Understand - Mark 8:21

Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Mark 8:21-15:47

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Understand - Mark 8:21

"Do you not yet understand?" Jesus' frustration with the twelve came out in this question. He was grieved at how long it was taking for them to understand who he was and what he was doing.

Healing of the blind man- Mark 8:22-26

This healing of the blind man took place in the context of the disciples' need for increased spiritual insight (8:18). Possibly Jesus took the man outside the village away from the misunderstanding crowds to avoid stirring up the wrong kind of messianic excitement. Most likely he also sought out a place where he had the complete attention of the disciples. This healing was different from every other healing in the gospels. It was a complete healing, but it only came in stages. It seems that Jesus was teaching the disciples that they would come to full spiritual sight and understand who he was, but it would only be a gradual process of growing clarity.

The Affirmation of the Messiah. - Mark 8:27-30

These verses are the centerpiece of Mark's Gospel. Everything before them builds toward Jesus' question, Who do you say that I am? and Peter's confession that Jesus was the Messiah. Everything after these verses focuses on defining Jesus' messiahship as the suffering servant of Isaiah.

Caesaria Philippi - Mark 8:27

Caesaria Philippi was a town named for Augustus Caesar. It was about 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee. It was there that Jesus started this conversation by asking a question. He did not ask his question so he could learn something. He intended to lead the disciples forward another important step in their training.

Same possibilities - Mark 8:28

The disciples answered with the same three possibilities that the people named in 6:14, 15.

The Christ, the Messiah - Mark 8:29

Jesus asked his second question. He emphasized the word you, focusing on the disciples. Peter boldly confessed that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah. Mark began his Gospel in 1:1, The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Since that time no one had called Jesus, the Christ. Powerful words and miracles drew crowds and enemies from miles away, but no one called him Christ. At Caesarea Philippi Jesus knew that it was important to draw this confession out of the disciples because he was soon heading for Jerusalem and the cross to suffer. The disciples had to be sure that he was the Christ, the Messiah, before he could teach them that he was a suffering messiah.

Tell no one - Mark 8:30

Jesus warned them to tell no one else that he was the Messiah. Until they understood that he was a suffering messiah instead of a politically conquering messiah it would only complicate his ministry if the truth was widely proclaimed.

The Suffering Messiah - Mark 8:31–15:47

Judaism had never developed the connection of the glorious royal Messiah of Psalm 2 and the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 42–53. The voice from heaven at Jesus' baptism had used both of these images. It is in this second half of the Gospel that those connections were explained more and more clearly to the disciples. Then Jesus lived out those verses for the entire world to see.

The Messiah's Journey to Jerusalem - Mark 8:31-10:52

On his way to Jerusalem Jesus predicted his death three times. These three predictions create a somber atmosphere for the entire journey. Each prediction is followed by evidence that the disciples had not yet fully understood Jesus' message. There is also an attempt by Jesus to make it clear that following a suffering messiah will bring serious demands upon the disciples' lives.

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