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-LESSON 11: Mark 9

by Dr. D ~

To read the verses studied below, just type in each verse or verses wanted, in the Bible Search to the left ————-example: Mark 9:1 ——————->

Mark 9 -Things You Don’t See Every Day:

9:1  Jesus Prophesies

9:2-3  Jesus- The Transfiguration

9:4  Elijah and Moses Show Up

9:7  Voice From Heaven

9:25-27  Jesus Cast Out Demon

9:31  Jesus Foretells Death and Resurrection

Vs. 9:1     The Kingdom of God…come “with power”.

This verse has been debated over the years.  Does it mean that some of the Apostles would still be alive when Jesus comes with the angels, to establish his Kingdom?  The disciples are all long gone and yet we are still waiting for the appointed time when history will be consummated. Some scholars believe that the “Tranfiguration” that follows these verses logically fulfills and demonstrates that the ‘The Kingdom’ or ‘Rule’ of God has come in power in the person and divinity of Jesus Christ. Others hold that the resurrection demonstrates the ‘Kingdom power’ of Jesus.

Myself, I believe that all of these are partial fulfillments of this verse, but I hold that ‘The Day of Pentecost’ is the best demonstration of the ‘Kingdom’ coming in ‘power’ and authority.  This is really the beginning of the Church, which is the major representation of the Kingdom of God in this age.   At the Ascension (Acts 1:8), Jesus told them that they would receive ‘power’ when the Holy Spirit came upon them, and then they would take his message to the world. Pentecost was a life changing event for everyone present.  Just look at the boldness in Peter’s address, no more denials there. After Pentecost, the Apostles picked up the mantle of Jesus and took it to the ends of the Earth.

Vs. 9:2-13  The Transfiguration of Jesus

Here, the divine character of Jesus is displayed to Peter, James, and John.  They were in the manifest presence of God–the ‘Shekinah-glory’ that use to adorn the Temple and the old Tabernacle.

Typical human reaction to a major religious experience, is to do something religious or form some kind of institution in memory of the event.  Christians like to make new denominations in the wake of every revival. Peter and the boys were awe struck with the presence of Elijah and Moses; but soon, The Father made it quite clear who the real VIP is, on the mountain.

Vs. 9:9-10 -Jesus tells them to tell no one until after the resurrection.  They do not understand at this point, what this ‘rising from the dead’ might mean.

Vs. 9:11-13 -Jesus interjects into the ‘Elijah’ conversation, that it is also written that he (The Son of Man) will “suffer many things and be treated with contempt.”  He also informs the three, that Elijah has already come and fulfilled his mission (John The Baptist).

Vs. 9:14-29  Healing of a Boy with An Unclean Spirit

Jesus and the three come back to a scene of pandemonium. A large crowd, the 9 remaining Apostles, some opposing religious leaders, a father and a sick boy that the disciples were unable to heal–all arguing. The condemnation that Jesus gives here is probably a paraphrase of Psalm 95:10.

Vs. 9:22-24  In the end of explaining to Jesus about his son, the father says:  “If you can do anything…”.  Jesus picks up on the unbelief immediately and questions: “If you can!”? Finally the father says: “I believe; help my unbelief!”  The father realizes that he lacks faith and asks Jesus to help him believe.  This was a great move,  and one we all should remember, particularly when we are down and really have little hope of resolution.  We can always pray for an increase of faith.  Greater faith brings greater results.  In this case, Jesus heals the boy.

Vs. 9:28-29  The disciples ask Jesus why they could not cast out the spirit.  Jesus responds by telling them that they need to be fortified by prayer, and some manuscripts add fasting also.

Vs. 9:30-32  Again, Jesus Foretells of His Death and Resurrection

The disciples did not want to know what he was speaking of,  and they were afraid to ask or pursue the issue.  After all,  Jesus had condemned Peter when he contradicted him on this issue.  Nevertheless, it was important for them to know what was coming down.  It was going to be difficult enough for the Apostles to live through, they needed some hope to make it.  Later, they did remember that Jesus said he was going to rise again after 3 days, but they had a hard time believing it until Jesus was standing right in front of them!

Vs. 9:33-37  Who is The Greatest?

The disciples revert to their favorite pastime, arguing over who the number one disciple is.  After all, when Jesus becomes King, maybe one of them can serve as Prime Minister, like Daniel or Joseph was–maybe number two ruler in the whole world.  Notice, that they won’t admit to Jesus what they had been talking about.  Nevertheless, Jesus knew, and confronted their attitudes:  The first must be last and servant of all.  They need to accept and treat even a child like they would treat Jesus.

Vs. 9:38-41  One Who is Not Against Us is For Us

John and other disciples observed someone ministering in Jesus name.  They were bothered by this, after all, this person was not part of their club or denomination.  However, Jesus gives it the green light.  Even if someone who gives just a cup of water in his name will be rewarded.

Vs. 9:42-50  The Consequences of Sin

Here, Jesus talks to his disciples about the seriousness and consequences of sin.  If one causes or teaches a child to sin, it is a very serious offence according to Jesus.  Jesus uses hyperbole here in order to demonstrate the seriousness of sin.  It is better to lose ones foot, hand, or eye–suffer serious loss–and enter the Kingdom of God, than to be thrown into hell.

Vs. 49-50  Salt is good, but if it is no longer salty, it has lost its purpose.  In ancient times, salt was a preservative.  Here Jesus is telling his disciples to stop their quarrelling and to maintain their purpose.  The disciples were supposed to be good examples to all they came in contact with, as representatives of the Kingdom.  It would be well for them to cut out and cast off their competitive spirit.

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