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13: A Miraculous Sign (Mk 7:24-8:26)
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I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

Jesus’ ministry in Galilee was coming to an end. Through what He has done, His divine nature was becoming clearer. Nevertheless, the Pharisees continued to test Him, asking Him for a sign from heaven.

B.     Key Verse

            “But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, ‘Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation’” (8:12).

C.     Did You Know…?

1.       Greek (7:26): The woman was not from Greece, but a Gentile by culture and religion.Matthew calls the woman a Canaanite, referring to her nationality. Jesus almost certainly spoke Greek to her.

2.       Syro-Phoenician (7:26): An inhabitant of Phoenicia, which in New Testament times was part of the Roman province of Cilia and Syria.

3.       Dogs (7:27): Wild dogs in Syria resemble jackals—nocturnal scavengers. In biblical times, and in many cultures, calling someone a dog was a great insult.11

4.       “Ephphatha!” (7:34): An Aramaic expression, which might imply that the man was not a Gentile.

5.       Basket (8:8): A large basket (spuris), different from the ones in Mk 6:43. It is more like a hamper, big enough to hold a man (cf. Acts 9:25).

6.       Dalmanutha (8:10): Also called Magdala or Magadan, it was the home of Mary Magdalene. It was likely south of Gennesaret.

7.       Leaven/yeast (8:15): Leaven played an important part, not only in bread making but also in law, ritual, and religious teaching. Leaven was produced from bread flour kneaded without salt and kept until it fermented.Yeast doesn’t grow, it permeates the dough. Only a small quantity is needed to make dough grow.

II.    Observation

A.     Outline






















B.     Key Words/Phrases

III. General Analysis

1.       How are the three miracles in 7:24-30, 7:31-37, and 8:22-26 different from other miracles?

2.       What signs from God do you ask for?

IV.  Segment Analysis

A.     7:24-30

1. What is the significance of the woman’s ethnic and cultural background (7:26)?

2. What did the woman mean by her reply (7:28)?

3. What was commendable about the woman?

4. Jesus usually was gentle with people who came to Him. Why did He insult the woman (cf. 7:27)?

5. What does each of the following represent?

5a. Children

5b. Bread

5c. Dogs

5d. Crumbs

6. What does this parable teach us about God’s salvation plan?

B.     7:31-37

Questions combined with 8:22-26. See below.

C.     8:1-9

7. Why did Jesus wait three days before feeding the crowd? What does this teach us about waiting for God?

8. What does the disciples’ question in 8:4 tell you about their faith?

9. Compare the feeding of four thousand to the feeding of five thousand (Mk 6:35-44). In which scenario was the crowd hungrier? Which had more leftovers? What does this teach us?

A.     8:10-21

10. The following is a partial list of “signs from heaven” (8:11) found in the Old Testament. For each, list a similar sign given to prove Jesus’ divine nature. (cf. Mt 3:11; 28:2; Mk 1:11; 9:7; Lk 1:28; 2:10; Jn 6:33-35, 51; 12:28; 20:12).

10a. Angel (Gen 22:11; 2Kgs 6:17)

10b. Bread (Ex 16:4)

10c. Fire (Ex 19:18; 1Kgs 18:38, 2Chr 7:1)

10d. Voice (Ex 19:19; Dan 4:31)

11. Why was it a test to ask Jesus for a sign?

12. What does “this generation” (8:12) refer to?

13. What did Jesus mean by, “No sign shall be given to this generation” (8:12)?

14. What were the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod (8:15)? (cf. Mt 16:12; Lk 12:1; 1Cor 5:6,8)

15. Why did Jesus specifically remind the disciples of the leftovers? What did the two miracles of the loaves have to do with leaven?

16. What does the disciples’ discussion (8:16) teach us about interpreting the Bible?

B.     7:31-37, 8:22-26

17a. Compare the healing of the deaf man in 7:31-37 with the healing of the blind man in 8:22-26. List the sequence of events for each miracle on Chart E below.


17b.      How are the events similar? How are they different? What do the similarities and differences tell us about sharing our testimonies with others?

18.        Why did Jesus take the deaf man and the blind man away from the crowd?

19.        Why did Jesus use His spit to heal?

20a.      How are these two miracles related to what Jesus said in 8:17-18?

20b.         Why do you think Jesus sighed (7:34)? Compare this to His reaction in 8:12.

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