Mark 9: The Transfiguration

At what point could people have seen the Kingdom “come with power” before they died?

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Mark 9:1 “I guarantee, some of you standing here will not die before they see the Kingdom of God come with power.”
Luke 24:49 “As my Father promised, I will send the Holy Spirit upon you. Wait in Jerusalem until you are equipped with power from Heaven.”
King James
Mark 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.
Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

How did Peter’s opinion of Jesus change after seeing Jesus with Moses and Elijah?

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Mark 9:2–6 Six days after Jesus told his disciples about his need to die, he took Simon Peter, James, and John to be alone, high up on the mountain. The three saw his whole appearance change.
His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone could bleach them.
Moses and Elijah appeared and talked with him.
Peter said, “Teacher, it is wonderful to be here. Let’s build three shrines here—for you, Moses, and Elijah.” He really did not know what to say, because they were all afraid.
King James
Mark 9:2–6 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. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. 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. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.

What impact did the voice from above have upon the three disciples?

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Mark 9:7–8 A cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came from the cloud. “This is my dearly loved son. Listen to him.”
When they looked around, no one was there except Jesus.
King James
Mark 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. And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.

How well do you think the disciples kept Jesus’ command to not tell anyone what they had seen? If Peter couldn’t keep the secret, who would he have to tell?

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Mark 9:9–10 As they came down the mountain, Jesus said, “Do not tell anyone what you saw, not until after the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”
They kept the event to themselves. But they questioned one another about what rising from the dead might mean.
King James
Mark 9:9–10 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. And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.

Why did the disciples ask about Elijah? How interested might they have been in Moses?

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Mark 9:11 They said to Jesus, “Why do the teachers of the Law say Elijah must come before the Messiah comes?”
King James
Mark 9:11 And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come?

How much did Jesus say about Elijah coming?

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Matthew 17:12–13 “The truth is, Elijah has already come, but people did not recognize who he was. Instead, they chose to abuse him. In the same way, they will cause the Son of Man to suffer.”
Then they understood that he was talking about John the Baptizer.
Mark 9:11–13 They said to Jesus, “Why do the teachers of the Law say Elijah must come before the Messiah comes?”
“They are right,” Jesus said. “Elijah comes first, to prepare for the Messiah’s coming. What does the scripture mean where it says the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be despised? The truth is, Elijah has already come, and they chose to abuse him, exactly as the prophet said.”
King James
Matthew 17:12–13 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
Mark 9:11–13 And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come? 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. 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.

What does Jesus’ suffering have to do with Elijah coming?

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Mark 9:12–13 “They are right,” Jesus said. “Elijah comes first, to prepare for the Messiah’s coming. What does the scripture mean where it says the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be despised? The truth is, Elijah has already come, and they chose to abuse him, exactly as the prophet said.”
King James
Mark 9:12–13 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. 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.

What kind of argument did the teachers of the Law have with the disciples who couldn’t help the demon-possessed son?

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Mark 9:14–18 When they returned to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and some teachers of the Law arguing with them. As soon as the people saw Jesus, they were awestruck and ran to greet him.
Jesus said to the teachers of the Law, “What are you arguing about?”
A man from the crowd said, “I brought my son, who has an evil spirit that prevents him from speaking. Whenever it controls him, he is thrown into convulsions. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes physically exhausted. I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they could not do it.”
King James
Mark 9:14–18 And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him. And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them? And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; 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.

If Jesus understood human nature, why would he be frustrated with people?

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Mark 9:19 Jesus said, “How long must I be with this faithless generation? How long must I put up with you? Bring your son to me.”
King James
Mark 9:19 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.

Why might the boy have gone into convulsions when he was brought to Jesus?

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Mark 9:20 So they brought the boy, and he went into convulsions as soon as he saw Jesus. The boy fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth.
King James
Mark 9:20 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.

Why did Jesus ask how long the boy had been afflicted?

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Mark 9:21 “How long has he been this way?” Jesus said.
“Ever since he was little.”
King James
Mark 9:21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.

What did the evil spirit have to gain by killing the boy?

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Mark 9:22 “The evil spirit often throws him into the fire or into the water, trying to kill him. Please have mercy and help us if you can.”
King James
Mark 9:22 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.

How does believing make anything possible?

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Mark 9:23 “For those who believe, anything is possible.”
King James
Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

How could the father believe but also have unbelief?

