Notes Mark 8A
Last week we saw how the ministry of Jesus had moved from the nation of Israel out to the Gentile nations. We saw how He traveled to Tyra and Sidon and through Decapolis which would have taken several months. We saw how Jesus returns to Mount Tabor where the strength of the Gentile nations was broken under the leadership of the prophetess Deborah. We see a physical example of what God brakes He will also heal.
And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.
And the LORD discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet.
Mark is very careful to let us know when Jesus is on the move. So we can assume that Jesus is still around Mount Tabor and still in Gentile territory.
In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,
I want you to see that there are similarities in this feeding of the 4 thousand and the feeding of the 5 thousand but one of the major differences as I have already mentioned is Jesus is in Gentile territory and these people are hungry, they have not eaten in 3 days, where before Jesus was in Israel near the Sea of Galilee and the people had only been with Jesus a day and although they had ran 10 miles around the lake they were not starving.
Why did he repeat this miracle?
1. We are seeing the principle that Paul the apostle continued to follow in his own ministry and that is the word and blessing of God were offered first to Israel and then to the Gentile.
2. We see that these people are hungry. There are multitudes in the world today that are hungry for Spiritual truth, not for religion but for Spiritual truth.
3. Jesus is showing us that He is the Bread of Life for both the Jew and the Gentile
As we look at the repeat of this miracle we need to ask ourselves; what does Jesus want his disciples to learn from this miracle? He has walked them through this same process twice so he obviously wants them to see something. And what Jesus wants His disciples to see He wants us to see.
I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.
First we see the driving force behind the miracle.
1. Need. Jesus sees the need for these people to eat.
2. Compassion. Jesus has compassion on them.
This should always be the driving force of what we do. When we see a need we should be moved with compassion and what to help. Jesus was not doing this miracle to be seen or to become more popular because he was already more popular with the crowds than he really wanted to be.
And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?
Second: do not become overwhelmed.
Next we see the disciple’s question of; how can we meet so great a need? Have you ever asked yourself that as you have looked at a situation? I know I have, I remember standing on a rooftop in Africa and looking down on just a part of the city and seeing such great need that I felt so small and really did not know what to do. Just like these disciples.
Far too often when we see a greater need than what we can fulfill in the natural we want to draw back and do nothing.
You can’t change the world but you can change somebody.
And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven
Third: Determine precisely what you have
During the last feeding of the multitude Jesus said; How many loaves have ye? go and see.
Jesus asks his disciples, what do you have?
If we look at the needs around us and we look at our puny resources we know we do not have enough. But if we will look at the need, inventory our resources and bring them to God….He will make a way!
If you want God to work a miracle in your life you must by faith start with what you have. Most people want God to move but they want to see the end result or the abundance; the full supply before they move but Jesus is saying Start with what you have. Move out by faith with the talent that you have. Move out by faith with the knowledge that you have. Move out by faith with the resources that you have. We bring the bread, but he multiplies it. We fill the jars with water, but he turns it into wine. But start with what you have.
And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.
Forth is if you will start with what you have it will multiply.
It may just be a trickle at first but if you will continue to use what you have it will multiply. This is a spiritual principle; give and it shall be given unto you;
to him that hast more shall be given and to him that has not even that he seems to have shall be taken away. We cannot store spiritual blessings for a rainy day because when you need them you will find you have none, but if you will use them you will have more than enough.
Jesus took the loaves and breaks them. Now in our English language it sounds like it was a single act but the Greek verb used here is a continuing action. Jesus broke and continued to break the bread. It was bit by bit. When Jesus fed this multitude a load of bread did not fall from heaven. No they brought to our Lord what they had and bit by bit as they gave out the supply continued until the need was met. The loaves did not grow the supply grew. NOT THE STOREHOUSE EFFECT BUT A BIT BY BIT… AS THEY USED WHAT THEY HAD THERE WAS STILL MORE!
