The Gospel According to St Mark: Mark Chapter Eight: Read here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/mark/8?lang=eng
Jesus Fed the Multitude of 4,000: Read Mark 8:1-9.
‘In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,
“I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far”’ (Mark 8:1-3)
Do we also have compassion for one another? When we have a responsibility or a stewardship over others, do we make sure that we tend to their needs and wants lovingly? If we don’t consider ourselves our brother’s keeper, or are we at least our brother’s brother? Do we love our neighbors as ourselves? When others come to us for advice or validation, do we offer thoughtful assistance, or do we send them away empty to faint by the wayside?
Leaven of the Pharisees: Read Mark 8:10-21.
Pharisees Came Seeking a Sign:
‘And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha. And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him’ (vs. 10-11).
Jesus has told us,
“A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign” (Matt 16:4).
Could it be that these Pharisees were guilty of adultery? They truly had adulterated the Law of Moses; that’s for certain.
‘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.”
‘And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side’ (vs. 12-13).
Jesus was traveling about to teach doctrine and share goodness, to lift people and build faith. The Pharisees were seeking signs, which is contrary practicing faith; so Jesus departed from that place.
When Jesus said to His disciples,
“Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod,”
they believed that it was because they had forgotten to take bread with them.
‘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? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? … How is it that ye do not understand” (vs. 15-21).
Jesus Healed a Blind Man: Mark 22-26:
‘And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. And 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 upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
‘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.
‘And he sent him away to his house, saying,
“Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.”’
It is interesting how Jesus chose to heal this man in increments. Although Jesus has all power to do those things which He desires to do, He helped this man to practice faith before His sight was restored.
As we listen to truths, do we have a clear understanding all at once, or our we like the blind man seeing just in part, and desiring more guidance? Could it be that when we are honest, confessing that we do not understand everything, yet desiring to see, that the Lord is more willing to unfold things to our view? The Pharisees who said they could see, remained blind.
Whom Do Men Say that I am: Read Mark 8:27-30:
‘And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Cæsarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them,
“Whom do men say that I am?”
‘And they answered,
“John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.”
‘And he saith unto them,
“But whom say ye that I am?”
‘And Peter answereth and saith unto him,
“Thou art the Christ.”
‘And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.’
The Apostles mission to testify of Christ came after His resurrection.
Jesus Teaches Apostles Concerning His Mission: Read Mark 8:31-38:
‘And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
‘And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.
‘But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying,
“Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.”
‘And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them,
“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 gain 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.”’
As mortals, we sometimes view death as ultimately the worst thing that could happen; but, it is not. Staying true to our missions, our testimonies, and our Heavenly Father is more important that preserving our mortal life. We only find eternal life when we are willing to lose ourselves in His service. Jesus was entirely willing to follow His Father’s will even unto death. The Apostles were then willing to do the same. So must we be. In having the faith to do so, we also demonstrate our faith in Christ’s resurrection and His ability to lift us up again to live forever.
“Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:36).