Mark 9

Jesus changed to glory in the presence of three disciples 1
Jesus resurrection, but wouldn't Elijah come? 9
The boy with a spirit which the disciples could not cast out 14
The reason for failure 28
Jesus would be killed and rise, disciples didn't understand 30
Argument about who would be greatest; being like a little child 33
Another was to be permitted to use Jesus' name 38
Eternal consequences; hell fire not put out  43
.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.   1 - Some ... not taste of death Compare mt1628, lu0927. This verse could have been the final one of chapter 8.
Glorification of Jesus. Also beginning Luke 9:28. Major comments begin Matt 17:1.
.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.
 3  And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.
.4  And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.
 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.
.6  For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.
.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.
 8  And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.
.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.
.10  And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.

  2 - Transfigured Changed in appearance.
  3 - White them Or "bleach them."
  10 - Kept that saying Their witness after the resurrection apparently would have given more glory to God and/or been easier for people to believe. The idea of dying was hard to understand for minds set on the Jewish idea that the Messiah was to be a mighty earthly conqueror. lu0419.
.11  And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come?
 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.
 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.
  11 - Elias Prophecy of Malachi mal0404.
  12 - Written ... suffer See ps022, is53, lu2426.
  12 - Set at naught Or "treated with contempt." (NKJV)
The boy with the evil spirit. Also beginning Matt. 17:14 and Luke 9:37.
.14 ¶ And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.
 15  And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him.
 16  And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them?
 17  And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;
 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.
 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.
 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.
 21  And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
 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.
  14 - Came to his disciples It is safe to assume that the "mount" was more than a small hill and that they descended the next day. The plain was probably the plain of Gennesaret or of Esdraelon. The latter was equivalent to the Plain of Jezreel. See Megiddo area map.
  15 - Greatly amazed When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai the people were awed with the glory on his face ex3429. A similar appearance of Jesus would have caused their amazement and reminded them of the prophet Moses predicted de1815.
  16 - Asked the Scribes He was holding them accountable. Notice that they didn't answer, knowing from past experience that argument didn't pay for them mr0218, mr0711, mt1601.
  17 - Brought unto thee my son He was asked to look on the boy's face lu0938. The idiom was a request for a medical examination.
  18 - Pineth away From xeraino, "to dry up" or "to wither." Compare James' use of the word ja0111. We would see the father's description as an indication of a seizure and many who doubt the inspiration of the Scriptures deny that there was devil possession. Here we can trust God. v26 gives us confidence, too. Demonic agencies could well have caused the seizures.
  22 - If thou canst Compare mr0140.
 23  Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
.24  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
 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.
.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.
 27  But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
  23 - If thou canst believe Jesus turned the father's words back challenging him to greater faith.
  24 - I believe ... help This is a challenge to us. We may be weak but God will strengthen our faith as we claim the promises and ask as this father did. "All things" doesn't include winning the lottery and it may not even include physical healing ja0514. We may ask anything according to the divine will 1jo0514.
  26 - Rent him sore Probably tried to kill him; "convulsing him terribly" RSV.
.28  And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?
 29  And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
  28 - Why could not we? All twelve had cast out demons on their third Galilean missionary tour mr0613. The scribes must have claimed that they and their Master were too weak for such a spirit. Jesus explained the problem.
Journey through Galilee; they didn't understand. Luke 9:43b-45; Matt. 17:22,23; Mark 9:30-32.
.30 ¶ And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it.
 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.
 32  But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.
  30 - Passed through ... not know it That is, the people should not know they were passing through. This was only seven or eight months before the crucifixion and the curriculum of the disciples' education had not been completed. It was not the time to minister to the multitudes.
True greatness. Luke 9:46-50; Matthew 18:1-35; Mark 9:33-50.
.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?
 34  But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
