Mark 8: 1-21; Do you still not understand?


  1. Can you think of a time when someone explained something to you and at the end of it you still not understand it?
  2. What type of learner are you? Do you get thing by seeing how they are done, like watching a youtube video (Visual), or do you simply enjoy listening to podcast or sermons or discussing topics (Auditory learner ), or can you read a book or set of instructions and know how to do it (Read/Write), or do you need to actually physically need do the task like cook, make something, build something (Kinesthetic).
  3. Know your learning style helps you understand the best environments that help you learn this is the same with the bible and understanding who Jesus is and what is calling us to do?
  4. Can you think of one way for each type of learning (VARK) how to be a disciple in church?


Read Mark 8 Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand

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 distribute to 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 were present. After he had sent them away, 10 he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha.

11 The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. 12 He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.” 13 Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side.

The Yeast of the Pharisees and Herod

14 The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15 “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

16 They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”

17 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? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

“Twelve,” they replied.

20 “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

They answered, “Seven.”

21 He said to “Do you still not understand?”


  1. Which of the three symbols bread, boat and big picture in Daves talk stood out to you and why?


  1. What do learn about Jesus through the feeding of 4000 v1-9?

Ans: 1. Jesus’ compassion moves him to act v2

  1. Jesus power v6 reminds us who he is – God in flesh – there’s a pointer back to Exodus
  2. Jesus satisfies v8 – there’s a pointer forward to the messianic feast in the new creation – Isaiah 25;6 “On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine the best of meats and the finest of wines.


  1. What do we learn about the disciples, Pharisees and in the boat section v10-21?


  • We see the danger of unbelief in the Pharisees, they want a spectacular sign to prove who he is v11. In Deuteronomy 6v16 Moses teaches the Israelites not to test the Lord their God, reminds them of Exodus 17 when the Israelites want to kill Moses because they have no water in the dessert.  The Pharisees as teacher of the Law should know not the test God, but here again they are putting conditions on following God, show their lack of trust and unconditional love for God.
  • but in the boat the disciples show their lack of understanding v14.
  • They’re worried about no bread when they have Jesus the feeder of 5000 and now the 4000 in the boat with him. Have they forgotten, have they really not seen and heard and understood who he really is? It’s a warning, I guess not to miss who Jesus is and forget who he is when we’re in the boat with no bread. Jesus is with us and we just need to keep our eyes and ears open and our heart soft to what he has done and said in the past so we can trust him in the present.
  1. How can we be the same as both the Pharisees and Disciples and not understand who Jesus is?

Ans:  We can be like the Pharisees that we want proof before trusting God with all our lives. We want to see miracles; we want things to go our way before we believe in God. At times we are like the disciples when we only feel God, when he is with us.  Like at a youth weekend, camps, or conferences, big experiences when we feel and know God that is real. Like Tarzan we swing from one big experience to another, waiting for the next spiritual vine to grab onto an experience of God to keep us going, But when in the boat and nothing spectacular is happening we are like the disciples; we have no bread God is not with us. When the music stops, we don’t know how to feel God in the ordinary. But when in the boat and nothing spectacular is happening we are like the disciples; we have no bread God is not with us.      

  1. Watch this overview of Mark stop at 3 min 48 secs (we will watch the rest at another time)  

  1. How do we see the big picture of who Jesus is from what we have read so far in Marks gospel?

Ans: Today in the passage we see, how following Jesus was messy, his disciples didn’t always get the big picture. As we read Marks gospel, it nearly feels like we are moving to a logical conclusion on who Jesus is.  Mark has given us specific evidence that builds piece by piece like a jigsaw, he has authority to teach, he has authority over nature (calming the sea), has authority over illness (healing the woman, death man, little girl), has authority over evil (demons). In the previous story we see how Jesus heals a man who is death and blind, and now we see and hear that the disciples still don’t understand, they are the blind and death man in the previous story. It ties back into Isaiah prophecy in Isaiah 42:16 that the Messiah will lead the blind and guide them.  Who is the Jesus? Music starts, role end credits you will have to wait and see next week. This passage finishes off the Galilee section of Mark and heads into a section called the way section before we hit Jerusalem, which has lots of teaching on discipleship and how it leads us into suffering. So, although there is the confusion at times, the promise is that if we keep stumbling after him in faith Jesus will lead us home.



  1. How can you connect with God in the ordinary, think of different ways you learn and how you can connect with God throughout your week?

Ans: Here are some examples for each

Visual: Watch the Bible Project videos or Speak Life

Auditory: Listen to podcast lie speak life or Tim Keller

Read/Write: Read the Gentle and Lowly  Dane C Ortlund, check out the Gospel Coalition  there are many articles on lots of topics to help you understand the bible better and contemporary issues.

Kinesthetic: Make something for someone (card, poster, meal), help deliver parcels for Storehouse or the Larder, volunteer in a foodbank, meet with some friends to do Christianity Explored or use youth alpha online to discuss with non-Christian friends.  

  1. What could you do as part of your family to reach out to others over the next few weeks to show compassion like Jesus did?
  2. Take time to prayer the truths of this passage, pray that God would hel you understand the bible better and know who he is and what he is calling you to do.