial pursuit (to seek signs) even hinders men from receiving revelation. It is vain for men to seek without taking Christ as the object.

2)    Religionists deliberately refuse to know the Lord, so the Lord reject them and give them up (see Rom. 1:28).


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

YLT: “and they forgot to take loaves, and except one loaf they had nothing with them in the boat,”

Literal Meaning: “the disciples had forgotten to take bread”, they at that time went from the west bank of the Sea of Galilee where was densely populated to the east bank where was sparsely populated and was uneasy to buy bread. So it was not small carelessness for them.

Enlightenment in the Word: as long as we had the presence of the Lord in the boat (in the church), though there was “only one loaf”, it would be sufficient to deal with the spiritual hunger, for Christ Himself is the exclusive and full bread in the universe and He can satisfy the need of men forever.


Mark. 8:15 Then He charged them, saying, "Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod."

YLT: “and he was charging them, saying, `Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod,'”

Literal Meaning: “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod”, “leaven” is a sort of unicellular fungi that can make bread to ferment. Bread that has been fermented will become more delicious.

Spiritual Meaning: “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod”, “leaven” refers to evil and corrupt things (see Exod. 12:20; 1Cor. 5:7-8) and evil teachings (see Matt.16:12; Gal. 5:8-9). “The leaven of the Pharisees” referred to their teachings, which made men pay attention to appearance, be hypocritical, behave in an affected manner and even earn the name of piety and etc. There might be two kinds of “leaven of Herod”: one was his bad example of secularism, which made men consider the fleshly life only and lead a befuddled life but not consider the matters concerning the kingdom of God, and the other was his evil heart (see Luke 13:31-32).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    “Leaven” is hidden in bread and makes the bread more delicious. Today in Christianity, a lot of men’s teachings covered by God’s words (bread) seem to help men to accept the Lord. However, they in fact corrupt those who eat them, so we should beware of the leaven.

2)    Today, any doctrine that misleads men and has a form of piety but denys the power of it (2Tim. 3:5) is the “leaven of the Pharisees”.

3)    The false doctrine will become the veil on one’s face and hinder him from knowing Christ (see 2Cor.3:13-16).

4)    “The leaven of the Pharisees” and “the leaven of Herod” represent two extreme faults, which are the deceitful tool of Satan to deal with Christians. The former makes men unconsciously fall into the condition of loving the Lord apparently, but not loving Him actually, and the latter makes us just lay the Lord aside and love the world and cling to the lust directly.


Mark. 8:16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is because we have no bread."

YLT: “and they were reasoning with one another, saying -- `Because we have no loaves.'”

Literal Meaning: please see the commentary of verse 14.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    It is a fact that the disciples had taken no bread (see v.14). Paying too much attention to subjective facts will make men misunderstand God’s words.

2)    The Lord spoke of spiritual things (see v.15) and the disciples thought about material things. If men’s spiritual mind has not been opened (see Luke. 24:45), they still live in earthly realm and do not understand the Lord’s words.

3)    Material concepts and earthly cares usually hinder men from obtaining more spiritual knowledge.


Mark. 8:17 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, "Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened?

YLT: “And Jesus having known, saith to them, `Why do ye reason, because ye have no loaves? do ye not yet perceive, nor understand, yet have ye your heart hardened?”

Literal Meaning: the strict question of the Lord indicated that their shortage of spiritual understanding made the Lord deeply disappointed.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    “Jesus, being aware of it”, the Lord has a penetrating eye. He is the one who searches reins and hearts (see Rev.2:23).

2)    Believers shall not focus on the physical matters (no bread), but on the spiritual ones (leaven).

3)    We shall bear what we have seen and experienced in our hears, pondering again and again (Luke 2:19), and thus we can “perceive” and “understand”.

4)    He who is “hardened” walks by sight, not by faith (see 2Cor.5:7).

5)    The Lord completely rejected the Pharisees because of their hardening (see v.13), but He patiently enlightened and guided the disciples when they also turned to be hardened. The difference lay in their heart to the Lord. If man’s spiritual understanding is slow and yet has upright heart, he can still receive the Lord’s grace.


Mark. 8:18 Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember?

