Abide Together: Reflections on Mark 8

In Mark 8 God through Mark records Jesus’ feeding of the 4,000, Pharisees seeking a sign, the disciples lack of faith, the healing of a blind man, Peter’s confession of Christ and Jesus’ reminder of the cost of following Him.  The sobering thing that stands out to me is the disciples lack of faith or lack of understanding.  It says that they were in a boat and did not have more than one loaf with them.  They began to discuss that they had no bread.  Jesus asks them why they were discussing this.  Was it a lack of understanding or hardness of heart?  Jesus reminds them of the feeding of the 5,000 and the feeding of the 4,000 that had just happened.  Even with these amazing miracles they had witnessed, they still did not get it.  In the midst of their circumstance they focus on the circumstance and not on Jesus who could easily provide for them.  They had seen him proved for thousands and had seen His power over all creation, yet they still worried.  Lord, I confess that I all to often focus on the circumstances instead of Jesus.  By Your grace, help me focus on Jesus and not my circumstances, no matter how difficult they may be.

– Bryan McKenzie

3 replies
  1. Daycie Harden
    Daycie Harden says:

    Jesus is so awesome! What really sticks out to me is His great compassion towards people.
    Although I do have a couple of questions…
    1. When Jesus heals the man the first time and he sees trees instead of people, I know
    Jesus doesn’t mess up so why make him see trees first?
    2. In the chapter 6 it says the disciples “hearts were hardened” and it seems to be a reoccurring trend, however they were still Jesus’ disciples, did they have salvation at this point? What is it referring to when it says there hearts were hardened?

    Reply
  2. Bryan McKenzie
    Bryan McKenzie says:

    Daycie, I too love the compassion of Jesus toward people. So thankful we are recipients of HIS compassion. Regrading question # 1 – It seems that the 2 stage healing of the blind man (only one recorded in the Gospels), is connected to Jesus’ rebuke of the disciples’ incomplete understanding in verse 21. Jesus heals the blind man and he partially is able to see men who, because of the incompleteness of the healing, looked like trees. This was a picture of the disciples incomplete understanding. Jesus then completely heals the man so he can see completely. This was the outcome the disciples could expect to happen in their understanding of Him and His work. Regarding question # 2 – If the the disciples were trusting in Jesus as the promised Savior from their sin, yes they were justified/saved. We know that Judas was not trusting in Jesus as his Savior from Sin. It seems that the other 11 do come to a saving faith in Jesus, before He is crucified and if not then it seems they all do after His resurrection. However, the Holy Spirit did not reside in any of the disciples at this point. That would come in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost. Their hardened hearts communicated that they could not understand in and of themselves what Christ was saying. Only He could open their hearts to believe. Apart from Christ work in all of our hearts, we are unable to understand His person and work.

    Reply

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