Daily Bible Reading (Monday, February 19th)


Mark 8 (ESV)


Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand

In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat.And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.” And his disciples answered him, “How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?” And he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” And he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd. And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them. And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. And there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. 10 And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.a]">[a]

The Pharisees Demand a Sign

11 The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. 12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” 13 And he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side.

The Leaven of the Pharisees and Herod

14 Now they had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”b]">[b] 16 And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. 17 And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.” 20 “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” 21 And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”

Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida

22 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid 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.” 25 Then Jesusc]">[c] laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.26 And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

27 And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 30 And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.35 For whoever would save his lifed]">[d] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul?38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”


  1. Mark 8:10 Some manuscripts Magadan, or Magdala
  2. Mark 8:15 Some manuscripts the Herodians
  3. Mark 8:25 Greek he
  4. Mark 8:35 The same Greek word can mean either soul or life, depending on the context; twice in this verse and once in verse 36 and once in verse 37


Jesus can see into the deepest areas of our heart, and be not surprised in what he can see in us. Jesus was in front of people constantly always saying truth that came from His Father in heaven.

V. 12: "And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation."

Having been reading through Matthew 11, this statement I related. While "violent men take the kingdom by force" under the conviction of the prophets, the law and in the coming of John the Baptist and Christ; this generation (also cited in Matthew 11) makes excuses, false judgements and demands more evidence.

Just when the ought to be falling down in worship, violently taking hold of the salvation offered through Christ with a heavy heart and burden of sin, instead they aesthetically ignore the offers of grace and demand more signs.

This is how we can expect others to respond to the gospel message once they understand it. Either apathetically, indignantly, making excuses demanding signs and special treatment. Or otherwise violently, seeking this Christ and His offers of grace.

I have prayed that those around each of us, would be convicted and violently take hold of the free gift of salvation that we offer through Jesus. I pray we would respond believingly, not demanding more evidense to continue surrendering to Him, not citing excuses, but violently taking Hold of His grace. And expecting God to save people by His Spirit and through our simple obedience to share the truth.

In this chapter we see a clear presentation of the gospel. It begins with who Christ is - the Son of the Living God. It tells what Christ did - He died and rose again. And it gives the call to leave everything and follow Him.

In following Christ we don't lose anything - we gain everything. Thankful for a faithful Savior. Praying for a more faithful heart.

“But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”

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

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.35 For whoever would save his lifed]">[d] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul?38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Interesting comments Tommy! My (lowly) take is that the Pharisees and the Herodians were both groups of position and power - two controlling government entities (the religious and secular) who sold themselves and their ways as superior while taking advantage of the common people. Typically the Jews would be in tenuous opposition to the control of the Romans, but here we see them unite under a common goal, to keep power for themselves and eliminate their shared threat that was gaining huge public support - Jesus. Of course, i could be way off here.... other comments welcome!

As for the part of the passage that jumped out to me this morning - it is the dullness of the ears of the apostles. They didn't understand the words or the signs of miracles, even with special access to Jesus, and special teaching. In studying the concept of having dull ears in Sunday School, it brought me back to the internal struggle I often have within myself - my spiritual and flesh in battle for control of the day. The more I let the flesh win, the more dull I become to the spiritual truth and opportunities God would have for me that day, and my growth is stunted. I have to remember that Christianity is a long-distance marathon, not just an occasional sprint. Lord, help me to keep running and not grow weary!!

v2 - “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat.” Give of yourself in following Jesus and He will have compassion on you and provide all of your needs. This isn’t for my prosperity, this is for His glory. This isn’t for my BMW, it’s for the food I need to continue in my mission to make and teach disciples.

As the new and better Moses, Jesus again performs a miracle of feeding the crowd in the wilderness. Yet miracles like this were not enough for the Pharisees, who saught a sign from heaven--something really spectacular like changing the arrangement of the stars. Yet Jesus would give that generation no sign. The disciples are cautioned Pharisees and leaven of Herod: both to continuously reject him out of their prideful, hard hearts, as well as the mistake of acknowledging he was sent from God, but not repenting.
After confessing Jesus as the Christ, Peter also attempts to rebuke Jesus for saying he must be killed and then rise in three days. Jesus rebukes Peter, however, and teaches that all who follow him must deny themselves and be willing to lose their lives.

"The Leaven of Herod" is not mentioned anywhere else in the gospels, and its exact meaning I'm uncertain of. King Herod gladly heard John the Baptist while he had him imprisoned, and also had him killed for the sake of his reputation with his guests. The Herodians are also the one who came with the Pharisees and asked Jesus about taxes. Perhaps the leaven of the Pharisees and leaven of Herod are the same thing, since they appear together later trying to trap Jesus and fail to acknowledge where he truly comes from?

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