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Mark 9:24 “I do believe,” the father said, crying. “Help my unbelief.”
King James
Mark 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

What risk did the boy have for being possessed again?

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12:43–45 “When an evil spirit leaves a person, it wanders through barren places in search of rest but finds none. It then says, ‘I know. I will return to the person I left.’ It finds its former home empty, swept clean and ready to be occupied. So it finds seven spirits more evil than itself, and they go to live there. That person is worse off than before. This is what will happen to the evil people of this generation.”
Mark 9:25 When Jesus saw that more people were gathering around, he spoke against the evil spirit, commanding it to come out of him and never return.
King James
12:43–45 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
Mark 9:25 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.

Why didn’t the evil spirit quietly leave?

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Mark 9:26 The spirit shrieked and threw the boy into another violent convulsion. Then it left, leaving the body motionless. “He is dead,” people said.
King James
Mark 9:26 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.

Why did the disciples think they should have been able to deliver the son?

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Mark 9:28–29 Later, when they were alone in the house, the disciples said to Jesus, “Why couldn’t we cast out the evil spirit?”
“This kind,” he said, “requires prayer and fasting.”
King James
Mark 9:28–29 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

How many times did Jesus have to explain his future suffering before his disciples understood?

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Mark 8:31 Jesus began to explain to his disciples his need to go to Jerusalem and endure great suffering at the hand of government officials, chief priests, and teachers of the Law. “I will be killed,” he said, “but three days later I will rise to life.”
9:30–32 They left the area and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want people to know where he was, because he wanted to privately teach his disciples.
“The Son of Man will soon be betrayed into the hands of men who will kill him,” he said. “On the third day, he will rise to life again.”
They did not understand everything Jesus said, but were afraid to ask what he meant.
King James
Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
9:30–32 And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it. 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. But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.

Why did Jesus ask the disciples what they had been arguing about?

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Mark 9:33–34 When the disciples entered the house, Jesus said, “Back there on the road, what were you deliberating so strongly about?”
They did not want to answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest.
King James
Mark 9:33–34 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.

From a Jewish social perspective, how reasonable was associating greatness with being an excellent servant?

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Mark 9:35 Jesus called the twelve to gather around him. “Anyone who wants to be the greatest must take the lowest seat and become servant to all.”
King James
Mark 9:35 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.

What does welcoming a child have to do with welcoming Christ?

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Mark 9:36–37 He reached out to a little boy, brought him into their midst, and wrapped his arms around him. “Anyone who welcomes such a child in my name is welcoming me. And anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the one who sent me.”
King James
Mark 9:36–37 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, 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.

How could those who were not Jesus disciples cast out evil spirits in Jesus’ name? Why did the disciples want to stop them?

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Mark 9:38–40 John said, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out evil spirits in your name. We told him to stop because he was not part of our group.”
“Don’t stop him,” Jesus said. “No one with power in my name will say anything bad about me. Anyone who is not against us is for us.”
King James
Mark 9:38–40 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. 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. For he that is not against us is on our part.

How could the reward for giving a cup of cold water be anything significant?

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Mark 9:41 “Believe me, people who give something as insignificant as a cup of cold water under my direction and authority, because you are my disciples, are sure to be rewarded.”
King James
Mark 9:41 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.

When people stumble in their faith toward God, who is responsible?

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Mark 9:42 “But if you cause one who believes in me to stumble, it would be better to have a millstone tied around your neck and be thrown into the sea.”
King James
Mark 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.

What does amputation have to do with living without sin?

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Mark 9:43–49 “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. You are better off entering eternal life maimed than to keep both hands and go to Hell, with its unquenchable fire, where the flesh-eating worms never die and the fire never goes out. If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. You are better off entering eternal life lame than to keep both feet and go to Hell, with its unquenchable fire, where the flesh-eating worms never die and the fire never goes out. If your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. You are better off entering the Kingdom of God blind in one eye than to keep both eyes and be thrown into Hell, with its unquenchable fire, where the flesh-eating worms never die and the fire never goes out. Everyone there will be preserved in torment with fire.”
King James
Mark 9:43–49 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: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 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: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 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: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

What importance does salt have in leaving at peace with others?

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Proverbs 16:7 When God is pleased with what a man does, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Mark 9:50 “Salt is good for seasoning, but if it loses its saltiness, how will you make it any good? Have good salt in yourselves by living in peace with one another.”
King James
Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Mark 9:50 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.