Jesus could have just as easily told the boys to stack the loaves of bread in an open field and then spoken a word and a huge pile appear. But that is not what he did it was bit by bit.
We want our supply to grow!!!!!!!!!!!!! We want to have a stockpile to give from. But that is not how Jesus did it. He did not speak the word and suddenly there was this huge pile of bread to meet the need but as they acted on what they had the need was met. There is something about the human nature that a large excess often distracts us from the one who has supplied it.
There is a spiritual lesson in this as well. Remember Jesus is the bread that came down from heaven. In the temptation Jesus told the devil that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
There are two sides to this lesson. One is you can not keep yourself spiritually strong without the bread of life, the word of God. The second is just the opposite; we can not stockpile the word of God in our life. If we learn and do not use what we learn we will become fat and lazy spiritually. It is not about stockpiling for a rainy day but it is about receiving from God and giving out to those in need.
So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.
Now for those of you who like numbers here is a little tidbit.
At the end of feeding the 5 thousand in Israel there was 12 baskets left over. 12 is God’s completeness of Israel. 12 tribes, 12 apostles and in this Jesus was showing Israel He was the bread that came to feed Israel. In the 7 baskets left in the Gentile nations 7 represents the full manifestation of God, God in his completeness, in his fullness.
God is manifesting himself, stepping out of the mystery and revealing that He is the bread of life for His entire creation and not just for Israel.
And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.
If you come to Jesus He will fill you up and HE sent them home. We often want to linger in the presence of the one who fills us up; but he says carry what you have out, take it home with you, and take it to work with you. Go out!
And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha.
Jesus leave and goes to the Western side of the sea to a city called Dalmanutha which is near Tiberias on the lower half of the Sea of Galilee.
And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.
Once Jesus is again in the heart of Jewish territory, here come the Pharisees. Now these men ask Jesus for a sign from heaven to show that he truly is a prophet. The Pharisees might have thought they had a right to ask this question because the Old Testament a sure sign of a prophet was an accurate prediction of the future; but that was not exactly what they were asking.
However they wanted more than just an accurate prediction they wanted to see a sign from heaven; something like what happen on Mount Sinai: thunder, and lightening or the trembling of the earth or maybe fire from heaven like on Mount Carmel. They have already seen many signs from heaven; Jesus had worked many miracles before their very eyes which were signs from heaven because even as the people said…how could Jesus do such wonders unless God was with them. But the Pharisees what more proof.
We need to understand that faith is not a matter of seeing, seeing in and of itself cannot produce faith. Faith is a matter of receiving the word of God into your heart.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Faith often runs opposite of sight. However Jesus often does show us His glory.
Jesus said to Thomas who would not believe without seeing.
Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. John 20:29
And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation. And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side
Jesus groans deeply in his spirit. You can almost see his frustration with these men.
Now Mark tells us Jesus said I am not going to give you any more signs. However Matthew 16:1-4 includes a little more to this conversation.
He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
1. He condemns their overlooking of the signs they had. Jesus tells them they can discern the sky but they cannot discern what was going on right before their eyes.
2. Jesus does give them what is due them. Remember the Old Testament test of a prophet was an accurate prediction and Jesus does give them this when he tells them of the sign of the prophet Jonas.
This was a future sign of His death and resurrection. And when we look at the death of Jesus we will see that they also received the “sign from heaven” when the sun went dark and the earth shook yet still many did not believe.
Jesus gave them their prediction but they were too blind to see it.
Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf. And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.
I am sure it was the responsibility of the disciples to make sure they had the provisions that they needed.
But verse 14 says they had Forgotten to take bread.
This is just like us; Jesus mind is on what just happened with the Pharisees; He is trying to teach His disciples and all they can see is their mistakes! Oh No we forgot to take bread.
Jesus is trying to get them to see What makes a heart hard…What fills us with unbelief and causes us to be spiritually dead.