YLT: “Having eyes, do ye not see? and having ears, do ye not hear? and do ye not remember?”

Literal Meaning: the common mistakes that men may make are listed as below ---- “turning a blind eye to what they have seen”, “hearing but not receiving” and “forgetting immediately after turning around”.


Mark. 8:19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?" They said to Him, "Twelve."

YLT: “When the five loaves I did brake to the five thousand, how many hand-baskets full of broken pieces took ye up?' they say to him, `Twelve.'”

Literal Meaning: please see the details in chapter (v.34-44).


Mark. 8:20 "Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?" And they said, "Seven."

YLT: “`And when the seven to the four thousand, how many hand-baskets full of broken pieces took ye up?' and they said, `Seven.'”

Literal Meaning: please see the details from verse 1 to 9 of this chapter.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    That the Lord had twice fed thousands of men with several loaves were great signs. But the disciples forgot them after only a few days. Therefore, the pursuit of spiritual gifts and the emphasis on signs and miracles have no great help for men to know Christ.

2)    We usually, as the disciples, are skillful at the earthly things, but are vague about the spiritual things. Indeed, we need to be saved by the Lord!

3)    The Lord here reminded them about their past experience in Him, thus making them come to understand. Therefore, we shall often number the Lord’s grace, which is beneficial for our spiritual mind.


Mark. 8:21 So He said to them, "How is it you do not understand?"

YLT: “And he said to them, `How do ye not understand?'”

Enlightenment in the Word: concerning spiritual things, we usually, as the disciples, lack spiritual power of discernment so that we may be deceived by the backsliding ones (see Rom. 16:17-18; Eph.4:14).


Mark. 8:22 Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him.

YLT: “And he cometh to Bethsaida, and they bring to him one blind, and call upon him that he may touch him,”

Literal Meaning: “He came to Bethsaida”, “Bethsaida” was located in the northeast bank of the Sea of Galilee.

Spiritual Meaning: “blind man” symbolizes the one in whom the god of this world has blinded his thoughts (see 2Cor.4:4) that his spiritual sight is lost (see Acts 26:18; 2Peter 1:9).


Mark. 8:23 So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.

YLT: “and having taken the hand of the blind man, he led him forth without the village, and having spit on his eyes, having put hands on him, he was questioning him if he doth behold anything:”

Spiritual Meaning: led him out of the town”, it meant that the man was separated from the crowds and was with the Lord alone.

“Spit” typified the “word” from which goes out through the Lord's mouth.

“Put His hands on him”, it symbolized union (see 1Tim.5:22) and passing on blessings (see 2Tim.1:6).

Note that it was the second time of the Lord Jesus who took the patient to leave the crowds and healed by the same way of “spitting” (see 7:32-35), just like the second time of feeding the people with the loaves. The repeated mention of them was purposed to reveal and instruct His disciples again. Therefore, signs in chapter eight were done to train the disciples.


Mark. 8:24 And he looked up and said, "I see men like trees, walking."

YLT: “and he, having looked up, said, `I behold men, as I see trees, walking.'”

Spiritual Meaning: this verse symbolized that in the early days when the mind of believers had been opened by the Lord, what they could see was not very clear and what they could discern in spirit was limited (see 1Cor.13:12). Just like the Lord’s disciples who knew “vaguely” before His ascension, they did not know the Lord completely until the day of Pentecost.


Mark. 8:25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.

YLT: “Afterwards again he put hands on his eyes, and made him look up, and he was restored, and discerned all things clearly,”

Meaning of Words: “look up”: receive sight; “restore”: reconstitute;

Spiritual Meaning: the eyes of the blind man were gradually restored after the Lord twice put His hands on his eyes, which symbolized that we would gradually know the Lord and all spiritual things through the Lord’s repeated training.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Spiritual enlightenment is increased gradually, not being received instantly. Therefore, we shall seek more to be touched by the Lord so that we will have more clear enlightenment.

2)    We shall not think we are already perfected, but shall “pursue and we may get possession” (Phil.3:12).

3)    Though it was not very clear when he saw firstly, it was right. When he saw for the second time, the object had not been changed, but he could see more clearly. Therefore, we shall hold fast the goal of our pursuit, not seek other things because of seeing vaguely. 


