Mark 8

Mark 8: Jesus feeds the four thousand

The disciples who followed Jesus had been so devoted that they had gone for 3 days without food. Jesus had compassion on them and commanded His Apostles to bring Him forth all the bread that they had.

Jesus asks them; “…How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.” (Mark 8:5)

Jesus then commanded the multitude to sit on the ground and he took the seven loaves and gave thanks while breaking the bread. They also had a few small fishes, which Jesus divided and gave thanks.

In the end the amount of leftovers filled seven baskets. Jesus managed to feed around four thousand men, women and children with only a few small fishes and seven loaves of bread. After feeding the multitude of people, Jesus departed by ship to Damanutha. Immediately upon arrival the Pharisees came forth asking Him questions, and tempting Him for a sign from heaven.

Jesus “…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.” (Mark 8:12)

Jesus then departed by ship to the other side, but commanded that His Apostles buy no bread from the Pharisees or from Herod “…Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.” (Mark 8:15). Perhaps Jesus said this, because He knew that they had tampered with the bread or possibly poisoned it?

The Apostles were confused and did not understand how they could continue their journey without restocking their supplies, for they only had one loaf of bread. But after seeing the miracle of feeding four thousand with only seven loaves of bread, Jesus said unto them; “… Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?” (Mark 8:17-18) Jesus was most likely very disappointed that His Apostles had already forgotten of His marvelous power. Jesus continues to ask them about His abilities; “When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven…. How is it that ye do not understand?” (Mark 8:17-21)

How did they not understand? It is because they hardened their hearts!

Jesus and His Apostles then depart to Bethsaida, where the people brought a blind man to them, where they desired for Jesus to touch and heal the man. Jesus “…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 upon him, he asked him if he saw bought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.” (Mark 8:23-25)

Jesus then sends the man on his way and departed with His Apostles into the towns of Caesarea Philippi. On the way Jesus asks His Apostles “… Whom do men say that I am? And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.” (Mark 8:27-29)

Jesus then tells them that He will be persecuted, killed and then rise again on the third day. Peter, who was in unbelief, disagreed with Jesus. Jesus then responded to Peter; “… Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.” (Mark 8:33)

Jesus then leaves His Apostles and all that follow Him with this important message; “…Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall again the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38)

Essentially Jesus tells His Apostles and all His followers that they need to follow Him in all things. Those who spent their lives in the service of God and others will not lose their life, but gain their life. Anyone who denies Jesus and does not follow Him are an adulterous and sinful generation, who will lose their souls to gain the riches of the world, which profiteth man nothing!

Mark 7

Mark 7: False Traditions

                  The Scribes and Pharisees come from Jerusalem to criticize Jesus for feeding many, with having them wash their hands before eating, as it is customary for the elders to do. Jesus answers unto them; “…Well hat Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men…” (Mark 7:6-8) Jesus instructs them that just because it is tradition to do something, does not make it above the commandments or teachings of God. The people that were gathered with Jesus did nothing wrong, but simply failed to honor a tradition. Jesus explains that they were being hypocrites for saying they honored God, yet with their actions they were chastising His Only Begotten.

Jesus explains to those gathered, that only by what leaves man can defile him; “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, and evil eye, blasphemy, pride and foolishness.” (Mark 7:21-22) These are the things that can defile man, not what they partake.

From here, Jesus leaves to the borders of Tyre and Sidon where he meets a Greek woman, who had a daughter who was possessed of an evil spirit. Jesus tells the lady that she will come home to find her daughter cured and freed from the evil spirit. Jesus then departs the land and goes to the sea of Galilee, near the coasts of Decapolis. Jesus is met by a man who was not only deaf, but also dumb in his speech impediment, He takes the man and hold him; “…and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue.” (Mark 7:33) and instantly the man was able to hear and speak.

Matthew 23

Matthew 23:

Woe unto Hypocrites 

                Jesus speaks unto the multitudes gathered before him and pronounces woes upon the scribes and the Pharisees, explaining that “…all their works they for to be seen of men… to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.” (Matthew 23:5,7) Jesus explains that you should call no one your father, except your Father in heaven (see verse 9), I always wondered why the Catholic Priests called themselves, father?

