New Defender's Study Bible Notes
8:9 four thousand. The feeding of the five thousand is reported in all four gospels; the subsequent similar feeding of four thousand on another occasion is recorded only by Matthew and Mark. See notes on Matthew 14:20 and 15:38.
8:12 seek after a sign? Note Paul’s comment: “For the Jews require a sign” (I Corinthians 1:22).
8:24 men as trees. When a blind person is suddenly enabled to see by means of eye surgery, he at first has no proper depth perception, finding it difficult to put what he sees in proper perspective. This first stage of Jesus’ miracle would roughly correlate with the first perceptions by a newly healed blind person. The second miracle, however, gave the man instantaneous normal sight, thus clearly showing that this was not a naturalistic process.
8:25 again. This two-stage miracle is recorded only by Mark. Since all Christ’s other miracles were apparently either instantaneous or continuous, this one must have had a special pedagogical purpose, perhaps to show that as Creator He could exercise full control of everything, including the method and timing of all processes and events.
8:30 tell no man. Jesus told the unclean spirits (Mark 3:12), those who had seen His miracles (Mark 5:43) and His own disciples here in this verse that they should not make His identity or His miracles known. In Mark’s gospel alone He gave such an instruction at least seven times. Until Jesus was ready, He wanted people to believe His words for their own intrinsic value, as obviously true to God’s will.
8:32 rebuke him. For a more detailed account on Peter’s great confession (Mark 8:29) and Christ’s subsequent revelation of His coming death and resurrection (Mark 8:31), followed by Peter’s rebuke at Satan’s instigation (Mark 8:33), see the notes in Matthew 16:13-23.
8:35 lose his life. The reference is not to physical martyrdom, but to the fact that real life is found only in dying to self and living for Christ. This divine paradox is repeatedly emphasized in the New Testament. See note on Matthew 10:39.
8:37 in exchange for his soul. It is a poor exchange when one trades his soul for money or pleasure or any other temporal value. Too much emphasis on the stock exchange may convert it into a soul exchange. Note I Timothy 6:10, 17-19.
8:38 ashamed of me. It is dangerous to distort God’s Word for the sake of worldly acceptance. In contrast, Jesus promised that He would confess before the Father those who had confessed Him before men (Matthew 10:32).