Mark. 8:26 Then He sent him away to his house, saying, "Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town."

YLT: “and he sent him away to his house, saying, `Neither to the village mayest thou go, nor tell to any in the village.'”

Spiritual Meaning: “him” (the blind man who was healed) typifies those who have obtained the revelation of God and seen the spiritual enlightenment. The “town” symbolizes opinions and viewpoints of men.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)     When the Lord healed that blind man, He firstly “led the man out of the town” (see v.23). After the man was healed, the Lord commanded him “not go into the town”. Yes, if one desires to see clearly, he shall be led out of the fleshly sphere by the Lord. After one has been enlightened, one shall not return back to the original status.

2)     Those who have real revelation shall avoid taking counsel with flesh and blood (see Gal.1:16).


Mark. 8:27 Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, "Who do men say that I am?"

YLT: “And Jesus went forth, and his disciples, to the villages of Cesarea Philippi, and in the way he was questioning his disciples, saying to them, `Who do men say me to be?'”

Literal Meaning: “came into the region of Caesarea Philippi”, it was located in the north of the Sea of Galilee, near to the root of the Mount Hermon, where was featured by strong heathen color.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    “Caesarea Philippi” was far away from religious atmosphere and sphere. The Lord specially brought the disciples there and asked them this important question, for traditional religious knowledge and concepts always deceive men and hinder them from receiving heavenly revelation.

2)    Knowing Jesus Christ is the access to the spiritual realm. Anyone who does not know Jesus Christ will not partake in the assembly and the kingdom of heaven.


Mark. 8:28 So they answered, "John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets."

YLT: “And they answered, `John the Baptist, and others Elijah, but others one of the prophets.'”

Literal Meaning: the distinguishing feature of “John the Baptist” (see Matt. 3:4) was his testimony of life. “Elijah” (See 1Kings. 19:14) was characterized by being jealous for God. “One of the prophets,” the feature of “prophets” was to speak for God.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    John the Baptist, Elijah and prophets were all servants used by God and who spoke for God. They were at most like Christ in many aspects, but not Christ. Men can know Christ completely without revelation.

2)    Even the disciples who were with the Lord all day seemed not to know Christ clearly. Those who speak of Christ with their mouth may not truly know Christ.


Mark. 8:29 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said to Him, "You are the Christ."

YLT: “And he saith to them, `And ye -- who do ye say me to be?' and Peter answering saith to him, `Thou art the Christ.'”

Literal Meaning: “you are the Christ,” “Christ” means the anointed one (Dan. 9:26) and this is the Lord’s ministry received from God. God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and sent Him into the world to fulfill His mission (see Luke. 4:18-19).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Neither Hearsay nor secondhand knowledge (“some say”) counts. Only personal and firsthand knowledge (“do you say”) count. What is important is whether we have true knowledge of the Lord.

2)    Knowing the Lord is the starting point for men to forsake everything and pursue and obtain Christ (see Pill. 3:8-12).

3)    Only believing in Him is not enough, one has to confess Him with his mouth (see Rom. 10:9-10). The Lord likes us to declare that ---- “You are” the Christ.


Mark. 8:30 Then He strictly warned them that they should tell no one about Him.

YLT: “And he strictly charged them that they may tell no one about it,”

Literal Meaning: it was because the Jews had misunderstanding about “Christ” (the Messiah). They thought that the coming Messiah was the whole nation’s savior who would lead the Jews to rebel the domination of other nations and then build a kingdom of peace of the Jews. Therefore if they had publicized that “He is Christ”, it was of no help to His work of salvation and might contrarily cause troubles.

Enlightenment in the Word: natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to Him (see 1Cor. 2:14). Therefore, we should not tell the experience and things of the Spirit of God to others without any consideration (see Matt. 7:6).


Mark. 8:31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

YLT: “and began to teach them, that it behoveth the Son of Man to suffer many things, and to be rejected by the elders, and chief priests, and scribes, and to be killed, and after three days to rise again;”

Literal Meaning: “the Son of Man must suffer many things”, “the Son of Man” indicated that He was firstly bondman who suffered and then became the glorious Messiah (see Is. 53; Dan.7:13-14).

