The Pain Of God’s Servant
Book of Mark Chapter 8:1-21
It takes great patience on the part of the Lord in order for Him to teach us the truth of the Gospel!
So He asks us all, "How is it we do not understand" the simple "gift" of God?
In our last lesson we learned that Jesus was ministering in Decapolis. Remember, when Jesus had saved that one time Demoniac, and He had left him to be a missionary in this same region.
We should understand that in this area of Decapolis there lived some Jews BUT this region was the home to Gentiles much more than the Jew.
Matthew tells us bit more about this time period:
Mat 15:31 Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and "they glorified the God of Israel".
These Gentiles recognized that all these things were happening because the God of Israel had compassion on them.
The God of Israel meant that this was the God that the nation Israel worshiped and not some other false deity.
This area of Decapolis was a center for Roman and Greek culture at this time of Jesus, but there were also some Arabians living in this area!
The Greeks worshiped Zeus as king of their many gods.
The Romans worshiped Jupiter as king of their many gods.
The locales, the Arabs, worshiped Dushara as king of their many gods.
When they glorified the God of Israel, it was a very big thing to these people but most of them still just honored Jehovah God as one amongst their many gods.
This same area eventually became a hot bed of Islam as it is today.
But in these days, of the Lord Jesus Christ, large crowds gathered to Him even in this land of Gentiles!
*****Mar 8:1 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,
Before we get into this miracle let’s look at a few things. We know that there are many who try to find contradictions in the Bible.
The feeding of the 5000 appears in all four of the Gospels but only Matthew and Mark record the feeding of the 4000.
But it is not difficult to show that these were two separate events.
The feeding of the 5000 happened near Bethsaida and involved for the most part Jews.
The feeding of the 4000 happened in the area of Decapolis and involved for the most part Gentiles.
Jesus Christ, Himself says that these were two separate events:
Mat 16:8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
Mat 16:9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
Mat 16:10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
Mat 16:11 "How is it that ye do not understand" that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
What can we learn from this event?
Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not;
We should learn that the Lord Jesus Christ is unchangeable!
His nature will not ever change.
His purpose will not ever change.
His promises will not ever change.
And His plan of salvation will never change!
Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
In fact when we call on the Lord Jesus Christ we are saved, that very day, we are being saved everyday we live, and we are eternally saved!
So the moral laws of God, the Ten Commandments, apply equally to the saved and to the lost, everyone on this planet!
These are still our schoolmaster to teach us what God expects while we are still alive.
*****Mar 8:2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:
Mar 8:3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.
This multitude of Gentiles had spent three days with the Lord Jesus and He had taught them the Word of God, along with healing all their sick.
We can see that no matter the makeup or the different cultures of the multitudes, Jesus always showed His love and His compassion for them!
To Jesus there was no such word as "race" in describing the different peoples!
This verse does not say that these people had not eaten in 3 days, it just states that they had nothing to eat and if they tried to go home many of them had a great distance to travel.
Christ Jesus shows His compassion, not only for the souls of men, but also these bodies of flesh of all mankind.
He had taught them His "Doctrine", the Gospel!
He had healed them of their diseases.
He showed His concern for them, even when they were about go back home.
The Bible says:
Heb 5:2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
You see God knows how we feel every single moment in our lives.
He has felt all our pain.
He understands all our circumstances.
He knows everything that we are going through, every moment we live in this flesh we call humanity!
Another thing that the Lord knows is from "how far we have come"!
Some of these people had come a long way just to see Jesus!
The greatest thing we can learn from this passage and those 12 chosen disciples should have learned, is this.
I have already said that those more than 5000 were Jews. These that will number more than 4000 are Gentiles.
We should come away from this lesson knowing that the Jesus Christ came to save "whosoever" will call on His name and He always will!
Act 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that "whosoever" shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
*****Mar 8:4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?
We will soon see that there were only 4000 men old enough to be in this count, but this great multitude could have been nearly as large as when the Lord fed the 5000, when we add women, wives and children.
