Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Mark 8:38

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Whosoever - shall be ashamed of me - Our Lord hints here at one of the principal reasons of the incredulity of the Jews, - they saw nothing in the person of Jesus Christ which corresponded to the pompous notions which they had formed of the Messiah.

If Jesus Christ had come into the world as a mighty and opulent man, clothed with earthly glories and honors, he would have had a multitude of partisans, and most of them hypocrites.

And of my words - This was another subject of offense to the Jews: the doctrine of the cross must be believed; a suffering Messiah must be acknowledged; and poverty and affliction must be borne; and death, perhaps, suffered in consequence of becoming his disciples.

Of him, and of his words, in this sense, the world is, to this day, ashamed.

Of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed - As he refused to acknowledge me before men, so will I refuse to acknowledge him before God and his angels. Terrible consequence of the rejection of Christ! And who can help him whom the only Savior eternally disowns. Reader! Lay this subject seriously to heart; and see the notes on Matthew 16:24, etc., and at the end of that chapter.

All the subjects contained in this chapter are very interesting; but particularly:

  1. The miraculous feeding of the multitudes, which is a full, unequivocal proof of the supreme Divinity of Jesus Christ: in this miracle he truly appears in his creative energy, with which he has associated the tenderest benevolence and humanity. The subject of such a prince must ever be safe; the servant of such a master must ever have kind usage; the follower of such a teacher can never want nor go astray.
  • The necessity of keeping the doctrine of the Gospel uncorrupt, is strongly inculcated in the caution to avoid the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod: the doctrine of the cross must not only be observed and held inviolate, but that doctrine must never be mixed with worldly politics.
  • Time-serving is abominable in the sight of God: it shows that the person has either no fixed principle of religion, or that he is not under the influence of any.

    Albert Barnes
    Notes on the Whole Bible
    Verses 27-38

    See this passage illustrated in the notes at Mark 8:32

    He spake that saying openly - With boldness or confidence, or without parables or figures, so that there could be no possibility of misunderstanding him.

    Mark 8:38

    Ashamed of me - Ashamed to own attachment to me on account of my lowly appearance and my poverty.

    And of my words - My doctrines, my instructions.

    This adulterous and sinful generation - This age given to wickedness, particularly to adultery.

    In the glory of his Father - In the day of judgment. See the notes at Matthew 26:64. The meaning of this verse is, Whosoever shall refuse, through pride or wickedness, to acknowledge and serve Christ here, shall be excluded from his kingdom hereafter. He was lowly, meek, and despised; yet there was an inimitable beauty in his character even then. But he will come again in awful grandeur; not as the babe of Bethlehem, not as the man of Nazareth, but as the Son of God, in majesty and glory. They that would not acknowledge him here must be rejected by him there; they that would not serve him on earth will not enjoy his favor in heaven; they that would cast Him out and despise him must be cast out by him, and consigned to eternal, hopeless sorrow.

    Matthew Henry
    Concise Bible Commentary
    Frequent notice is taken of the great flocking there was to Christ for help in various cases. All are concerned to know this, if they expect him to heal their souls. They must not indulge the ease of the body. As the happiness of heaven with Christ, is enough to make up for the loss of life itself for him, so the gain of all the world in sin, will not make up for the ruin of the soul by sin. And there is a day coming, when the cause of Christ will appear as glorious, as some now think it mean and contemptible. May we think of that season, and view every earthly object as we shall do at that great day.
    Ellen G. White
    The Desire of Ages, 422

    The disciples do not yet comprehend the scene; but they rejoice that the patient Teacher, the meek and lowly One, who has wandered to and fro a helpless stranger, is honored by the favored ones of heaven. They believe that Elijah has come to announce the Messiah's reign, and that the kingdom of Christ is about to be set up on the earth. The memory of their fear and disappointment they would banish forever. Here, where the glory of God is revealed, they long to tarry. Peter exclaims, “Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.” The disciples are confident that Moses and Elijah have been sent to protect their Master, and to establish His authority as king. DA 422.1

