Jesus Feeding four Thousand: 8:1-26.
(Read: Mark 8:1-26)
Jesus had compassion on the people and fed them with seven loaves. Though the disciples witnessed the feeding of the five thousand they were still worrying about how to feed the four thousand people. Jesus could have created food out of nothing, but he chose to use what was available. They were satisfied and the leftovers filled seven baskets. Lord not only knows our spiritual needs but also our physical needs. To know more, read note on Matthew 15:32-39. The Pharisees tested Jesus by asking him to show a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his identity. He did not show them any sign. Jesus warned the disciples, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod”. They failed to believe that Jesus is able to provide their needs. They were not spiritually enlightened yet. Jesus compare the unbelief of the Pharisees to leaven that spread’s its influence fast. This is a warning against being contaminated by false religion and teachers. Only God enlightens us to understand the gospel (Ephesians 1:18). Since God has revealed his grace to us, we can now share the good news to others. Jesus healed a blind man in two stages. Initially his eye sight was only partially healed, so that people look like moving trees (Mark 8:24). Jesus touched the man’s eye a second time and healed him completely. It was to confirm the faith of the disciples. Jesus wanted no publicity and sent him home. Like the disciples, we need the touch of the Holy Spirit to understand Jesus better. God uses his Word and the Holy Spirit to enlighten us spiritually (John 14:26). He reveals our sins because he loves us and does not want us to perish in our sin.
Peter’s confession of Christ: 8:27-38.
(Read: Mark 8:27-38)
Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went to Caesarea Philippi. It was a place of idle worship. Jesus asked the disciples “Who do the people say I am?” They replied “Some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah and others say you are one of the other prophets”. The Jesus asked “Who do you say I am?” Peter replied “You are the Christ”. Though Peter recognized Jesus’ true identity, he failed to understand that he will be the suffering Savior. Jesus began to teach them of his suffering, death and resurrection. Peter rebuked Jesus by saying "Let it not happen to you". Jesus said to Peter “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God but on the things of men”. Many people recognize Jesus as a great teacher, prophet and as a good man but they fail to receive him as their Savior and Lord. They don’t understand that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone and in Christ alone. Jesus said “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his own cross, and follow Me”. One who denies self and follow Jesus is the true disciple. It a radical call. A disciple gives Jesus Christ the preeminence in life. He willingly and joyfully surrenders himself to God’s plan and purposes. He is a learner and knows that the Lord intimately. The Lord loves them and strengthens them to be faithful. Jesus said “What does it prophet a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?” So it is important to surrender ourselves to God and not to be ashamed of Christ. Before we do anything for Christ, we must recognize what Christ has already done for us. Pray that God would remove our spiritual blindness to see the beauty of Christ in a new and fresh way.