In verse 15 Jesus begins to warn them about the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod. Matthew includes the leaven of the Sadducees.
What is the leaven of the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herod?
The key word that Jesus used was leaven. That should have been a dead giveaway to what Jesus was talking about.
Now these men were Jewish and never once in scriptures was leaven ever a symbol of anything good.
To really see the meaning of leaven we need to look back at the Passover commands. The feast of unleavened bread was preceded by the Passover meal the night before. The Passover lamb was to be eaten with unleavened bread. Then for the next seven days they were to eat unleavened bread. This is the instructions in
Seven days shall you eat unleavened bread; even the first day you shall put away leaven out of your houses; for whosoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.
So what is this leaven of the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herod; Jesus is talking about.
Leaven of the Pharisees;
Luke 12:1 ….Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
Look at Luke 11 to see this hypocrisy.
Luke 11: 37-44
And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat. And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.
Jesus would not bow to their man made traditions.
And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.
When a servant only washes the outside of the cup he contaminates what is put into it. Full of self righteousness, having a high opinion of themselves…
Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?
If your body is fearfully and wonderfully Ps. 149:13 made how much more your soul and spirit.
But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.
When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. 13 Then say to the LORD your God: "I have removed from my house the sacred portion and have given it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, according to all you commanded. I have not turned aside from your commands nor have I forgotten any of them.14 I have not eaten any of the sacred portion while I was in mourning, nor have I removed any of it while I was unclean, nor have I offered any of it to the dead. I have obeyed the LORD my God; I have done everything you commanded me. 15 Look down from heaven, your holy dwelling place, and bless your people Israel and the land you have given us as you promised on oath to our forefathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.
But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Jesus tells them they are careful to tithe even the smallest herb but overlook what is really important which is judgment (judging what is right) and the love of God. It is not that Jesus does not what them to be careful with thier tithe but don't overlook the things of the heart.
Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.
You became unclean if you were to walk over a grave and they were like graves that were grown over with grass and those who come in contact with them become defiled.
Leaven of Herod
This is the doctrine of materialism. This is what the Pharisees had was power and wealth. Beware of judging a person spirituality by what they possess or the authority they have EVEN in the church.
There was a group in the time of Jesus that called themselves the Herodians; their philosophy was that the great value of life is to be powerful and wealthy. If you can acquire wealth and power then you have obtained the secrets of life, favor with God.
We have many like this today; who have forgotten;
Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?
1 Timothy 6:9
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?
In Jesus initial answer he gives the disciples 7 question to examine their own hearts.
1 & 2 "Do you not perceive or understand?"
To perceive or understand takes the mind. So many people think that to walk in faith is just blind trust. But God gave us a mind to use. Stop and think about your situation. Analyze it. Now for some of us I might add Do Not over analyze it. But think about what the Bible has to say about your situation. That is what the mind is for. Study, think and above all use your mind.
2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
3. "Are your hearts hardened?" That is, look at your heart. Are you dull, or do you respond? Have you forgotten truth? Because if the heart does not respond to what the mind has receive and the spirit has understood, then it is because you have not really believed it. You may have recognized mentally that it is true, but you have not acted upon it. You do not really believe God is going to do what he has said he will do, that is the problem.
4.& 5 "Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear?"
It is important that we see with more than just our natural eye.
The apostle Paul prays in Ephesians 1:18
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Don’t just look at things with the natural eye but look at the situation with the eyes of the spirit.
Listen to the Holy Spirit as well. The Spirit is talking to you.
Remember Jesus said in John 10:27
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Whatsoever He says unto you DO IT.
6. "Do you not remember?" Hasn't God taught you things in the past through your circumstances? Had the devil stolen from you what God has done in the past? Has God’s deliverance in the past just become a coincidence?
7. How is it you do not understand?
When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?
Why don’t we perceive the miracles that are going on around us?
Is it because we are so puffed up with the law that surely God would not do that for them.
Do we rationalize