Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mark 9

The Transfiguration

Jesus took Peter, James, and John up to a mountain. He was transfigured before them and his clothes became more white than anyone on earth could make them. The 3 guys with Jesus are terrified. Then the voice of God said that Jesus was his son and they should listen to him. Jesus tells them not to tell anyone else until he rises from the dead.

Why are Jesus' guys always afraid of him? What does it say about you if the people hanging around you all the time are terrified of you? 

Jesus Heals a Boy with an Unclean Spirit

When Jesus, Peter, James, and John got back from the mountain they saw a crowd around the disciples and they were arguing. The crowd was happy to see Jesus and they greeted him. Jesus asked what the arguing was about. Someone from the crowd said he brought his son who has a spirit makes him mute and gives his seizures. He said he asked the disciples to cure him, but they could not. Jesus responds "O faithless generation..."

Why faithless? he brought the kid to see Jesus, seems to me like he has faith. Or is Jesus calling his disciples faithless? In that case, why do they not have faith after seeing Jesus do all of those miracles?

So Jesus looks at the kid up close and the spirit causes the boy to convulse and foam at the mouth. The father asks Jesus to help him. Jesus said the father could do it if he just believes. "All things are possible for one who believes".

This I don't like. Just believing that you can heal people through wishing it to be true, this is why people skip going to the doctor for faith healing. People die from this.

The father cried out "I believe; help my unbelief!" Jesus saw a crowd running over and he commanded the spirit out and to never enter the boy again. The boy convulsed terribly and the spirit left and the boy looked dead. But he wasn't, Jesus took his hand and he arose. The disciples asked why they couldn't cast it out and Jesus said it could only be cast out through prayer.

What were the disciples doing if not praying? I guess they were forgiving sins?

Jesus Again Foretells Death, Resurrection

Jesus told his disciples he would die and rise from the dead 3 days later. They didn't understand and were too afraid to ask.

Again, the people closest to Jesus are terrified of him. What does this say about him?

Who Is the Greatest?

When they got to Capernaum and Jesus asked his disciples what they talked about on the trip, they didn't want to say because they argued about which of them was the best. He said that whoever is first will be last and the servant of the rest.

Sounds to me like the disciples are jockeying for position and Jesus told them to shut up. Is the lesson here to not always try to one-up the people around you? That sounds alright.

Anyone Not Against Us Is for Us

Some random guy was casting out demons in Jesus' name, but wasn't one of the disciples. The disciples tried to stop him but Jesus said to leave him alone.

This could potentially be a command to different denominations of Christianity to stop fighting each other. Sounds good to me

Temptations to Sin

It is better to cut off your hand or cut out your eye than to have those things cause you to sin.

Not really sure what you are supposed to do with this.


  1. I've thought a lot about the first comment you made about his followers being "afraid" of him. I'm wondering if it has to do with not wanting pester the Son of God. The last time they said that they pointed out that they only had a loaf of bread, in the last chapter he didn't seem to happy about that. Of course, I'm speculating.

    In verse 29 (in my translation there is only prayer), but according to Ehrman in Misquoting Jesus (page 97) he says that some translations added "fasting" to "encourage monastical asceticism". http://www.biblestudytools.com/mark/9-29-compare.html

    I know I'm constantly picky, but it seems like there is a conflict with verse 40 and what was said in Matthew. Here he says, "who is not against us, is for us." In Matthew 12:30 he says that "Whoever is not with me is against me." There has to be some explanation to clear this up.

    The last part with the "cutting off" of body parts that make you sin, I think I already said in Matthew that I like to view it as a metaphor. Cutting out thoughts or things in your life with cause you to constantly sin. For example, when you hang out with some friends as a kid that constantly get into trouble, you are better off not hanging out with them if you are getting into the same trouble.

  2. I don't think that is being picky. I'm trying to think how to rectify the 2 statements and I don't really see a way. Think about it this way, there are people who are actively for you, people who are actively against you, and everyone else. The first statement (from Mark) is trying to place "everyone else" into the "for you" group. The second statement (from Matthew) is trying to place "everyone else" into the "against you" group. It can't be both. You are right though, there is probably a different angle to look at it from where the 2 ideas can be reconciled, but I don't see it. I'd be interested to hear it.

    That is interesting with the cutting off thing. I suppose it is not too much of a stretch to think of your social group as a limb. Or on the same lines, if you are having a lot of thoughts about doing something bad, you can try to stop thinking about those things and imagine it as cutting out a part of your consciousness or something. An interesting idea.

  3. With the limb thing, I think its one of those things that is not supposed to be taken at face value.


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