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Four Thousand Fed

In those days, when there was again a large crowd [gathered before Him] and they had nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples and told them,(A) “I feel compassion for the crowd; they have been with Me now for three days and have nothing [left] to eat. If I send them away to their homes hungry, they will faint [from exhaustion] on the road; because some of them have come a long way.” His disciples replied to Him, “Where will anyone be able to find enough bread here in this isolated place to feed these people?” He asked them, “How many loaves [of bread] do you have?” They said, “Seven.” He directed the people to sit down on the ground; and taking the seven loaves, He gave thanks and broke them, and [repeatedly] gave them to His disciples to set before them, and they served the crowd. They also had a few small fish; and when Jesus had blessed them [and given thanks], He ordered these [fish] to be set before them as well. And the people ate and were satisfied; and they picked up seven large baskets full of the broken pieces that were left over. About four thousand [men] were there [besides women and children]; and He sent them away. 10 Then immediately He got into the boat with His disciples and went to the district of [a]Dalmanutha.

11 The Pharisees came out and began to argue [contentiously and debate] with Him, demanding from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him [because of their unbelief]. 12 He groaned and sighed deeply in His spirit and said, “Why does this generation demand a sign? I assure you and most solemnly say to you, [b]no sign will be given to this generation!” 13 Leaving them, He again boarded the boat and left for the other side.

14 Now the disciples had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 Jesus repeatedly ordered them, saying, “Watch out! Beware of the [c]leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” 16 They began discussing this with one another, saying, “It is because we have no bread [that He said this].” 17 Jesus, aware of this [discussion], said to them, “Why are you discussing [the fact] that you have no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened?(B) 18 Though you have eyes, do you not see? And though you have ears, do you not hear and listen [to what I have said]? And do you not remember,(C) 19 when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces you picked up?” They answered, “Twelve.” 20 “And [when I broke] the seven [loaves] for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?” And they answered, “Seven.” 21 And He was saying to them, “Do you still not understand?”

22 Then they came to Bethsaida; and some people brought a blind man to Jesus and begged Him to touch him. 23 Taking the blind man by the hand, He led him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but [they look] like trees, walking around.” 25 Then again Jesus laid His hands on his eyes; and the man stared intently and [his sight] was [completely] restored, and he began to see everything clearly. 26 And He sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”

Peter’s Confession of Christ

27 Then Jesus and His disciples went out to the villages of [d]Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?”(D) 28 They answered Him, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.” 29 And He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter replied to Him, “You [in contrast to the others] are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).” 30 Then Jesus strictly warned them not to tell anyone about Him.

31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must [of necessity] suffer many things and be rejected [as the Messiah] by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and must be put to death, and after three days rise [from death to life].(E) 32 He was stating the matter plainly [not holding anything back]. Then Peter took Him aside and began to reprimand Him. 33 But turning around [with His back to Peter] and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan; for your mind is not set on God’s will or His values and purposes, but on what pleases man.”

34 Jesus called the crowd together with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and [e]take up his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]. 35 For whoever wishes to save his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], but whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake and the gospel’s will save it [from the consequences of sin and separation from God].(F) 36 For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world [with all its pleasures], and forfeit his soul? 37 For what will a man give in exchange for his soul and eternal life [in God’s kingdom]? 38 For whoever is ashamed [here and now] of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”


  1. Mark 8:10 This may have been another name for Magadan or Magdala.
  2. Mark 8:12 Lit if a sign will be given. The statement takes the form of an oath, which is an emphatic way of forbidding something.
  3. Mark 8:15 A substance such as yeast that consists mostly of fungi. This analogy relates the impurity of a leavening agent to the impurity of the man-made tradition and hypocrisy of the Pharisees that was preventing the nation of Israel from accepting the Messiah.
  4. Mark 8:27 Located in the area known today as the Golan Heights.
  5. Mark 8:34 See note Matt 10:38.

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