.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.
 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,
 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.
  33 - Came to Capernaum Matthew fills in the picture of the journey mt1801.
  35 - Desire to be first They all wanted to be first in the political kingdom they expected. They had forgotten the meaning of true greatness (and we easily forget, too). Compare mt2308, mr1043, lu2224.
  35 - Servant From diakonos, one who ministers ph0101, 1co0305, 1th0302.
  36 - Took a child ... set him ... had taken Did you notice the two positions of the child. The men of Jesus time (and often ours) probably considered childcare as women's work. Indeed women are generally gifted for it. As servants of Jesus, we may not care for children, but we must be ready to do whatever task God sets before us and, in leadership, we must not act like ruling kings. Compare the experience after the ascension. ac0601.
  37 - Receiveth not ... him that sent me See on jn1244.
.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.
 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.
 40  For he that is not against us is on our part.
  38 - John answered John was thinking of what Jesus had been saying although Jesus had not asked a question. John apparently was concerned about an incident in the past. Although the disciples had "the keys of the kingdom" they had no right to control the practice of other believers. Compare a later scene lu0954.
  40 - He that is not against us When confronted with Jesus Christ there are basically only two choices.
.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.
 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.
.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:
 44  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched [extinguished or put out].
   42 - Offend little one What a powerful response to child abuse. In a spiritual sense, we have a responsibility to those who are not "the greatest" and to those who do not know the truth God has revealed in His word.
  44 - Worm dieth not ... quenched Most large fires cannot be quenched. They go out on their own. The worms and fire appear together. The earth will be purified at the end of the thousand years re2009b. Worm and fire appears again in verses 46 and 48. Mark was probably influenced by Peter who had been shown the fire which would destroy the wicked 2pe0310,17.
Their worm. "This figure is clearly taken from Isa 66:24. In describing the great prosperity of the kingdom of the Messiah, Isaiah says, that the people of God shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of men who have transgressed against God. Their enemies Shall be overcome. They shall be slain. The people of God shall triumph. The figure is taken from heaps of the dead slain in battle; and the prophet says, that the number shall be so great, that their worm the worm feeding on the dead shall not die, shall live long as long as there are carcasses to be devoured; and that the fire which was used to burn the bodies of the dead shall continue long to burn, and shall not be extinguished till they are consumed. The figure, therefore, denotes great misery, and certain and terrible destruction."(Barnes' NT Commentary). Compare Mal 4:1-3.
.45  And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt [crippled] into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
 46  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
 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:
 48  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
 49  For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
 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.
   45, 46 - Into hell The word "hell" in the Bible is generally translated from hades which refers to the grave and was used by Greek philosophers to mean a burning place in the earth. See Note below.
  49 - Salted with fire This passage is complex. The JFB commentary solution is a suggests the following: "Every disciple of Mine shall have a fiery trial to undergo, and everyone who would be found an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable and well-pleasing to God, must have such a salting, like the Levitical sacrifices."
Note on hell
    In verse 45 above the word translated, hell, is "gehenna." which was the place for the Jerusalem city garbage in the valley of Hinnom. Jesus presented a choice: being lame now but entering heaven, with avoiding the loss of a leg but finally being destroyed as cast into Gehenna.
In other words: eternal life and eternal death. We know that the righteous will be given perfect bodies no longer lame, at the coming of Christ 1co1553, re2103 so we can understand the burning fire to be symbolic.
    After the wicked are punished with fire and destroyed in the second death, they will never rise again. This verse is not in conflict with the description in Revelation 20:9 re2009b. Also remember that fires that cannot be quenched go out by themselves when they have nothing left to burn jude7. The other uses of the word, gehenna, are Matt. 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; and the Mark verses above; and in Luke 12:5; and James 3:6.
    Also see the explanation in the note at mt1028 and at Joshua 15:8 jos1508.
    For a discussion of the uses of the Hebrew word she'ol which is hades in Greek, see on pr1511.

The Valley of Hennon (Gehenna), looking north, with Jerusalem at the upper left.
This is an old photo, different from the scene today.
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