The Lord Jesus steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem to suffer many things and death, thus keeping the will of God and fulfilling the work of salvation rather than boasting His brute courage.

    “Be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes”: being persecuted by the Jewish Sanhedrin; “The elders and chief priests and scribes” were the chief members of the Sanhedrin.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The deepest cross of believers is not troubles from unbelievers but that from those who have status in the assembly and have biblical knowledge (“the elders and chief priests”) and the trouble is numerous (“many things”).

2)    After men have known the divinity of Christ (v.29), they have also to know Christ who had redeemed men by death.


Mark. 8:32 He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.

YLT: “and openly he was speaking the word. And Peter having taken him aside, began to rebuke him,”

Meaning of Words: “rebuke”: reprove, warn, forbid;

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Peter, according to his natural thoughts and feelings, dissuaded the Lord from going to the cross. Therefore, the natural man neither knows the cross nor pleases to receive the cross.

2)    Obviously Peter only heard the word of the first half “suffer many things…and be killed” but ignored the words of the last half “be raised the third day” (see v.31). He made the mistake that the people also made ---- paying attention to the negative words but neglecting the positive words. Actually the latter was more important.


Mark. 8:33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, "Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."

YLT: “and he, having turned, and having looked on his disciples, rebuked Peter, saying, `Get behind me, Adversary, because thou dost not mind the things of God, but the things of men.'”

Meaning of Words: “Satan”: the adversary, the accuser; “mindful”: put one’s mind in;

Literal Meaning: “get behind Me, Satan!” ---- Peter’s dissuasion was out of Satan or like Satan, so it should not block the way ahead.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    When the Lord rebuked Peter, He “looked at His disciples”. It showed that the Lord’s discipline to one brother was the warning for the whole assembly.

2)    One who has received God’s revelation (see v.17) has to be mindful of God and do the will of God.

3)    Anyone who thinks on God is the one who is mindful of God. Only when someone thinks on God will he be mindful of God.

4)    Once Peter was not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men, he became “Satan”. It shows that things of men are against (the meaning of Satan) the will of God.

5)    Being mindful of the things of God, but the things of men is caring about the profit of men, but to sacrifice God’s profit.

6)    Satan often utilizes the inclination of “seeking ease and comfort and being afraid of sufferings” in human nature and makes men become its tools unconsciously.

7)    Peter just said rightly (v.29) and for a short while he said wrongly. It shows that no matter how spiritual a man is, once he is carless, he may be utilized by Satan.

8)    Blessed is he who knows Christ (see Matt.16:17). However, once someone rejects the cross, he becomes “Satan” immediately. Here it shows that we need not only to know Christ, but also to know the cross (see 1Cor. 2:2). Anything that holds someone back from taking his cross is of Satan.

9)    Not only the serpent (which deceives men to commit sins) is Satan, but also the natural love without understanding the will of God and things of men are Satan.

10) Once the enemy wanted to usurp the worship that God deserves, the Lord said immediately: “Get behind me, Satan!” (see Matt. 4:8-10). Once the enemy wanted to hold up things of men and overshadow the will of God, the Lord also said promptly: “Get behind me, Satan!” The reason why it is called Satan is that it opposes God in these two things.

11) The greatest aim of Christ’s coming into the world is to fulfill the salvation on the cross. Anyone who attempts to hinder the Lord from fulfilling the salvation is of one mind with Satan and he will be rebuked by the Lord.


Mark. 8:34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

YLT: “And having called near the multitude, with his disciples, he said to them, `Whoever doth will to come after me -- let him disown himself, and take up his cross, and follow me;”

Literal Meaning: “let him deny himself,” “deny”: disown, abstain; not only denying the connection but also breaking off the connection; “deny himself” means no longer focusing on one’s own life and walking.

  “Take up his cross”, there are two kinds of crosses: a) Christ’s cross ---- it is for atonement (1Pet. 2:24); b) the individual cross of believers (his cross) ---- it is for one to be crucified with the Lord (Rom. 6:6). The cross includes three aspects ---- suffering many things, being killed and being raised. Unfortunately, believers may only generally know and experience the aspect of suffering and yet lack the experience of being killed and being raised.

