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Mark Chapter 09

Memory verses for this week:  1 Cor 16:2  Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. 

Introduction: We continue with our study of Mark Chapter 9.   In chapter 8, Christ fed the 4,000 there on the east side of Galilee.  Again the Pharisees come and tempt him asking for a sign, but  Jesus told them that no sign would be coming to them.   He healed the blind man and then questioned the disciples as to who the people thought that He was.   Peter identified him as Christ, the Son of God.   We begin this week with the transfiguration before the Lord’s inner circle of Peter, James, and John.


I.   The Transfiguration

Mark 9:1  And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.

Mark 9:2  And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.

Mark 9:3  And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.

Mark 9:4  And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.

Jesus declares in verse one that some who were present would not taste death until they had seen the kingdom of God come with power.  Six days after Jesus made this statement, Peter, James, and John have the privilege to see how it would be when Jesus comes in His glory.   They saw both Elias and Moses.   Moses represents the dead in Christ that shall be raised at the coming of Christ.  Elijah represents the living saints at the coming of the Lord.  These three men had a little taste of what it will be like when Jesus comes and we are caught up with him.  Note that Peter and his companions recognized Elijah and Moses although they had lived many years before this time.  This gives us some knowledge of what things will be like after the resurrection.   We will know as He is known, and we will be like Jesus.  The raiment becoming so white speaks of Christ’s purity and righteousness.         

Mark 9:5  And Peter answered and said to Jesus, 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.

Mark 9:6  For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.

Peter was never shy, and he speaks out and says that it was good to be there.  Wherever Jesus is certainly is a good place to be.   It will be so wonderful to be present when the resurrection takes place.

Matthew Henry said this about these verses.

The great delight that the disciples took in seeing this sight, and hearing this discourse, is expressed by Peter, the mouth of the rest; He said, Master, it is good for us to be here, v. 5. Though Christ was transfigured, and was in discourse with Moses and Elias, yet he gave Peter leave to speak to him, and to be as free with him as he used to be. Note, Our Lord Jesus, in his exaltation and glory, doth not at all abate of his condescending kindness to his people. Many, when they are in their greatness, oblige their friends to keep their distance; but even to the glorified Jesus true believers have access with boldness, and freedom of speech with him. Even in this heavenly discourse there was room for Peter to put in a word; and this is it, "Lord, it is good to be here, it is good for us to be here; here let us make tabernacles; let this be our rest for ever.’’ Note, Gracious souls reckon it good to be in communion with Christ, good to be near him, good to be in the mount with him, though it be a cold and solitary place; it is good to be here retired from the world, and alone with Christ: and if it is good to be with Christ transfigured only upon a mountain with Moses and Elias, how good it will be to be with Christ glorified in heaven with all the saints! But observe, While Peter was for staying here, he forgot what need there was of the presence of Christ, and the preaching of his apostles, among the people.  [i]

Mark 9:7  And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

Mark 9:8  And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.

God was not pleased with Peter’s suggestion, and tells them to look at the one and only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ. 

Mark 9:9  And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.

Mark 9:10  And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.

Jesus commands the three men to not tell anyone about their experience until after He was raised from the dead.  They did not comprehend this, and they question one another about what Jesus meant about rising from the dead.

Mark 9:11  And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come?

Mark 9:12  And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought.

Mark 9:13  But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.

The disciples question Jesus about why the scribes say that Elias must first come before the messiah was to come.  They had just seen Elias, and they are confused. 

Mal 4:5  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

Mal 4:6  And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

The prophet Malachi told of the coming of Elijah before Christ comes in power and great glory.  At this time, He will take the throne of David and reign 1000 years in the Millennial kingdom.  If the Jews had received Christ, Elijah would have been the one who came rather than John.   John came not as Elijah, but came in power and spirit of Elijah.   John the Baptist was NOT Elijah.

John 1:21  And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

John 1:22  Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?

John 1:23  He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.


II.  The Powerless Disciples and the Mighty Christ

Mark 9:14  And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.

Mark 9:15  And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him.

Mark 9:16  And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them?

