Mark Chapter Eight, The Bread Of Life...

In our study of Mark chapter eight, we will see that Jesus is the bread that gives us life and sustains our lives. 

Mark 8:1 - 3

"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.'" NIV translation

Once again, we see that Jesus was faced with a hungry crowd of followers. This crowd is different from the one described in chapter six as these people had followed Jesus for three days.

Mark 8:4

"His disciples answered, 'But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?'" NIV translation

The reaction of the disciples is puzzling as they must have forgotten how Jesus had fed the five thousand. Because they had forgotten that, they were not prepared for this crowd.

We may be hard on them and say that we would never forget what He has done but is that really true. If we do not share what He has done in our daily lives, we will forget many of the details and these details are what helps us to grow in our understanding of God.

Mark 8:5 & 6

"'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." NIV translation

We see that it is later in the year as the grass is not green and He had the people sit on the ground. Once again, He gave thanks and broke the bread for the people. 

Mark 8:7 - 10

"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." NIV tarnslation

We see that this time there were about four thousand instead of the five thousand that were fed previously. This is often referred to as the neglected miracle of Christ as everyone remembers the feeding of the five thousand but few remember the four thousand. 

We see this miracle of bread performed twice and are reminded that, throughout the Bible, the number two is associated with the number of legal witnesses required. In these two miracles, Jesus was testifying that He was the Bread of Life.