We could ask ourselves, "why would Peter and these others ask this question"?
A great lesson for us all is, this fact.
The world we live in is a "desert place", where nothing can be found to satisfy the soul of man!
It is only the salvation, the free gift of Jesus Christ, that can lead to all our fulfillment!
On this occasion it would not have mattered how much money that Judas Iscariot had in the bag, there was no place available to buy such a large quantity of food to feed this great multitude.
Jesus was not about to send this crowd away unfulfilled!
Every Pastor or Preacher, that prepares a sermon, should remember this lesson.
Psa 22:26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
Every message preached in the pulpits should centered on seeking the Lord Jesus Christ because He is still our only fulfillment!
It is this message that brings fulfillment to the multitudes!
AND, Jesus never sent a multitude away empty, spiritually nor physically!
Our Lord had great patience with these 12 and we need to thank Him for that, because these 12 were to begin the Church, the Bride of Christ.
Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
We know that Israel had a relationship with the Lord, as sheep to a shepherd.
Jer 13:17 But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD’S flock is carried away captive.
But we also should know that Gentiles are also part of that flock!
Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, "which are not of this fold": them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
Jesus died for His Church and the Church is separate from Israel!
It took awhile for these 12 to get all this right, but praise God they did, and praise God for the patience He has with all of us, as He did with them.
The lesson here is that Christ Jesus has control over every situation that arises, period!
*****Mar 8:5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.
We should know that it is important "for us" to know how many loaves were available. There were 5 in the other miracle and 7 in this one.
It is very possible that these 7 loaves came from what these disciples had brought for themselves and for Jesus.
They probably did not look forward to sharing them with these Gentiles!
Remember Gentiles were no more than dogs, in the eyes of the Jews.
Another lesson for the Church is to, make all our sacrifices worthy of the Lord!
*****Mar 8:6 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.
Mar 8:7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.
What we should notice are these things.
1) God knows how to control a crowd. Jesus was methodical in resolving this need as He still does today.
2) Then the miracle of blessing. 7 loaves and a few fishes become a banquet for thousands.
3) Jesus made arrangements to deliver the food to this flock.
As disciples of Christ Jesus, we cannot control the crowd, that’s the job of the Holy Spirit.
As disciples of Christ Jesus, we cannot perform the miracle or provide the blessing, that’s the job of Our Father in Heaven.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we can deliver the "Bread of Life" to those of the multitude, this is why we were left behind after our salvation!
Jesus will put all His disciples to work!
And, the Lord Jesus will never do for us what we can do for ourselves!
Ministering the Word of God is the job of the Church!
*****Mar 8:8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.
Earlier, Jesus had started with 5 loaves and two fishes and fed a great multitude of more than 5000 of the Jews.
Here with 7 loaves and a few fishes, Jesus has fed a great multitude of more than 4000 of the Gentiles.
Earlier there had been 12 baskets of leftovers.
The Greek word for "basket" here was "kophinos" or small baskets.
This is the basket that each disciple can take with them.
In typology, the 12 disciples had their baskets prepared by the Lord, to begin the Church.
Here the Greek word for "basket" is "spuris" or a much larger basket.
How can we prove that?
Luke wrote of the Apostle Paul’s escape:
Act 9:25 Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.
This basket was a "spuris" and this basket in typology represents the New Testament Church.
In each of these baskets, the fragments are the same, The Bread of Life, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!
What does Jesus ask of all those that love Him?
Luk 24:41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, "Have ye here any meat"?
God expects, through the Church and through each disciple, that in every multitude, there should never be anyone leave His presence unfulfilled so they do not faint on their way home.
This is the challenge for the Church and therefore every house of God!
And once again, the Lord Jesus has shown compassion on those that are poor and hungry.
We should be hungry for the Word of God and we will be poor until we are filled with God’s Word!
The Jews were in a "desert place" where there was very little life and the Jews are still in that desert place without the Lord even though they claim Jehovah as there God.
