Mark 8:22-9:1 Exploring the Passage

Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download).

1. Describe how Jesus restores sight to the blind man. See Mark 8:23-25 (printed below) Why do you think Jesus did it in this way?

Jesus took the blind man by the hand, and brought him outside of the village. After he had spit on his eyes, and laid his hands upon him, he asked him, Do you see anything? (24) The man looked up and said, I see men; but they look like walking trees. (25) He laid his hands upon the man’s eyes again; then his eyes came into focus, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. (Mark 8:23-25)

Jesus took the man by the hand and led him out of the village, not to gain privacy, but rather to call public attention to this miracle. Jesus spits on the man’s eyes and lays His hands on him. The miracle is performed in two stages: physical sight is granted to the man; then he is given comprehension and understanding. The message: spiritual sight and comprehension are divine gifts from God and can only be bestowed by Christ and His Holy Spirit. (In the discourse that follows, Peter would “see” who Jesus is and then comprehend what it meant).

2. What is the difference between Peter’s confession and the other views that were circulating about Jesus’ identity? See Matthew 16:13-16 (printed below)

Now when Jesus came into the regions of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, Who do men say that the Son of man is? (14) And they said, Some say, John the Baptist; some say, Elijah; and still others say, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. (15) He asked them, But who do you say that I am? (16) Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Matthew 16:13-16)

The other views all acknowledged Jesus to be a unique messenger from God, perhaps even one of the prophets who has come back from the dead. But Peter’s confession recognizes that Jesus is the long-expected Messiah who is none other than the very Son of God (see Matthew 16:16).

3. How was Peter able to recognize Jesus’ true identity? See Matthew 16:17 (printed below)

Then Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah; for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, it has been revealed by my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 16:17)

Peter’s ability to recognize Jesus’ true identity was not due to human insight; it was the result of divine revelation. God the Father enabled Peter to see who Jesus really is.

4. When Peter begins to rebuke Jesus for announcing that He must face rejection and death, what does Jesus do? See Mark 8:31-34 (printed below)

Then he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. (32) Now he spoke these things publicly. So Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. (33) But Jesus, turning around and seeing his disciples, rebuked Peter, and said, Get behind me, Satan; for your mind is not focused on the things of God, but on the things of men. (34) Then he called to himself the whole crowd along with his disciples, and said to them, If any man desires to be my disciple, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Mark 8:31-34)

Jesus discerns that it is the devil who is trying to use Peter’s rash words in another effort to divert Him from His God-given mission. Jesus then rebukes Peter for being more concerned about what is appealing to man than accepting and doing the will of God. Then Jesus announces to everyone that in order to be His disciple they must take up their cross and follow Him—the way into the kingdom of God goes through the cross.

5. What does Jesus mean when He says, “Some of you will not taste death until they have seen the kingdom of God?” Note Mark 9:2 (printed below)

Six days later Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John, and brought them up onto a high mountain, off by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. (Mark 9:2)

Jesus is referring to the fact that within a few days He would take several of His disciples with Him atop a mountain and allow them to witness His transfiguration (see Mark 9:2-8). At the time of His transfiguration Jesus’ divine glory was revealed, the glory to which He would return following His passion (see John 17:5).