The one who desires to “follow the Lord” shall forsake the self-concerned conceptions in the world and deny himself for the sake of keeping the will of the Lord completely. Such man will be delivered from the bondage of the world. The word “follow” in the original contains the meaning of “continuing on and on”.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Our “selves” are the greatest troubles hindering men from following the Lord. Only when we have denied ourselves will we obey the Lord’s guidance unconditionally and walk in the way of the Lord.

2)    The slogan of the cross is to “take away” (John. 19:15). Therefore to take up the cross is to take away one’s self, that is to deny oneself ---- being crucified to the world and to himself (Gal. 6:14).

3)    If we want to follow the Lord, we have to deny ourselves. If we want to deny ourselves, we have to take our own crosses. The Lord has arranged different crosses for each of us, and everyone has his own cross.


Mark. 8:35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.

YLT: “for whoever may will to save his life shall lose it; and whoever may lose his life for my sake and for the good news' sake, he shall save it;”

Meaning of Words: “loses”: die, miss, destroy;

Literal Meaning: “life” is “soul” in the original. It includes mind, feeling and will.

  This verse means that anyone who seeks comfort and ease in this world and satisfies his soul will suffer in the coming age and lose the enjoyment of soul. Anyone who suffers for the Lord’s sake will receive the enjoyment of soul in the coming age.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The one who saves actually loses. And the one who loses actually saves. The one who gains actually loses and the one who loses actually gains (see v.36). We shall know it so that we will not be regretful in the coming age.

2)    “Losing his life” in this verse is also “denying oneself” and “taking up his cross” in the previous verse. What the cross finally deals with is one’s self and the life of soul.

3)    Taking up one’s cross and denying oneself always make the soul suffer. All that which has not made the soul suffer can not be counted as the cross.


Mark. 8:36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

YLT: “for what shall it profit a man, if he may gain the whole world, and forfeit his life?”

Literal Meaning: “a man if he gains the whole world”, “the whole world” refers to all that can be accomplished or obtained in this world.

“Loses his own soul”, it means death.

  If a man gains the whole world, he only render his soul have short enjoyment. If someone loses his own soul, his soul will suffer eternal losses. Which one is profitable in the two conditions above? Man should know it at heart.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The world is useful only when men are alive. However, men can not exchange the world for life because life is more precious than the world.

2)    This verse shows that “the world” is opposite to “life”. If someone loves the world, he will lose his life. Therefore we should not love the world, but treasure the life.


Mark. 8:37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

YLT: “Or what shall a man give as an exchange for his life?”

Literal Meaning: “what will … give in exchange”, it refers to vendible equivalent in the original.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    It is true that life is precious, but men will die one day. Therefore, when we still live, we should seize the opportunity to use our life (see Eph.5:16 the original).

2)    Our life shall not be used by ourselves ---- namely, to take gaining the whole world as the object of pursuit (see v.36), but be used by the Lord ---- namely, to take the glory of the Lord and the Lord’s word as the pursuit of the object (see v.38).


Mark. 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."

YLT: “for whoever may be ashamed of me, and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man also shall be ashamed of him, when he may come in the glory of his Father, with the holy messengers.'”

Literal Meaning: “of him…will be ashamed”, it indicates that He will judge according to men’s attitude toward Him when He comes again in His glory.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    All those who desire to catch up with this adulterous and sinful generation and refuse to follow and please Christ will have no part in the kingdom of God.

2)    “Me and My words” that the Lord said were “Christ and the cross” mentioned before (see v.29, 34). All those were ashamed of Christ and the cross will be ashamed in the kingdom. On the contrary, all those who glorify Christ and His cross must have part in the glory of the future.

3)    If indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified with Him (Rom. 8:17). However, if we covet for the pleasure in sins, we will be rewarded what he deserves.

4)    The order of the revelation in this chapter is: a) Christ; b) the cross; c) the glory. Christ is the center of revelation. The cross is the way to manifest Christ. Glory has manifested Christ to the utmost.

5)    Only knowing Christ and walking on the way of the cross will fully manifest Christ and it is the glory.


