Mark 8: Bible Study Guide

41-BSG-8A: WORSHIP GUIDE.

Mark 8: Worship Guide/ 41-BSG-8A, (Mark 8:)/ Theme: Who is Jesus to You?/ Hymn: More about Jesus I would know, (SDAH 245).

Exploration: Jesus, the Son of God — (Matt. 8:29; 27:43, 54; Mark 3:11; 15:39; Luke 1:35; 3:21–22; 4:41; 9:35; 22:70; John 1:34, 49; 5:18; 10:30, 36; 11:4; 14:9–10; 19:7).                                                                                              

Reflection: In this chapter, Jesus feeds the 4,000. The Pharisees demand a miraculous sign from Jesus, but He refuses. Jesus heals a Blind Man. He then predicts His own death. He asks His disciples the most important question in all generations: “Who do men say that I am?” (Mk 8:27, 29). He asks the disciples who they think He is, and Peter correctly identifies Jesus as the Messiah.

There are many themes here, but for the purpose of our ‘Worship Hour’ this morning, the Divine Teacher draws our attention to consider who He is. As they traveled in the towns of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” They responded by speculating what the public though of Christ – some said,  John the Baptist, Elijah; others, one of the Prophets. Then Jesus redirected the question to them (v. 29) implying, He expected them to know better. Beloved, Mark 8:27–33 is the structural center of the whole Gospel of Mark. Knowing the office of Jesus Christ is essential for all humanity. Finally, Peter got it right: “You are the Christ” (v. 29). In Mt 16:16, Peter adds, “the Son of the living God.” Hallelujah!

Devotional Implication: “The disciples answered Jesus’ question with the common view that Jesus was one of the great prophets come back to life. This concurred with the record of the people’s beliefs in John 6:14–16. This belief may have stemmed from Deuteronomy 18:18, where God said he would raise up a prophet from among the people…. It is not enough to know what others say about Jesus: You must know, understand, and accept for yourself that he is the Messiah. You must move from curiosity to commitment, from admiration to adoration. If Jesus were to ask you this question, how would you answer? Is he your Lord and Messiah?” – [Bruce B. Barton, Mark, Life Application Bible Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1994), 233, 234].

The Gospel’s Voice: This section is written as if God were speaking directly to you—Because He does. What does the LORD say to me this morning? My son, during His incarnation, Jesus Christ was not just a Man with some good ideas, a Preacher, a divine Teacher, a miracle Worker — He was, and still is, the one true God (Jn 17:3; Heb 1:8); the only Mediator between God and men (1 Tim 2:5); the only Source of life, Eternal Life (Jn 3:16, 36;  10:28; 14:6; 17:3; Rom 6:23). My son, “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other Name under Heaven, given among men by which you must be saved” except Jesus Christ, (Acts 4:12). Knowing and obeying Jesus means eternal life; Rejecting Jesus means eternal condemnation (Jn 3:18). I am inviting you to reconsider Jesus, and accept Him as your Lord and Savior. Would you?

My Desire: By God’s grace, I want to – 1. Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God/ 2. Obey Him by keeping His commandments/ 3. Ask Him to forgive my sins and prepare me for His Kingdom.

Have A Blessed Day: “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36, NKJV) “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”(John 3:18, NKJV)

Worship Through Singing: More about Jesus I would know, (SDAH 245)/ The End: Scroll down to Section (41-BSG-8B) for a ‘Prayer Guide.’ May the Lord Bless You!

41-BSG-8D: TODAY’S CHAPTER

Mark 8: Bible Reading Plan/ The Book of Mark 8/ Theme: Jesus’ Ministry in and beyond Galilee-part 3 (6:6b–8:30)

Mark 8 (NKJV) — 1 In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them, 2I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. 3 And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.” 4 Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?” 5 He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven.” 6 So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude. 7 They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them. 8 So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments. 9 Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. And He sent them away, 10 immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha. 11 Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. 12 But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.” 13 And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side. 14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat. 15 Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” 16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.” 17 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? 18 Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?” They said to Him, “Twelve.” 20 “Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?” And they said, “Seven.” 21 So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?” 22 Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. 23 So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. 24 And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” 25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. 26 Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.” 27 Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?” 28 So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 29 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.” 30 Then He strictly warned them that they should tell no one about Him. 31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” 34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.

41-BSG-8K: DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.

Bible Study Guide/ Mark 8, (41-BSG-8K)/ Discussion Questions

[1] Jesus gave the disciples an opportunity for faith (1–4). The multitude was hungry, then a compassionate Jesus presented the dilemma to the disciples: what do we do? The disciples might have forgotten already that God miraculously blessed the five loaves / two fishes and fed the 5,000 in the previous chapter. It’s ironic how quickly we do forget how God has intervened on our behalf in the past! What other Biblical examples can you give here? How can we consider God’s past faithfulness as a promise to meet our present need? Discuss further.

[2] When asking, “How many loaves do you have?” (Mk 8:5), Jesus was asking His disciples to give up their own food this time. In the previous similar incident, they used the food of the little boy, but now, they must willingly give up their own! What principle do you see here? Can God sometimes ask us to “give up what we have” before He can bless us? Talk about Abraham vs. Isaac (Gen 22:2-14). What about Prophet Elijah vs. the Widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:8-16).