The Gentiles were in "the wilderness".
A wilderness is not the same as a desert place but a wilderness is a place suitable for pasturing sheep.
This "wilderness" is a type of the Church!
God intends that His Church to be a place to pasture His sheep until He returns!
And together, Jew and Gentile, we will all cross Jordan one day to get to the promised land!
Notice also there are "seven baskets" here and there are "seven Church Ages", spoken of in the Book of Revelation.
And there should be no doubt that we are in that last Church Age!
The Laodicean Church Age is a time of the "people pleasers".
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Those that are aware of the signs of our times, cannot miss this fact!
There are no more signs to be completed before the "Rapture" of the Church!
The only sign that remains is the blowing of the trumpet!
There are only signs that remain before The Second Coming of the Lord but they are few!
*****Mar 8:9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.
Mar 8:10 And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha.
When Jesus fed the 5000, He left them in the "desert place" and joined His disciples on the Sea of life but the Jews are still in that "desert place"!
But these Gentiles were sent away!
It is the Gentiles that God has sent to spread the "Gospel" of Jesus Christ in this world!
We can be sure that the Lord Jesus watched as they headed off in all directions, and He is still watching today to see if we are doing what He ask us to do!.
Jesus had already said that many of them had to travel a great distance and we know that the Word of God is still spreading throughout the entire world.
Psa 98:2 The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.
We know that the Church will be "sent away" until the time of the "Rapture" when the Church will be gathered and Jesus will then resume His work with the Jew:
Psa 98:3 He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Dalmanutha was a place on the west side of the Sea of Galilee.
Matthew called this Magdala but these both are the place of the Migdols or a place of "watch towers".
Mat 15:39 And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala.
This is also the birthplace of Mary Magdalene or Mary from Magdala.
Jesus did not go to see Mary this day, He went to show Himself to a group that He had earlier called hypocrites!
*****Mar 8:11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.
Mar 8:12 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.
Many a church in our day are trying to reach out to the lost with worldly things, such as worldly music and many other such things.
Many reach out pacifying some, by saying God used evolution in His creation, which is a lie straight from Hell.
Many are accepting the gay life style in an attempt to be friends with this world we live in, but they are also wrong.
We can accept the gays, "as lost" and in need of redemption just as any other sinner, but that lifestyle goes against the Word of God and must be rejected just as the drunk, the murderer and the thief and any other sinful lifestyle that is described by the 10 commandments.
And, it is a fact that "religious curiosity" will rarely lead to salvation!
It is also a fact that "religious confidence" cannot come from stubborn refusal of any part of the Word of God!
It is a fact that "faith" must come from the heart!
God had given that generation the Doctrine of Jesus Christ!
God was about to give "His life" in propitiation for all our sin!
God was not about to become "some circus side show star" in front of these hypocrites and He will not do this in our day!
We cannot tempt God and nor should we ever try!
Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
Jas 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
AND GOD WILL NOT EVER USE ANY SORT OF TEMPTATION TO GET US TO BELIEVE AND BE PART OF HIS CHURCH!
GOD WILL NEVER USE TEMPTATION TO GET US TO ENTER ANY HOUSE OF GOD!
Those that use any sort of worldly temptation to get people in the House of God go against the character of God!
Any that think this way may find themselves to be left behind!
What will God do?
Psa 81:12 "So I gave them up" unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels.
*****Mar 8:13 And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.
What’s going on in a world that is getting farther and farther away from God and the Lord Jesus Christ?
Zec 11:9 Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.
We may have turned blind eyes to what Satan, the prince of this world, is doing to our world, but Jehovah God has not!
Mat 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
Our job is to reach out "to those that do not know and have never heard of the Lord Jesus Christ"!
They can be found on "the other side", away from these that teach a false doctrine!
We are not to argue with those that make their own selves righteous.
1Ti 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
1Ti 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
1Ti 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: "from such withdraw thyself".
So, Now God has to straighten these 12 disciples out just as He does us all some times!