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


The Meaning of the Sign ---- Four Thousands Men Were Fed with Seven Loaves (v.1-10)

A.   It indicated that the Lord was the Creator.

B.   He is the bread of life that can satisfy men’s need.

C.   He is the blessed one and gave His body to be broken for us, so He can satisfy men’s need.

D.   His provision is more than sufficient and even that fragments are sufficient enough to supply men throughout generations.


We Should Know the Lord Jesus As

A.   He is the provision of our life (v.1-10);

B.   His word (spit) is an necessary element for us to see spiritually (v.22-26);

C.   He is the Christ of God (v.27-29);

D.   He is our Redeemer (v.30-33);

E.   He will come again in glory (v.34-38);


How to Have Deeper Knowledge about the Lord Jesus?

A.   To have more experience of the Lord (v.1-10);

B.   One shall not focus on the outward phenomenon and sign (v.11-13).

C.   One shall take heed of the leaven of the Pharisees (v.14-15a) ---- not be blinded by spiritual doctrines.

D.   One shall take heed of Herod (v.15b) ---- not be blinded by realism.

E.   One shall spiritual understanding (v.16-21).

F.    One shall be anointed and immersed by the Lord’s word (spit) (v.22-26).

G.   One shall go to Caesarea Philippi with the Lord (v. 27-29) ---- one will not know He is “Christ” until he is separated from traditional religious concepts.

H.   One shall be mindful of the things of God, not the things of men (v.30-33).

I.      One shall deny himself and follow the Lord closely(v.34).

J.    One shall care about what is eternal, not temporary (v.35-38).


The Comparision in Chapter Eight of the Book of Mark

A.   “Seven loaves” and “seven large baskets of leftover fragments” (v.5, 8) ---- He turns what is limited to unlimited.

B.   “One side” and “the other side” of the sea (v.10, 13) ---- the Lord’s compassion and rejection;

C.   The “seeing” of the Pharisees and the “seeing” of the blind man who had been healed (v.11, 25) ---- seeing to seek signs and seeing to experience signs;

D.   “The leaven of the Pharisees” and “the leaven of Herod” (v.15) ---- the religious evil and worldly evil;

E.   The first “looking up” of the blind man and the second “looking up” (v.24, 25) ---- looking up to “receive the Lord’s word (spit)” and looking up to “be united with the Lord” (put His hands on his eyes);

F.    Peter’s declaring that Jesus is Christ and His “dissuading” the Lord from going to the cross (v.29, 32) ---- through “revelation” and through “men’s mind”.

G.   “Be mindful of the things of God” and “be mindful of the things of men” (v.33).

H.   “Save and lose” and “lose and save” (v.35) ---- he who enjoys in this generation will loae in the coming generation; he who loses in this age will enjoy in the coming age.

I.      “The whole world” and “one’s own soul” (v.36-37) ---- absent in the body and present in the body;

J.    The one who is ashamed of the Lord and the Lord’s words as well as he of whom the Lord will be ashamed (v.38) ---- attitude in this age and reward in the coming age.


The Process of One’s Spiritual Eyes’ Being Opened

A.   He camt to ask the Lord Jesus (v.22).

B.   He was brought to leave the multitude ---- led him out of the town (v.23a).

C.   The working and inspiration of the life in the Lord’s word ---- He had spit on his eyes (v.23b).

D.   Blessings of the Lord and being united with the Lord ---- put His hands on him (v.23c).

E.   His eyesight was still vague when his eyes were firstly opened ---- I see men like trees, walking (v.24).

F.    Having experienced deeper union with the Lord ---- put His hands on his eyes (v.25a).

G.   The eyes of heart could see clearly ---- he was restored and saw everyone clearly (v.25b).

H.   No longer being effected by men ---- not go into the town (v.26).


The Way to the Kingdom of God

A.   One must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

B.   Once one is mindful of things of himself, Satan is just making use of him and hindering him from going ahead (v.33).

C.   One shall deny himself and take his cross to follow the Lord (v.34).

D.   One shall lose the enjoyment of soul for the sake of the Lord and gospel (v.35-37).

E.   One shall not be ashamed of the Lord and the Lord’s word (v.38).


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Mary Zhou