Mark 8:1-21 Opposing Worldviews.
At 6:34 Mark notes that Jesus had compassion on the people, “so he began to teach them many things.” However, he also out of compassion wanted to feed them, otherwise they would faint because many of them had travelled a long way to hear him teach and to heal (vv. 1-3). The disciples question as to where they would get the food to feed the people, seems odd given that they witnessed the feeding of the 5000 men (6:44). With the previous miracle they were also in a deserted place, but with this second instance Jesus was providing a second witness to the truth that he is able and willing to provide bread, the staple of life “in the wilderness” (v. 4). ‘Seven’ is biblically significant as a number of perfection, just as on the 7th day God rested from all his work (v. 5). Before distributing the bread, Jesus gave thanks for it and broke it (vv. 6-7), and it is hardly coincidental that there was “seven large baskets of leftover fragments” (v. 8). When the people had eaten they left (v. 9), and Jesus “immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha”
By this time there were multiple miracles that had been performed, but still no ‘sign’ as such. The Pharisees wanted to see something that showed that Jesus was more than a mere miracle worker. Why were they seeking a sign? Mark indicates that that they were really just testing Jesus (vv. 11-12). In what follows we learn that they were really just seeking for an affirmation that their teaching was correct, because Jesus was teaching something quite different, teaching that opposed not only the leaven of the religious leaders worldview, but of the political pagan leaders as well (vv. 13-15). Jesus confronts his disciples for their focus merely on daily bread, when the real focus needed to be on the divide between Jesus’ affirmation of biblical truth and man-made tradition (v. 16). This lack of understanding Jesus referred to as a hardening of their hearts (v. 17). Jesus had already showed that providing daily bread was a normal and ongoing thing for him as God. What they needed to understand was that he was restoring the