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Bible Commentaries

Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT

Mark 9

Verses 1-8

TITLE: Why not 3 churches? TEXT: Mar_9:1-8 PROPOSITION: Jesus built one church of which all should be members. QUESTION: Why? KEY WORD: Wrongs SCRIPTURE READING: Same INTRODUCTION:

1. Peter suggests - 3 tabernacles (churches, places to worship the same God)

2. God rejects the idea. Jesus the only one to be worshipped.

3. Many claim one as good as another, all are slices of the same pie.

4. Denominationalism is WRONG!

Lack of Unity

1. Joh_17:20-21

2. 1Co_1:10

Denies oneness of the church

1. Mat_16:18

2. Eph_4:4-6

3. Col_1:18

Rejects the Bible as authority

1. 2Ti_3:16-17

2. Puts councils, creeds, conventions, customs = Bible

Something in every denomination that contradicts the Bible

1. Instrumental music - Eph_5:19 ; Col_3:16

2. Infant baptism - Mar_16:16 , Act_2:38

3. Saved before baptism - 1Pe_3:21 , Act_22:16

4. Sprinkling - Rom_6:4 ; Col_2:12

Contradicts the gospel

1. Gal_1:8-9 - preach any other gospel

2. Many “gospels” being preached today

Denies what Jesus taught about salvation

1. Mat_7:21-23 - Call him Lord, not obey him

2. Luk_6:46 - Why call him Lord and not do what he says?

Removes Jesus as head

1. Eph_1:22-23

2. Col_1:18


1. Either Bible is wrong OR denominationalism is wrong.

2. A man can do everything the Bible teaches and NEVER belong to a denomination.

3. Our goal is to be a Christian period. Nothing added; only a Christian.

Verses 9-13

÷ Mar_9:9-13

TITLE: What is the resurrection? TEXT: Mar_9:9-13 PROPOSITION: Resurrection is a promise many do not understand. QUESTION: How? KEY WORD: Questions SCRIPTURE READING: Same INTRODUCTION:

1. Jesus makes a promise of his resurrection. (9)

2. As they walk along - a debate begins.

3.“What is resurrection?”

4. A vital theme of Christianity is "Resurrection"

5. Without a clear understanding of and faith in the resurrection, religion is an exercise in futility.

6. Three questions that are answered in 1Co_15:1-58 .

What if there is no resurrection? ( 1Co_15:13-19 )

1. Christ is not raised - 13

2. Preaching is vain - 14

3. Faith is vain - 14

4. Yet in our sins - 17

5. Dead have perished -18

6. We are miserable (no hope) - 19

How are the dead raised? ( 1Co_15:36-38 )

1. Illustrated with seed and plant

2. Seed must die first

3. Body planted is not same as body raised

4. God decides the type of body that is best

What will the body be like? ( 1Co_15:42-44 )

1. Don't know 1Jn_3:2

2. Different than this one

Physical Body Spiritual Body Corruption Incorruption Dishonor Glory Weakness Power Natural Spiritual

Verses 14-29

TITLE: Some jobs are tough TEXT: Mar_9:14-29 PROPOSITION: Some work is difficult and challenging for us. QUESTION: Why? KEY WORD: Failures SCRIPTURE READING: Mar_9:14-19 INTRODUCTION:

1. Obeying the gospel is simple - Faith, Repent, Confess, Baptism

2. Some things God requires are more difficult

3. My dad, “Coat and pants do all the work, vest gets the gravy.”

4. Here is an example of where the apostles failed.

Take things for granted

1. They healed many, cast out demons

2. Began to think - Easy, anybody can do this

3. This Christianity thing is easy

4. What happens when things get tough - obstacles, challenging, harder than expected

5. Commands not grievous - 1Jn_5:3 - Love of God that we keep His commandments. And his commandments are not grievous.

Lack of faith

1. Jesus called them faithless (19)

2. Do you believe? (23) The man believed - came for a second try

3. Help my unbelief (24) Humble, seeking help in any area of weakness

4. Prayer and fasting are required (29)

5. The failure was of the apostles, not the man nor his son seeking to be healed

Some jobs are tougher

1. Nehemiah building Jerusalem - opposition

2. Noah - preached 120 years - converted only family

3. Elijah at juniper tree - all alone, I give up

4. Jeremiah - won't speak his name any more ( Jer_20:9 )

5. Jesus in the garden - let this cup pass from me

6. Moses leading the children of Israel - gripe, complain, grumble

In the church today:

1. Elders - helping people who seem determined to mess up their lives

2. Deacons - getting people to be involved

3. Preachers - communicating the simple gospel

4. Teachers - explaining and applying the instructions of the Bible

Verses 31-37

TITLE: Who is the greatest? TEXT: Mar_9:31-37 PROPOSITION: Greatness is a difficult thing to achieve in the kingdom. QUESTION: How? KEY WORD: Challenges SCRIPTURE READING: Same INTRODUCTION:

1. Jesus told his apostles of his D B R. (31)

2. They were afraid to ask about this (again). (32)

3. They disputed over who is the greatest. (33)

What is the connection?

1. Jesus would be gone - Who would take over?

2. Who is “next in line” for the leadership role?

True Greatness

What does Jesus teach about greatness?

1. Opposite the Harvard Business School model

2. Want to be first, must be last (35)

3. Learn from a child (36) - Mat_18:1-6 ; Mar_10:13-16

4. Receive a child (37)

What is TRUE greatness?

1. The one who wins this greatness does not attain it at the expense of others.

2. It is possible for one to win this greatness anywhere, anytime, any position in life. Not just rich, PhD, powerful - YOU can be great!

3. This greatness is satisfying to its possessor - It's own reward.

2 Qualities of Greatness


1. In crisis - Emergency, unexpected - others look to leaders for direction

2. In deliberation - Deep thinkers, willing to express their ideas

3. In attitude - not arrogant, boastful; just self-assured, confident

Humility toward:

1. Sin - not “holier than thou”, Gal_6:1-2 ; Confess; Repent

2. Service - Wash feet ( Joh_13:1-38 ); cup of water; bake a cake; fix a flat tire

3. Self - Not pride, arrogant; not jealous of others; willing to delegate and let go

Verses 38-41

TITLE: How to be “One of His” TEXT: Mar_9:38-41 PROPOSITION: We must learn to recognize who belongs to Christ. QUESTION: Who? KEY WORD: Attributes SCRIPTURE READING: Same INTRODUCTION:

1. Background story - apostles did not know him - must be an imposter

2. Jesus discusses some attributes of those who are his.

Jealousy (38)

1. Casting out demons in your name

2. He follows not us - not under us

3. Jealousy - all doing this work should be under apostles

4. Jam_3:14 - If you have bitter jealousy and strive in your hearts, do not glory and lie against the truth.

5. We forbade him

Forbid him not (39) [Two Tests] Was he doing things FOR Christ?

1. Was he doing things in Jesus name?

2. Was he giving honor and glory to Christ?

3. Was he a proper example of a follower of Christ?

Was he doing anything AGAINST Christ?

1. Was he teaching error?

2. Was he working against Christ? Undermine the mission of Jesus?

3. Was he casting out demons in some other name?

4. Was he doing wrong things in Jesus name?

Can't be neutral (40)

1. For Christ OR against Him

2. There is no neutral ground

3. Many today are trying to be “on the fence”

4. Verse 40 - Not against me = for me

5. Mat_12:30 - Not with me = against me

Does Jesus approve of denominationalism?

