Jesus Feeds Four Thousand.[a] 1 In those days, a great crowd had again assembled, and they had nothing to eat. Jesus called his disciples to him and said to them, 2 “I am moved with compassion for these people, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way—and some of them have come from far off.”
4 His disciples replied, “How can anyone find enough bread here in this deserted place to feed these men?” 5 He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They replied, “Seven.”
6 Jesus ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute, and they distributed them to the people. 7 There were also a few small fish, and after blessing them he commanded that these too should be distributed. 8 They ate and were satisfied. Afterward, the disciples picked up the fragments left over—seven full baskets. 9 The people there numbered about four thousand. And when he had sent them away, 10 he immediately got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.[b]
11 The Demand for a Sign.[c] The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with him. To put him to the test they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. 12 Sighing from the depths of his spirit, he said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” 13 Then he left them, got into the boat again, and sailed across to the other side.
14 The Yeast of the Pharisees.[d] They had forgotten to bring any bread with them, and they had only one loaf in the boat. 15 Jesus then gave them this warning, “Be careful, and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” 16 They talked about this to one another and concluded: “It is because we have no bread.”
17 Becoming aware of what they were discussing, he said to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes and fail to see? Do you have ears and fail to hear?
“And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets filled with fragments did you collect?” They answered, “Twelve.” 20 “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets filled with fragments did you collect?” They answered, “Seven.” 21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
22 Jesus Heals a Blind Man.[e] They arrived at Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man to Jesus and begged that he touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Then, putting saliva on his eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything?” 24 Looking up, the man responded, “I can see people, but they look like trees walking around.” 25 Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and the man looked around intently. His sight was restored, and he was able to see everything clearly. 26 Then he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even go into the village.”
27 Peter’s Confession That Jesus Is the Messiah.[f] Then Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 They responded, “[Some say] John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29 “But you,” he asked, “who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 30 Then he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone about him.
The Mystery of Jesus Is Revealed[g]
The Way of the Son of Man[h]
31 Jesus Predicts His Passion.[i] After that, he began to teach them that the Son of Man must endure great suffering, be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,[j] and be put to death, and rise again after three days. 32 He told them these facts in plain words.
Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 At this, Jesus turned and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are thinking not as God does, but as men do.”
34 The Conditions of Discipleship.[k] He then called the people and his disciples to him and said to them, “Anyone who wishes to follow me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 35 [l]For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the sake of the gospel will save it. 36 What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his very life? 37 Indeed, what can he give in exchange for his life?
38 “If anyone in this adulterous and sinful generation is ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
- Mark 8:1 See note on Mt 15:29-39.
- Mark 8:10 Dalmanutha: location unknown.
- Mark 8:11 See note on Mt 16:1-4.
- Mark 8:14 See note on Mt 16:5-12.
- Mark 8:22 Jesus’ actions and the healing of the blind man seem to have the same purpose as his actions and the healing of the deaf mute (see Mk 7:3-37). Some scholars regard both healings as a means of expressing the gradual enlightenment of the disciples about Jesus’ Messiahship.
- Mark 8:27 Many scholars believe that Peter’s confession of Jesus’ Messiahship constitutes the central point of this Gospel. It is the decisive doctrinal turning point in which we have the end of the Messianic Secret. Up to this point Jesus demanded the greatest secrecy about the mystery of his person. Henceforth, Jesus utters repeated exhortations concerning the following of the Messiah.
The apostles had recognized the Messiah through Peter’s confession in spite of the humble and insignificant appearances of their Master’s public activity. Now they must cling with faith to the suffering Messiah and accept the scandal of the cross.
- Mark 8:31 Where are we to find the revelation that God wants to communicate to humanity? We must look to the cross, understand and share the condition of Jesus, and answer the call that he gives us to follow him. It is a suffering and humiliated Christ who saves the human race. Of this Mark is certain.
- Mark 8:31 It is with full awareness and deliberation that Jesus sets out toward the fulfillment of his mission. He speaks on three occasions of the way of suffering and humiliation that he sees opening before him, and on all three occasions he encounters closed minds.
- Mark 8:31 See notes on Mt 16:21 and 16:22-23.
- Mark 8:31 The elders, the chief priests, and the scribes: the members of the Sanhedrin.
- Mark 8:34 See note on Mt 16:25.
- Mark 8:35 The Greek word for “life” can also mean “soul.” “Life” is used in a double sense—earthly life and eternal life.