    But before the crown must come the cross. Not the inauguration of Christ as king, but the decease to be accomplished at Jerusalem, is the subject of their conference with Jesus. Bearing the weakness of humanity, and burdened with its sorrow and sin, Jesus walked alone in the midst of men. As the darkness of the coming trial pressed upon Him, He was in loneliness of spirit, in a world that knew Him not. Even His loved disciples, absorbed in their own doubt and sorrow and ambitious hopes, had not comprehended the mystery of His mission. He had dwelt amid the love and fellowship of heaven; but in the world that He had created, He was in solitude. Now heaven had sent its messengers to Jesus; not angels, but men who had endured suffering and sorrow, and who could sympathize with the Saviour in the trial of His earthly life. Moses and Elijah had been colaborers with Christ. They had shared His longing for the salvation of men. Moses had pleaded for Israel: “Yet now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray Thee, out of Thy book which Thou hast written.” Exodus 32:32. Elijah had known loneliness of spirit, as for three years and a half of famine he had borne the burden of the nation's hatred and its woe. Alone he had stood for God upon Mount Carmel. Alone he had fled to the desert in anguish and despair. These men, chosen above every angel around the throne, had come to commune with Jesus concerning the scenes of His suffering, and to comfort Him with the assurance of the sympathy of heaven. The hope of the world, the salvation of every human being, was the burden of their interview. DA 422.2

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    Ellen G. White
    In Heavenly Places, 357.3

    It is called the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. His coming surpasses in glory all that the eye has ever seen. Far exceeding anything the imagination has conceived will be His personal revelation in the clouds of heaven. Then there will be a perfect contrast to the humility which attended His first advent. Then He came as the Son of the infinite God, but His glory was concealed by the garb of humanity. Then He came without any worldly distinction of royalty, without any visible manifestation of glory; but at His second appearing He comes with His own glory and the glory of the Father and attended by the angelic host of heaven. In the place of that crown of thorns which marred His brow, He wears a crown within a crown. No longer is He clad with the garments of humility, with the old kingly robe placed upon Him by His mockers. No: He comes clad in a robe whiter than the whitest white. Upon His vesture and thigh a name is inscribed, “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” HP 357.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Maranatha, 292.3

    No human language can portray the scenes of the second coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven. He is to come with His own glory, and with the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. He will come clad in the robe of light, which He has worn from the days of eternity. Angels will accompany Him. Ten thousand times ten thousand will escort Him on His way. The sound of the trumpet will be heard, calling the sleeping dead from the grave. The voice of Christ will penetrate the tomb, and pierce the ears of the dead, “and all that are in the graves ... shall come forth.” Mar 292.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 588

    Never hide your colors, never put your light under a bushel or under a bed, but set it on a candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in the house. Did you and the teachers who were with you at ----- watch for opportunities to enlighten others? Did you seek in wisdom to do all the good you possibly could? Did you try to call the attention of those whose acquaintance you formed, to Bible truths? Did you not drag your colors behind you because you were ashamed to be regarded as God's peculiar people? “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words; ... of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father.” If you would only feed on Christ daily then you could be a true educator. 5T 588.1

    My brother, there is danger of your trying to communicate too much at one time. You are not required to make lengthy speeches or to talk upon subjects that will not be understood or appreciated by common people. There is danger of your dwelling upon themes at the very top of the ladder, when those whom you are instructing need to be taught how to climb successfully its first rounds. You talk of things which those unacquainted with our faith cannot comprehend; hence your speeches are not interesting. They are not food for those whom you address. 5T 588.2

    Jesus was the greatest educator the world ever knew. In comparison with His knowledge the highest human knowledge is foolishness. But His instructions were so simple that all understood Him, both learned and unlearned. He made no effort to show His deep knowledge, for this they could not have understood. You seem to think your long talks have a special influence to mold and fashion your hearers just as you wish, but you will certainly fail in this. You would have a much better influence if you would talk less and pray more; God is your source of strength. 5T 588.3

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