1. This man was not teaching - he was casting out demons.

2. He was doing this “in Jesus name” - by the power and authority of Christ

3. Before church was established - not about approving various teachings

4. This passage says - Just because you don't know them - not reason to reject

5. Started church in Russia - David Macy went there - He did not know me, I did not know him - We both accepted the work each other did

Cup of water (41)

1. Jesus is not looking for those who claim

2. He is looking for servants willing to serve

3. Term is used to describe the “least” of our efforts.

4. We will be rewarded according to our deeds. ( 2Co_5:10 )

Verses 42-48

TITLE: Do you have worms? TEXT: Mar_9:42-48 PROPOSITION: QUESTION: How? KEY WORD: Punishments READING: Same INTRODUCTION:

1. Jesus uses an unusual phrase here.

2.“Their” worm dies not; “The” fire is not quenched.

3. Note this chart.

Their Worm The Fire Internal External Personal Universal Conscience hurts Spirit, mind, soul Body hurts OFFEND Offend = cause to sin, cause to stumble, the cause of the fall, to entrap, snare“Scandalidzo” - The plate where the bait goes and holds the trap open The idea is - entice them to the bait, the plate moves and springs the trap DON'T DO ANYTHING THAT WOULD ENTICE A BROTHER TO SIN. Don't offend little one - better for millstone around neck thrown in the sea Hand offend - cut it off Foot offend - cut it off Eye offend - pluck it out Rom_14:21 - Don't eat or drink to cause a brother to stumble 1Co_8:13 - I will eat no flesh while the world stands


The punishment most painful is on the inside

1. Guilty conscience, angry spirit, hateful soul, lustful mind

2. Ability to remember mistakes, sins

3. Rich man ( Luk_16:1-31 ) told, “Son, remember.”

Degrees of Punishment = understanding, willful rejection, guilty conscience

1. Some punishment is external - jail, take a way a privilege, time out, etc.

2. Some punishment is internal - memory, conscience, guilty

Worms are parasites that live inside, do harm, destroy, and cause pain and injury.

1. Psa_68:21 - God wounds the head of one who walks in his guilt

2. 1Ti_5:12 - having guilt because they cast off their faith

3. Psa_32:1-5 - Description of a guilty conscience


These worms (guilty feelings) do not stop, wear out, slow down, and diminish Only God can cleanse the conscience - Heb_9:13-14 Baptism can cleanse the conscience - 1Pe_3:21

Verses 49-50

TITLE: Salted with Fire TEXT: Mar_9:49-50 PROPOSITION: Salt preserves even the wicked. QUESTION: Which? KEY WORD: Categories READING: Same INTRODUCTION:

1. Salt preserves, flavors and purifies.

2. Fire burns and destroys.

3. How are people “salted with fire”?

Salted with Fire

1. Mal_3:2 - Who can stand the day of his coming? He is like a refiner's fire

2. 1Pe_1:7 - Trial of your faith, being more precious than gold, tried in the fire

3. Salted = preserved, here - not for good, but for punishment of fire

4. 1Pe_2:4 - Angels that sinned - chains of darkness, reserved for judgment

5. Fire is used in the Scripture to denote suffering, persecution, or distress of any kind.

6. Fire is used to indicate trial, suffering, and persecution of any kind.

7. Salt is used to denote penetration and preservation from corruption.

8. Every one, good and bad, must suffer.

Salted with Salt

1. Every sacrifice is salted with salt.

2. Lev_2:13 - Every sacrifice of your food offering you shall season with salt.

3. Most common use of salt -flavor, preserve, purify, and penetrate.

Salt in Yourself

1. Are you salty?

2. Mat_5:13 - You are the salt of the earth.

3. Do have salt (flavor, preserving and penetrating influence) inside?

Salt with one another

1. Col_4:6 - Let your speech be seasoned with salt

2. Treat each other with some flavor, tenderness, kindness

Worthless Salt

1. Salt can become worthless - just make a pathway with it - Kill the grass.

2. Pour out salt, ice and water from making homemade ice cream.

3. Mat_5:13 - Lose its flavor - good for nothing

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Bibliographical Information
Luscombe, Manly. "Commentary on Mark 9". Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT. 2021.