Mark 9

1 And he said to them, "Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power."
2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them,
3 and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them.
4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus.
5 Then Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
6 He did not know what to say, for they were terrified.
7 Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, "This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!"
8 Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean.
11 Then they asked him, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"
12 He said to them, "Elijah is indeed coming first to restore all things. How then is it written about the Son of Man, that he is to go through many sufferings and be treated with contempt?
13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written about him."
14 When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them.
15 When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet him.
16 He asked them, "What are you arguing about with them?"
17 Someone from the crowd answered him, "Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak;
18 and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so."
19 He answered them, "You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me."
20 And they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth.
21 Jesus asked the father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood.
22 It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us."
23 Jesus said to him, "If you are able!—All things can be done for the one who believes."
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out, "I believe; help my unbelief!"
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!"
26 After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, "He is dead."
27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand.
28 When he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?"
29 He said to them, "This kind can come out only through prayer."
30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it;
31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again."
32 But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.
33 Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the way?"
34 But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest.
35 He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all."
36 Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them,
37 "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me."
38 John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us."
39 But Jesus said, "Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.
40 Whoever is not against us is for us.
41 For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.
42 "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.
43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.
45 And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. ,
47 And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell,
48 where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.
49 "For everyone will be salted with fire.
50 Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."

Mark 9 Commentary

Chapter 9

The transfiguration. (1-13) An evil spirit cast out. (14-29) The apostles reproved. (30-40) Pain to be preferred to sin. (41-50)

Verses 1-13 Here is a prediction of the near approach Christ's kingdom. A glimpse of that kingdom was given in the transfiguration of Christ. It is good to be away from the world, and alone with Christ: and how good to be with Christ glorified in heaven with all the saints! But when it is well with us, we are apt not to care for others, and in the fulness of our enjoyments, we forget the many wants of our brethren. God owns Jesus, and accepts him as his beloved Son, and is ready to accept us in him. Therefore we must own and accept him as our beloved Saviour, and must give up ourselves to be ruled by him. Christ does not leave the soul, when joys and comforts leave it. Jesus explained to the disciples the prophecy about Elias. This was very suitable to the ill usage of John Baptist.

Verses 14-29 The father of the suffering youth reflected on the want of power in the disciples; but Christ will have him reckon the disappointment to the want of faith. Very much is promised to our believing. If thou canst believe, it is possible that thy hard heart may be softened, thy spiritual diseases may be cured; and, weak as thou art, thou mayest be able to hold out to the end. Those that complain of unbelief, must look up to Christ for grace to help them against it, and his grace will be sufficient for them. Whom Christ cures, he cures effectually. But Satan is unwilling to be driven from those that have been long his slaves, and, when he cannot deceive or destroy the sinner, he will cause him all the terror that he can. The disciples must not think to do their work always with the same ease; some services call for more than ordinary pains.

Verses 30-40 The time of Christ's suffering drew nigh. Had he been delivered into the hands of devils, and they had done this, it had not been so strange; but that men should thus shamefully treat the Son of man, who came to redeem and save them, is wonderful. Still observe that when Christ spake of his death, he always spake of his resurrection, which took the reproach of it from himself, and should have taken the grief of it from his disciples. Many remain ignorant because they are ashamed to inquire. Alas! that while the Saviour teaches so plainly the things which belong to his love and grace, men are so blinded that they understand not his sayings. We shall be called to account about our discourses, and to account for our disputes, especially about being greater than others. Those who are most humble and self-denying, most resemble Christ, and shall be most tenderly owned by him. This Jesus taught them by a sign; whoever shall receive one like this child, receives me. Many have been like the disciples, ready to silence men who have success in preaching to sinners repentance in Christ's name, because they follow not with them. Our Lord blamed the apostles, reminding them that he who wrought miracles in his name would not be likely to hurt his cause. If sinners are brought to repent, to believe in the Saviour, and to live sober, righteous, and godly lives, we then see that the Lord works by the preacher.

Verses 41-50 It is repeatedly said of the wicked, Their worm dieth not, as well as, The fire is never quenched. Doubtless, remorse of conscience and keen self-reflection are this never-dying worm. Surely it is beyond compare better to undergo all possible pain, hardship, and self-denial here, and to be happy for ever hereafter, than to enjoy all kinds of worldly pleasure for a season, and to be miserable for ever. Like the sacrifices, we must be salted with salt; our corrupt affections must be subdued and mortified by the Holy Spirit. Those that have the salt of grace, must show they have a living principle of grace in their hearts, which works out corrupt dispositions in the soul that would offend God, or our own consciences.

Footnotes 20

  • [a]. Or [in]
  • [b]. Gk [no fuller]
  • [c]. Or [tents]
  • [d]. Or [my beloved Son]
  • [e]. Gk [him]
  • [f]. Gk [him]
  • [g]. Gk [He]
  • [h]. Other ancient authorities add [with tears]
  • [i]. Other ancient authorities add [and fasting]
  • [j]. Other ancient authorities add [who does not follow us]
  • [k]. Other ancient authorities lack [in me]
  • [l]. Gk [Gehenna]
  • [m]. Verses 44 and 46 (which are identical with verse 48) are lacking in the best ancient authorities
  • [n]. Mark 9:44 and Mark 9:46 (which are identical with Mark 9:48) are lacking in the best ancient authorities
  • [o]. Gk [Gehenna]
  • [p]. Verses 44 and 46 (which are identical with verse 48) are lacking in the best ancient authorities
  • [q]. Mark 9:44 and Mark 9:46 (which are identical with Mark 9:48) are lacking in the best ancient authorities
  • [r]. Gk [Gehenna]
  • [s]. Other ancient authorities either add or substitute [and every sacrifice will be salted with salt]
  • [t]. Or [how can you restore its saltiness?]

Mark 9 Commentaries

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.