When Jesus reaches the nine disciples at the foot of the mountain, He discovers that the Scribes have been disputing with them.   Jesus asks them why they are questioning the disciples.

Mark 9:17  And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;

Mark 9:18  And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.

Mark 9:19  He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.

Mark 9:20  And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.

Mark 9:21  And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.

Mark 9:22  And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.

Mark 9:23  Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

Mark 9:24  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Mark 9:25  When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.

One of the scribes says that they had brought this boy who was possessed of a devil to the disciples and they could not heal him.  Jesus is upset that they had not displayed more faith and been able to heal him.   He asks them to bring the child to him, and if he truly believed, the boy could be healed.   The father cries out for the Lord to help him with his unbelief.   When we need help, we need to turn to God like this man did.  Jesus healed the boy and rebukes the foul spirit that was in him.  These had to be comforting words to the father when Jesus says the dumb spirit would never again enter the boy. 

Mark 9:26  And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.

Mark 9:27  But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.

Mark 9:28  And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?

Mark 9:29  And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

The disciples want to know why they could not heal the boy.  Jesus tells them that to have this ability took much prayer and fasting.

III.  Jesus Foretells His Death

Mark 9:30  And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it.

Mark 9:31  For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.

Mark 9:32  But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.

Jesus was constantly teaching.  He wanted His disciples to know what was going to happen.   His central message was that He would suffer and die and be raised again.  But their spiritual ears were dull of hearing: “they understood not that saying.”

J. Vernon McGee said this about the disciples.

They didn’t quite understand this matter of being raised from the dead. Here He is talking about His own death for them and you would think that these men might have at least made some inquiry. They dared to dispute among themselves who would be greatest in the Kingdom after He had just announced His death. They should have been ashamed of their conduct here. This is not the first time He has announced His death and resurrection to them, and still they do not understand.  [ii]

IV.  The Dispute for Who Should be Greatest

Mark 9:33  And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?

Mark 9:34  But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.

After arriving in Capernaum, Jesus and his disciples enter into a house.   Jesus questions them as to what they were disputing about on the trip there.   This was very embarrassing since they were arguing about who would be the greatest in the Lord’s kingdom.  It says they held their peace and did not answer him.  Jesus was God… He knew what they had been saying.

Mark 9:35  And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

Mark 9:36  And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,

Mark 9:37  Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

Here we find Jesus trying to tell them about His upcoming death, and the disciples were filled with pride and selfish ambition. His mind was set on the cross, but the disciples were thinking about crowns.   He makes a great point and teaches them by using a small child as an example.   The two marks of true greatness are humility and service.   If a person would receive a child in his name, then that person would receive him. 

V.  The Disciples Rebuked and Warned

Mark 9:38  And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.

Mark 9:39  But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

Mark 9:40  For he that is not against us is on our part.

The disciples want to stop a man who was casting out devils in Jesus’ name.  Jesus told them to leave him alone.   If he is not against us, he is for us. 

Mark 9:41  For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

Mark 9:42  And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

Mark 9:43  And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Mark 9:44  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Jesus tells how that even a cup of water given in his name will be rewarded.   And to harm a child, severe punishment is promised.  God loves all children, and anyone offending them will face a horrible punishment in Hell.   Hell is not a make believe place, but is as real as Heaven.   It says in Hell, the worm dies not and the fire is not quenched.

Mark 9:45  And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

Mark 9:46  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Mark 9:47  And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

Mark 9:48  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Mark 9:49  For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

Mark 9:50  Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

Jesus warns that Hell is real, and that we must be people with salt in ourselves.   If we are saved (Know Jesus as our Lord and Savior), we need to live like a Christian.   Salt that has lost its taste is worthless, and we are warned to be people worth ‘our salt.’

J. Vernon McGee said this:

These are strange statements. The thought is that both fire and salt purify. Fire purifies by burning away the dross and impurities. Salt penetrates and burns out the corruption and stays the spread of impurities. If we have salt—the cleansing work of the Word of God—working within us, it sanctifies and brings peace.   [iii]


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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[i]Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.

[ii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

[iii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.