Jesus then goes off on the Scribes and the Pharisees, saying; “…woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! …” (Matthew 23:12,14,15,23,,25,27,29…)

Saying that they shut up the kingdom of heaven against men… devour the widow’s home, make long prayer, stealing the gold of the temple, full of uncleanliness, full of hypocrisy, and murderers of the prophets.

Jesus ends his bashing of the scribes and Pharisees, asking how they rejected all the prophets? “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city… O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23: 34, 37) 

Since the beginning of time, God has sent servants, the prophets to the earth. God has tried from the start to gather His children and save them, yet they keep rejecting His Prophets.

Matthew 20

Matthew 20:

Parable of the Laborers 

                  Jesus addresses his disciples and gives them the Parable of the Laborers:

The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a man that hired laborers, who he agreed to pay 1 penny per day. Three hours after the original laborers had started the work, he found more idle workers in the market place and agreed to pay them 1 penny per day for their labor. Into the 6th hour he finds more laborers and gives them the offer for 1 penny per day for their labor. Then finally in the 11th hour he finds more laborers and offers them the same deal, 1 penny per day for their labor.

At the end of the day the man tells the steward to call the laborers and give them their pay for their labors of that day, from last to the first. Each laborer received 1 penny for their laborers, which caused the laborers who had worked longer to murmur against the man of the house. The man of the house explains to one of the murmuring laborers; “…Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?” (Matthew 20:13)

Even though the workers were murmuring the man of the house had made a deal with them and was being fair according to the deal that he made with each individual laborer.  The man of the vineyard asks the laborer who was murmuring; “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen” (Matthew 20:15-16)

                  Jesus then addresses the group gathered and foretells about his crucifixion and resurrection. “…the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

Matthew 15

Matthew 15:

Contending Against Jesus 

                A group of scribes and Pharisees came to Jerusalem to speak to Jesus, saying; “Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For the wash not their hands when they eat bread.” (Matthew 15:2) Talk about digging for something to accuse Jesus. But Jesus had an answer waiting for them; “…Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightiest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free…” (Matthew 15:3-6) Jesus condemns the scribes and Pharisees for not providing for their parents, because they say that it is a gift from God. Jesus tells them that they are hypocrites and that “…in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:9)

                Jesus then calls the multitude to come and listen to His words; “…Hear and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth man.” (Matthew 15:10-11) Essentially saying that the scribes and Pharisees need to be quiet, because they are only defiling themselves with the filth that comes out of their mouth. One of those in the multitude says; “…Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended…” (Matthew 15:12) and Jesus responds; “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Matthew 15:14) In other words, Jesus is saying that He doesn’t care that it offended them, because eventually they will fall into the ditch, because it is the BLIND LEADING THE BLIND.

Peter comes and asks Jesus for clarification, where Jesus explains that anything that enters the belly that is not clean, will be cast out one way or another. The body will process the good and eliminate the bad. Whereas the evil words that come out of the mouth, come from the heart. Where there is an evil heart, there are evil thoughts. These are the things that defile man, not having washed your hands before eating.

Jesus then departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon where a woman from Canaan comes to Jesus and begs for Him to heal her daughter, who was vexed with a devil. Jesus responds; “…I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24), in other words, He was on a different mission and did not have time to come and heal her daughter. However, the woman persists and asks again. Jesus is impressed with her faith and rewards her, by healing her daughter. From here, great multitudes come to Jesus and ask to be healed; he heals those who were lame, blind, dumb and maimed. There he performed these great miracles for three days, and has compassion on the multitude that had been following him without food for those three days. Jesus, then commands the multitude to sit, while he performed a similar miracle to that of the five loaves of bread and two fish. This time Jesus feeds four thousand men, besides women and children with seven loaves of bread and a few fish. We learn that there was even left over food, of seven baskets.

Jesus then departs to the coasts of Magdala.