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Bible Commentaries

Brown's Commentary on the New Testament

Mark 9

  1. Introduction
    1. Read: Rom 13:8-10 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
      1. Last week we were asked, “Who is Jesus to me” -- and also we asked, “How will I respond to that?”
      2. As we move past who is Jesus to “Why did He come” doctrinally…we will find that LOVE is the end of all of our actions and motives.
      3. We will then move past that to see the great necessity for faith beyond reason and finally…
      4. Jesus will remind us as to His ultimate mission à to die and live again!

Verses 1-13

  1. The Fulfillment of the Law
    1. Mar 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.
    2. Mar 9:2-3 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.
      1. “Transfigured” :: Transliteration: metamorphoo - 1. to change into another form
      2. “White as snow” :: Speaks of Christ’s Holiness and righteousness; it also speaks of our how our sin looks after we have Jesus as our Savior…
        1. ​​​​​​​Isa 1:18-19 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
        2. 2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
    3. ​​​​​​​Mar 9:4-6 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.
      1. Jesus was with Moses and Elijah…Moses represents the Law of God, Elijah represents Prayer and prophesy.
      2. Gal 3:22-26 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
      3. Law == contract between God and man…do, get – but man couldn’t keep his side of it.
      4. Joh 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
      5. Rom 13:8-10 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
    4. Mar 9:7-8 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.
      1. Here we find God the Father, Himself, telling those listening that they should listen to Jesus. Do we?
      2. He is the incarnate Word of God…do we listen to and follow it? He is the way, the truth and the life – do we believe it?
    5. Mar 9:9-13 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.
      1. Malachi tells us that one must come in the spirit of Elijah…
      2. Mal 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 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.
      3. Luk 1:13-17 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Verses 14-29

  1. Do You Believe?
    1. Mar 9:14-22 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.
      1. The man, hearing or possibly seeing the works of God through the disciples has brought his son to them…but they aren’t able to help him.
      2. This takes a bit of faith…but at this point, possibly also desperation as much or more than faith!
      3. When do we come to God? All the time in faith…or just at our limits in desperation?
    2. Mar 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
      1. “IF” you can believe…that’s always the challenge. We believe that God can…but not always that He “WILL”.
      2. But…”ALL” things are possible to him that believes…that’s an encouragment to us!
    3. Mar 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
      1. I pray this often – Lord, I believe…help my unbelief!
    4. Mar 9:25-29 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 nd 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.
      1. “This kind can only come out by prayer and fasting”: Some of the things of God only happen through dedicated devotion…​​​​​​​

Verses 30-32

  1. Death and Life
    1. Mar 9:30-32 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.
      1. The MOST important thing He could teach His disciples was His death and resurrection.
      2. Paul tells us that the resurrection brings us our justification in Romans 4…and he wrote an entire chapter defending the resurrection in 1Cor 15.
      3. 1Co 15:13-19 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
      4. 1Co 15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
      5. Basically, “what’s the point to life with no resurrection?”
        1. ​​​​​​​>> There isn’t one. We have NO HOPE! «
      6. But, Paul continues these thoughts and speaks to us about our hope…
      7. 1Co 15:51-53 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
      8. 1Th 4:16-18 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
      9. 1Cor 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
  2. Conclusion
    1. ​​​​​​​Summarize…then ask, “So what?”
      1. ​​​​​​​1Jn 3:1-3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Verses 33-50

  1. Introduction
    1. Read: Mar 8:34-36 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. 36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
      1. Jesus has asked us to deny ourselves…that primarily means our flesh – 1John 2:15. But what we will find out today is that it goes deeper than simply our sinful tendencies…
      2. The heart of the issue is that we must set ourselves aside completely if we want to become like Him…if we want to become great in the Kingdom of Heaven…
      3. To be used by Him…we have to get out of the way!
  2. To Be Great in the Kingdom of Heaven…
    1. We Must Become the Least
      1. Mar 9:33-37 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.
        1. We must recognize that we are the servant and God is our Master…we are nothing and God is everything!
          1. 1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
        2. ”IF” we desire to be greatest…then we need to have 20/20 vision focused on Jesus. He sets us free from thinking of ourselves! Remember the servant is not greater than the Master and Jesus was always others focused!
      2. Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
      3. Php 2:1-8 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
    2. We Must Be Gracious
      1. Mar 9:38-41 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.
        1. We find here the need for great grace…one may be preaching in ignorance or under a different doctrine…but if they are speaking of Christ and Himm crucified – we must support and come along-side.
        2. This is not to say that we are to ignore sin, sinful lifestyles or heresy. But if a Baptist and a Methodist take different tactics or perspectives in sharing or teaching…we can’t say one is wrong and another is right.
        3. Remember, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ!
    3. We Must Be Sensitive to Others
      1. ​​​​​​​Mar 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.
      2. We must walk with the acknowledgment that anytime we have an opportunity to speak to others – it is a great privilege and should not be taken lightly! We should be praying for our words to be God’s words.
        1. ​​​​​​​2Co 5:20-21 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
      3. We must take care that we don’t jest at another’s expense…that our speech and our actions (regardless of how innocent we may think they are) could adversely affect someone else!
        1. ​​​​​​​Eph 5:1-4 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
      4. We must learn that other’s perception of God can be affected by our words, our actions, our grace or lack thereof, our humor and our servanthood or lack of submission!
        1. ​​​​​​​(Paul told Timothy) 1Ti 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
    4. We Must Be Radical Towards Sin
      1. ​​​​​​​Mar 9:43-48 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.
        1. ​​​​​​​To be greatest in the Kingdom…we need to walk in Holiness. We need to cut off the opportunities for sin and the sin in our lives.
        2. Fortunately, when we stop thinking of ourselves, when we start speaking and acting with grace…when we walk with a sensitivity towards others – we will be loving others as ourselves and the opportunities and choices for sin will GREATLY reduce?
        3. 2Ti 2:19-22 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. 22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
    5. You Must Live Peaceably with All Men
      1. ​​​​​​​Mar 9:49-50 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.
        1. To be the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven…we must leave at peace with all men.
        2. Rom 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
  3. Conclusion
    1. ​​​​​​​Mat 5:3-9 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Copyright Statement
Brown's Commentary on the New Testament is reproduced by permission of author. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Brown, Jim. "Commentary on Mark 9". "Brown's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnc/mark-9.html. 2017.