[3] The Scriptures says – “So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments” (Mk 8:8). It seems to me that the “seven large baskets” shows that God provided out of His abundance. Why many times do we wonder how and whether God is capable of solving our problems? In fact, He can interpose in a billion ways! How can this fact help us improve our reductive view of God’s power? But wait a minute, do we sincerely ask, seek, and knock? (Mt 7:7).

[4] The Pharisees “tested” (tempted) Jesus to perform a sign, just as Satan tempted Him to do so in the wilderness. In fact, they are asking for a dramatic sign from the sky, (Mk 8:11-12) something similar Elijah’s fire from heaven (1 Kings 18). The Israelites had the same problem, listen to God’s complain — “Then the LORD said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?” (Numbers 14:11, NKJV) Do we have the same problem today? How can you help someone who demand a sign before they believe the gospel? What about those who flock to Miracle Preachers only? Well, are they right?

[5] Peter started on a high note by confessing Jesus Christ as the Messiah (Mk 8:27–30). Have you confess Jesus? When did you do so? Does your life/ conduct reflect that confession? Who is this Jesus to you? How do you regard Him? What is the significance of the name Jesus Christ?

[6] Jesus reveals His Mission plainly: He came to die! – “the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” (Mk 8:31). What is the significance of Christ’s death at Calvary and His Resurrection? What is the connection between Christ’s Baptism and His Death and Resurrection?

[7] In our minds there are thoughts from Heaven, and thoughts from Hell (from Satan). Interesting enough, Peter has just forgotten His confession about Christ and the Work He came to do. Didn’t he read Isaiah 53 for example? Now, Peter wants to stop Jesus from going to the Cross, thus, he rebukes Him. Jesus rebukes him back (Mk 8:32b–33) In what way can we be like Peter today? What is the best way to confront thoughts from Hell (from Satan)? Can we really put a stop to God’s plans and purposes? Discuss.

[8] In light of His mission –(the Cross), Jesus warns those who want to follow Him — to “deny self, and take up their cross” (Mk 8:34). In Christ’s day, the cross was an unrelenting instrument of death, “even the Death on the Cross” (Phill 2:8). What kind of cross must we carry today? Why we must take up our cross in order to follow Jesus? How does this relates to our daily struggles, trials, and our identity as followers of Christ?

The End: I pray that these questions will help your study and understanding of God’s Word in Mark 8. Welcome for comments, further discussion as we study together. God Bless You!

41-BSG-8Y: NIGHT DEVOTION.

Bible Study Guide/ Selected Devotional Thought(s) in Mark 8/ Theme: Get thee behind Me, Satan!

Mark 8:31–33 (NKJV) — 31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Introduction: When Peter tried to discourage Christ about going to the cross to die, Jesus heard the voice of another speaking. He heard in Peter’s words the voice of Satan. A minute ago, Peter is declaring deep spiritual truth, but now he is doing the work of the devil! Jesus responds to Peter’s rebuke very harshly.

“By opposing the purposes of God and demanding Jesus avoid the cross, Peter had actually become a spokesman for the devil. The Lord understood that the plan of redemption and the path to glory required suffering and death (Phil. 2:8–11; Heb. 12:2). Therefore, He would not yield to any temptation that promised a kingdom without the cross (cf. Matt. 4:8–9). He refused to put a desire for personal comfort above His submission to His heavenly Father (cf. Luke 22:42–44). Though the devil tempted Jesus intensively in the wilderness (Mark 1:13), Satan’s attacks did not end there. According to Luke 4:13 (NKJV), after the forty days ended, Satan “departed from Him until an opportune time,” meaning that he was continually looking for ways to tempt Jesus (cf. Heb. 2:18; 4:15). Peter’s severe transgression provided that opportunity on this occasion. Knowing that the cross would spell his downfall and defeat (cf. Gen. 3:15; John 12:31; Col. 2:14–15; Heb. 2:14), Satan tried vigorously to derail God’s plan of redemption. Jesus never succumbed to those temptations (cf. Heb. 2:18; 4:15).” – [John MacArthur, Mark 1–8, MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2015), 421].

Thought # 1: In what way can we be just like Peter? [a] When we look at everything around us through human lens. We only see how things affect us. We only care about our comfort, our needs and our wishes. The will of God is a million miles away from our thinking. [b] When we are also weak and prone to failure. One moment we are on a spiritual mountaintop, living for Jesus and walking in His will. The next moment, we have allowed sin to creep in and we are carnal, fleshly and fallen. Have you ever been there? (Apostle Paul was, see Rom. 7:14-25)

Thought # 2: Often we fail to see that there is a very thin line between doing God’s work and doing the Devil’s work. It is vitally important that every thought be taken captive and brought to Jesus, (2 Cor. 10:5); and that every action is screened through the filter of the Word and will of God, (1 Thes. 5:22).

Thought # 3: When a fellow believer has a “Peter Moment”, when they fail the LORD in a big way, the rest of us should help them get back where they ought to be with the LORD, (Gal. 6:1-2). We all have our “Peter Moments”, but that does not mean that our usefulness and effectiveness are at an end. It simply means that we need to pick up the pieces and move on for the glory of God!

Beloved, What is your reaction to the Gospel of Jesus Christ? When you hear about His suffering, His death and His resurrection, do you rejoice that He would do that for you? Do you embrace His death and the payment for your sin debt? Have you deny self, take up your cross, and follow Christ? Are you saved?

Have a Good Night: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20, ESV)