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Mark chapter 9

English Standard Version

14And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16And he asked them, "What are you arguing about with them?" 17And someone from the crowd answered him, "Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able." 19And he answered them, "O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me." 20And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21And Jesus asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. 22And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us." 23And Jesus said to him, "‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes." 24Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!" 25And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again." 26And 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." 27But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?" 29And he said to them, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer."
New International Version

New American Standard Bible

14And when they came back to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. 15Immediately, when the entire crowd saw Him, they were amazed and began running up to greet Him. 16And He asked them, 'What are you disputing with them?' 17And one person from the crowd answered Him, 'Teacher, I brought You my son, because he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; 18and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground, and he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes stiff. And I told Your disciples so that they would cast it out, but they could not do it.' 19And He answered them and *said, 'O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!' 20And they brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, the spirit immediately threw him into convulsions, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. 21And He asked his father, 'How long has this been happening to him?' And he said, 'From childhood. 22It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to kill him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!' 23But Jesus said to him, '?‘If You can?’ All things are possible for the one who believes.' 24Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, 'I do believe; help my unbelief!' 25When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, 'You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again!' 26And after crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, 'He is dead!' 27But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him, and he got up. 28When He came into the house, His disciples began asking Him privately, 'Why is it that we could not cast it out?' 29And He said to them, 'This kind cannot come out by anything except prayer.'
Christian Standard Bible

New Living Translation

King James Version

New King James Version

What does Mark chapter 9 mean?

In Mark 9, among other things, Jesus teaches the disciples about leadership in His kingdom. Leadership starts with knowing whom you follow. Jesus is the Son of God (John 1:14), due all the honor and glory of God. He is Daniel's Son of Man (Daniel 7:13–14), the Jewish Messiah. But He is also Isaiah's suffering servant (Isaiah 53) who would be tortured and murdered by His creation (John 1:3). Jesus' kingdom will not yet be a mighty earthly political force, but a great sacrifice and then a quiet work in the hearts of His followers. The disciples need to set aside dreams of political grandeur and learn how to lead through service.

Since Mark 7:24, Jesus has mostly been in Gentile territory, both northwest (Mark 7:24) and east (Mark 7:31) of Galilee. He then took the disciples north (Mark 8:27), still trying to avoid the crowds so He could train the disciples without distraction.

Peter, James, and John join Jesus on a high mountain for special training. There, Jesus is transfigured, His holiness displayed in such a grand way the three followers are terrified to look at him. Elijah and Moses meet Jesus on the hill, and God affirms that Jesus is His Son. After Moses and Elijah leave, the disciples ask about Elijah. Both the Old Testament and rabbinical teaching say that the Old Testament prophet will return at the end of days, but Jesus explains that Elijah has already come, in the form of John the Baptist. An event that should have revealed to the disciples that Jesus is God leaves them more confused than ever about why Jesus is there. (Mark 9:2–13).

Jesus, Peter, James, and John come down from the mountain to see the remaining disciples arguing with Jewish scribes. Despite their experience expelling demons earlier (Mark 6:7–13), the disciples cannot rescue a possessed child. Jesus reveals that the entire situation is marked by a lack of faith and the disciples' neglected prayer life. (Mark 9:14–29).

In the remainder of the chapter, Jesus basically tries to impress upon the disciples what His followers should look like. First, He must be killed and raised again, a prophecy which completely clashes with their victorious end-times beliefs. Unable to comprehend what He is saying, the disciples cling to the belief that He, the Messiah, will rescue Israel and install a new kingdom. To that end, they start vying for position in that kingdom. Jesus cuts them short, telling them leadership in His kingdom is not about power but service to those who are weaker. (Mark 9:30–37).

The point is expanded when John tells him they tried to stop a man who was casting out demons in Jesus' name because he was not known to them. Jesus explains that the fact the man had enough faith to call on His name proves he is not an outsider to the kingdom, even if the disciples don't recognize him. The disciples, particularly Peter (Galatians 2:11–14), will continue to struggle with this truth when Gentiles join the church. (Mark 9:38–41).

Throughout Jesus' ministry, He has condemned the Pharisees for placing unnecessary legalistic burdens on the people and even leading them into sin (Mark 7:9–13). Jesus explains that the truly godly—especially leaders—live such an ethical life they set the example for others while protecting them from sinful opportunities. His followers will be tested and purified at the end, and only the good will remain. Pure sinlessness is impossible no matter how disciplined we are. As in Matthew 5, Jesus' teaching helps the disciples—and us—realize how much they—and we—need His saving grace. (Mark 9:42–50).
What is the Gospel?
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