Mark 9

Since God has from the open heavens owned Jesus Christ as His beloved Son, we should give ourselves to be ruled by His Word, to be yielded to the mighty working of His power in us and through us and to resemble Him in the spirit of humble service to men.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

Mark 9:2-29 – Rapture and Service

   The Apostles had been gladdened by the promise of the coming Kingdom. The transfiguring light that shone from our Lord’s face differed from the shining of Moses’ face. With Moses the light was from without, and faded; but with Christ the light shone from within. Surely at that moment He might have stepped back into heaven by the open door, through which the representatives of the Law and the prophets had come; but He turned His back on the joy of the Father’s home, and set His face to endure the cross, that He might become, not the example only, but the Redeemer of men. What a contrast between that scene on Hermon’s slopes, where the glory of Jesus was brighter than the glistening snows about Him, and that below, where the demoniac child writhed in pain! Raphael does well to group these two incidents in one picture, for we are shown here that the duty of the Church is not to build tabernacles on the mount of vision, but to take her way into the haunts of crime and misery and cope with the power of Satan. Faith is the channel through which the divine power passes. Its quantity is of less importance than its quality. It may be minute as a mustard seed, but, like it, must contain the principle of life. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Mark 9:5 – If the contemplation of Christ’s glorified manhood so filled the apostle with joy that he was unwilling to be sundered from it, how shall it fare with them who attain to the contemplation of His glorious Godhead? And if it was so good a thing to dwell with two of His saints, how then to come to the “heavenly Jerusalem,… To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all” (Hebrews 12:22-23) – these not seen through a glass darkly but face to face? (Anselm)

Mark 9:8

   The fullness of heaven is Jesus Himself.
   The duration of heaven is the eternity of Jesus.
   The light of heaven is the face of Jesus.
   The joy of heaven is the presence of Jesus.
   The melody of heaven is the name of Jesus.
   The harmony of heaven is the praise of Jesus.
   The theme of heaven is the work of Jesus.
   The employment of heaven is the service of Jesus.

Mark 9:22-23—If Thou canst…. And Jesus said unto him, If thou canst!

   Yes, there was an if in this sad case. But the father put it in the wrong place. He put it against Christ’s power (v. 22), “If thou canst do any thing.” But it was really on the side of his own ability to believe. If only he believed, all else would be easily possible. Even though his faith were small, it would suffice; the tiniest seed can appropriate the chemical products of the soil, and transmute them into digestible products; the narrowest channel will suffice for the passage of the waters of the whole ocean, if you give time enough. Let us not worry about the greatness or smallness of our faith; the main point is as to whether it is directed towards the living Savior.
   There are many issues to which these words may be applied. If Jesus can save me from the power of sin! No; if thou canst believe, He can. If Jesus can deliver out of a mesh of temptation and perplexity! No; if thou canst believe, He will. If Jesus can revive his work mightily to the upbuilding of his Church and the ingathering of the lost! No; if thou canst believe for it.
   Dost thou want that faith? It may be had thus. Look away from difficulty and temptation to Jesus; consider Him; feed thy faith on its native food of promise; familiarize thyself with fellowship with the promises; study what He has done for others: thus thou wilt believe. For every thought of thy little faith take ten thoughts of his faithfulness.
       “All things are possible to God,
          To Christ the power of God in man;
       To me, when I am all subdued,
          When I in Christ am formed again,
       And witness from my sins set free,
          All things are possible to me.” —Our Daily Homily

Mark 9:23 – What inexhaustible possibilities lie in faith! God Himself is the unseen Author of the visible universe and it was by faith that the worlds were framed, so that things that are seen were not made of things that do appear. In the sublime galaxy woven with divine hand all in and through the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, the light that shines from every star is faith. It was this that carried Noah across the flood. It was this that gave strength to Moses to deliver the people of God from Egypt, to train them in the wilderness, and to transfer them to the Promised Land. It was this that enabled Israel to hold to the hope of the promise until Jesus came. This animated the feeble few of Galilee to carry the Gospel to the perishing world. This is the power by which every sainted Christian has triumphed in life and in death and entered home at last. Our blessed Saviour is Himself the Author and the Finisher of faith. (W.W. Page)

Mark 9:30-50 – The Path to Greatness

   Such were the hopes awakened by the Transfiguration and the following miracles that the disciples were led to speculate upon their relative position in the Kingdom. Jesus therefore took a little child for His text, and preached to them a sermon on humility. How constantly the Master speaks of the little ones! He says that we must be converted to become like them; that to cause them to stumble will involve terrible penalties; that they are not to be despised; that each has an angel of the Father’s presence-chamber appointed to his charge; that to seek and to save one He is prepared as the shepherd to traverse the mountains; that it is not the Father’s will that one of them should perish. How infinitely tender and humble was His love for them!
   Let us strive to cut off whatever causes us to stumble. It may be a friendship, a pastime, a pursuit, a course of reading; but there must be no quarter given, no excuse accepted. As soon as the soul dares to make this supreme renunciation, there is an accession of life. Whenever the body loses the use of one member, such as the eye, there is an accession of vigor in others; so, to deny the lower is to open the door to the higher, and, though maimed, to enter into life. Mark 9:44-48 evidently refer to the valley of Hinnom, where fires were kept burning to consume waste. —Through the Bible Day by Day


Great hearts are the quickest to be touched by the appeals of childhood. It is an evidence of Christ’s greatness, that he delighted not in the patronage and intercourse of the influential and mighty, but sought the friendship and love of children. Their credentials to His favor are not based upon race, or station, creed or complexion. Their frankness, their innocence, their simplicity, place them in nomination and his great heart immediately responds to those traits. “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). Unless ye become as a little child (in frankness and simplicity and innocence) ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Mark 9:37