James Gray - Concise Bible Commentary
In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,Mark 8:1-9:50
REACHING A CRISIS
The topics or events of the present lesson:
· The Four Thousand Fed (Mark 8:1-9); · The Leaven of the Pharisees (Mark 8:10-21); · The Blind Man of Bethesda (Mark 8:22-26); · Peter’s Confession (Mark 8:27-38); · The Crisis of the Transfiguration (Mark 9:1-13); · The Lunatic Healed (Mark 9:14-29); · Christ’s Predication of His Death (Mark 9:30-32); · Ambition Rebuked (Mark 9:33-37); · Sectarianism Rebuked (Mark 9:38-38); · Future Retribution (Mark 9:42-50) In the second of these events, observe a further illustration of Mark’s power of observation and the minuteness of his record in particular cases — Jesus “sighed deeply in His spirit” (Mark 8:12).
The third is recorded only by Mark, and has an illuminating note attached to it in the Scofield Bible. It will be observed that the man was “led out of the town” (Bethsaida). This town, as appears from Matthew 9:21-24 had been abandoned to judgment, and Christ would neither heal nor permit further testimony to be borne there (Mark 8:26 of the lesson). But while Bethsaida’s probation as a community was ended, yet He would still show mercy to individuals. It suggests Revelation 3:20.
Mark, as usual, gives the briefest account of Peter’s confession, and does not mention the church. The mention of the latter is dispensational and is found in the dispensational Gospel of Matthew. Notice Mark 9:33 : “when He had turned about and looked on His disciples” characteristic of Mark.
The warning about future retribution (Mark 9:42-50) peculiar to Mark, is one of the most solemn in the Bible. “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched,” can hardly yield other meaning than the eternal conscious punishment of those who die in their sins. How awful the thought! What a motive for earnestness in soul-winning!
Every sacrifice shall be salted with salt,” is an allusion to Leviticus 2:13. The salt represents the power of the Holy Spirit to keep us from all that tends to corruption. “Have salt in yourselves” really means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. God grant it to us.
1. Name the topics or events of this lesson.
2. Name some illustrations of Mark’s peculiar characteristics as a writer, found in this lesson.
3. What peculiarities do you find in the miracle at Bethsaida?
4. What is the doctrinal teaching in Mark 9:44; Mark 9:46; Mark 9:48?
5. How would you interpret Mark 9:49-50?