*****Mar 8:14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.
Mar 8:15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.
Jesus always knows what is own our mind!
These 12 had witnessed Jesus as He had dealt with those Pharisees.
And they had not even thought to prepare for the next journey.
We must always be prepared in our work for the Lord!
This loaf they had, would not be a loaf as we think of that could be cut into many slices, but was only the round pocket bread of the Middle East, not even enough for one man.
So, while they were thinking about this small piece of bread, Jesus told them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod.
Leaven is sour dough which, when mixed with a larger quantity of dough, makes heavy dough rise to form a softer bread.
But leaven, spiritually, can also mean anything evil, anything that goes against the Word of God!
In the Bible leaven sometimes means "something which corrupts or depraves that with which it is mixed".
This is the meaning of leaven that Jesus was using this day!
The Apostle Paul cautioned the Corinthians with these words:
1Co 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
We must beware of the leaven of this world and not allow in into the house of God. It becomes spoiled bread and mold and we all know how hard it is to get rid of mold!
The use of leaven was strictly forbidden in all offerings made to the Lord by fire!
Lev 2:11 No meat offering, which ye shall bring unto the LORD, shall be made with leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the LORD made by fire.
And, God still expects us all to be a living sacrifice.
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
What was the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees?
"Leaven" as used here is a symbol of "evil doctrine".
Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
This "evil leaven" has been used to remove the basic fundamentals of the Church which are:
1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
God came down from the Glory World, to be born of the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ died to pay a debt we could not pay!
Jesus Christ arose from that grave in a glorified body!
Jesus Christ has returned to Heaven to prepare a place for His children!
These are basic fundamentals of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and of the Church!
These people had a complete Old Testament at this time but they were just picking it apart.
The enemies of the Church today are still trying to pick apart the Word of God!
We also know the Bible as "the water of life" but these Pharisees had converted "this water of life" into "fermented wine" and then began adding extra spice every chance they got!
Herod represents the government.
The followers of Herod, called Herodians, brought worldly compromise to the Word of God!
The government of our nation today is trying to bring worldly compromise to the Word of God!
We cannot allow this to happen!
No matter what we think, most governments are evil in the sense that they have rejected the Laws of Jehovah God!
John the Baptist was a dangerous man in the eyes of this government and the Lord Jesus Christ and those that follow after Him are even more dangerous than John who was murdered for preaching the truth of the Word of God.
Today, in our world, the Bible is criticized more than it ever has been it has been perverted through an untold amount of new versions, which are simply "perversions" of the Word of God!
But are the disciples of Christ paying attention, to what Jesus was saying?
*****Mar 8:16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.
Mar 8:17 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?
Mar 8:18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?
Mar 8:19 When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.
Mar 8:20 And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.
Mar 8:21 And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?
These 12, who would begin the New Testament Church, had missed this valuable lesson but the Lord would not allow that to continue.
When Christ Jesus mentioned the leaven, they could only think of "man made" bread.
In every lesson we learn from the Word of God, we need to see "the spiritual side" before we get caught up in "the material side"!
Yes, God has promised that He will provide all our needs while we are still living but this life on this earth is just to short for us to dwell on these things!
The disciples should have known that the amount of bread they had with them was not important!
Jesus had already proved He could feed any multitude, at any location, at any time He chose to do so.
They knew this, so why were they lingering on the thought of food?
Jesus said: "why can you not understand about the danger of false doctrine"?
We see that the Lord can get upset with us when we are "so blind" that we cannot see how the danger that "self interpretation", and "a world view" of Word of God can affect the Church.
The Laodicean Church Age is the time of the people pleasers!
Jesus says this age makes Him sick!
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
This is the same doctrine of the Nicolaitan which He hates!
Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
This is what evil doctrine brings to the Church so Jesus asks us all:
How Is It That You Do Not Understand?
If the Church is that ship that is sailing in this lost world, it is a fact that when we allow the world into the ship "It Will Sink"!
All these things proceed the healing of a blind man which we will see next week!