The disciples go back for seconds (Mark 8:1-21)

Yesterday, we looked at a strange story that’s unique to Mark’s Gospel, about a healing that didn’t quite work the first time around (Mark 8:22-26). And we’re investigating the context of that story in Mark’s Gospel to help us work out what it’s all about. It’d be best to read yesterday’s post first if you’re just joining us.

We finished up with the disciples being a bit clueless: they’ve just seen Jesus feed five thousand people with a mere handful of food, and then they’re astounded that he can walk on water. Mark comments that they didn’t get it because at this point in the Gospel, “their hearts were hardened.”

Anyway, on with the story. In chapter 7 we see an encounter with the Pharisees who didn’t believe in him, and then a contrasting encounter with a Gentile woman who did. (You can read that later if you want.) And then we begin in chapter 8 with a by-now familiar scenario:

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