Mark 8: 1 - 9:29
Good Questions by Josh Hunt
These Questions Have Groups Talking
1. Mark 8:1-9:29
During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said,  "I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat.  If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance."
 His disciples answered, "But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?"
 "How many loaves do you have?" Jesus asked.
"Seven," they replied.
 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people, and they did so.  They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them.  The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.  About four thousand men were present. And having sent them away,  he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha.
 The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven.  He sighed deeply and said, "Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it."  Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side.
 The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat.  "Be careful," Jesus warned them. "Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod."
 They discussed this with one another and said, "It is because we have no bread."
 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: "Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened?  Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don't you remember?  When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?"
"Twelve," they replied.
 "And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?"
They answered, "Seven."
 He said to them, "Do you still not understand?"
 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.  He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?"
 He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around."
 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.  Jesus sent him home, saying, "Don't go into the village."
 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, "Who do people say I am?"
 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets."
 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
Peter answered, "You are the Christ."
 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.  He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.  What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?  Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?  If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."
[9:1] And he said to them, "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power."
 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them.  His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them.  And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.
 Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah."  (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)
 Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!"
 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.  They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what "rising from the dead" meant.
 And they asked him, "Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?"
 Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected?  But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him."
 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them.  As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
 "What are you arguing with them about?" he asked.
 A man in the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech.  Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not."
 "O unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me."
 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
 Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?"
"From childhood," he answered.  "It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."
 " 'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."
 Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. "You deaf and mute spirit," he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again."
 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, "He's dead."  But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"
 He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer."
2. Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.