There have been hints that the time of the Lord's being taken from the disciples would come (Mark 2:20). Here in Mark 8-10, especially accompanied by the picture of Mark 10:32, with Jesus walking alone ahead of the disciples, on the road going up to Jerusalem, the reader can also understand why "those who followed were fearful" (10:32).
(Matthew 15:32 - 20:34 and Luke 9:18 - 18:43 are in sequence with Mark 8-10, when we view them "synoptically.")
But the road is also a follower's road. The one who wishes "to come after Me" (8:34) is not being given initial conditions, but the conditions for each step: each step must be self-denial, and each step must be the taking up of one's own cross.
In the rebuking of the disciples for not yet seeing or understanding (8:17), not only do we see the specifics: the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod, which is 1) religious hypocrisy and 2) the submission of one's conscience to the pursuit of power (as Herod did with John the Baptist in chapter 6), but we also see that the Lord expected understanding from His disciples by this point (8:21).
There are a couple of verses that defy references in this section. For example, 9:13. There are no cross references in my normally full edition. Where is it that they did to Elijah "just as it is written of him"? The only thing I could think of was something like I Kings 19:2.
Chapter 10, in discussion about the entering into the kingdom of God (10:15,25) , and the disciples amazed (10:24), and even more astonished (10:26), it is often taught as a lesson on humility. It should be rather taught as a lesson on impossibility (10:27) for man.
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