The challenge is to actually read the text.
I have to take my time. Invest time in reading it slowly and completely.
Are there precious gems that I have before not noticed in this text?
Mark 9:2-8 (KJ2000) ” 2 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter, and James, and John, and led them up into a high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. 3 And his clothing became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can whiten them. 4 And there appeared unto them Elijah with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. 5 And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Teacher, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah. 6 For he knew not what to say; for they were much afraid. 7 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, except Jesus only with themselves.”
Mark 9:23-29 (KJ2000) ” 23 Jesus said unto him, If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes. 24 And immediately the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help my unbelief. 25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, You dumb and deaf spirit, I charge you, come out of him, and enter no more into him. 26 And the spirit cried, and convulsed him terribly, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; so that many said, He is dead. 27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. 28 And 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.”
I was captivated by the story of the transfiguration as a child. i could picture Jesus becoming dazzling white with light beams streaming from Him. Now I must admit it seems far fetched. It is easier to picture really bright clothes.
I think Jesus’ light is so great that it can light up whole cities:
Rev 21:23 (KJ2000) ” 23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God is its light, and the Lamb is its lamp. ”
Mark 9:31-32 (KJ2000) ” 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.”
Do I understand better today what that means than I did before?
Christ is the Savior of the world. He is God’s son fully God and fully man. Jesus is risen. It is His victory and His shining power. He has overcome the world and sin and frees us all.
Mark 9:33-37 (KJ2000) ” 33 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that you disputed among yourselves on the way? 34 But they held their peace: for on the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. 35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and said 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, receives me: and whosoever shall receive me, receives not me, but him that sent me.”
‘One such as these’ is anyone who is without respect and power in this world. Children are not respected and yet God can speak through them.
It is interesting that after such important and amazing insights that the first issue Jesus has to deal with is pride. For me, knowing amazing things does tempt me to feel proud of myself.
‘Help me, Jesus, to keep close and not forget that it is You who are the light. I am only a reflector. Purge me of pride. Help me serve those without voices the anawim, low and disgusting people who you love most. Help me to serve gladly and rejoice in You.’
Offend means causing to stumble and sin.
Mark 9:38-50 (KJ2000) ” 38 And John answered him, saying, Teacher, we saw one casting out demons in your name, and he followed not us: and we forbade him, because he followed not us. 39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man who shall do a miracle in my name, that can soon after speak evil of me. 40 For he that is not against us is for us. 41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
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. 43 And if your hand offend you, cut it off: it is better for you to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 44 Where the worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched. 45 And if your foot offends you, cut it off: it is better for you to enter lame into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 46 Where the worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched. 47 And if your eye offend you, pluck it out: it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: 48 Where the worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched. 49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. 50 Salt is good: but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.”
“There His disciples in quietness enquired as to the reason of their failure, and got His answer. Again and again we ought to be asking their question, as we find ourselves weak in the presence of the foe; and as we do so we shall doubtless get just the answer they got, as recorded in verse 29. The Lord had already declared how unbelief lay at the root of their powerlessness: now He specifies two further things. Not only is faith needed, but also prayer and fasting.
Faith indicates a spirit of confidence in God: prayer—dependence on God: fasting—separation to God, in the form of abstinence from lawful things. These are the things which lead to power in the service of God. Their
opposites—unbelief, self-confidence, self-indulgence, are the things that lead to weakness and failure. These words of our Lord play like a searchlight upon our many failures in serving Him. Let us consider our ways in the light of them. ”
-F.B. Hole Commentary
Lev 2:12-16 (KJ2000) ” 12 As for the offering of the first fruits, you shall offer them unto the LORD: but they shall not be burned on the altar for a sweet aroma. 13 And every offering of your grain offering shall you season with salt; neither shall you allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering: with all your offerings you shall offer salt. 14 And if you offer a grain offering of your first fruits unto the LORD, you shall offer for the grain offering of your first fruits green ears of grain dried by the fire, even grain beaten out of full ears. 15 And you shall put oil upon it, and lay frankincense thereon: it is a grain offering. 16 And the priest shall burn as the memorial portion, part of the beaten grain, and part of the oil, with all the frankincense: it is an offering made by fire unto the LORD.”
Col 4:5-6 (KJ2000) ” 5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are outsiders, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.”
2Kgs 2:19-22 (KJ2000) ” 19 And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray you, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees: but the water is bad, and the ground barren. 20 And he said, Bring me a new jar, and put salt in it. And they brought it to him. 21 And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus says the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from there any more death or barren land. 22 So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spoke.”
Imagine the purity of Jesus. We can see Him transfigured. We can speak with salt that is full of His holiness and grace. ‘Jesus give me your words and actions that I may lead other people to you that they may have joy as I do. Increase my joy by seeing more of your truth and ways and life.’
Listen to Him
the other men disappeared and they saw only Jesus.
It frustrates me when I want to be a good witness and i am not. I am human. I make mistakes. I want to cry out in frustration, ‘Don’t look at me look at Him.’
It is relevant to my own problems listening too closely to what people say instead of listening only to what Jesus says. ‘Help me LORD, to see only You.’
Jesus cast out the devil. I must turn to Him at every turn. He can do it.
Mark 9:23 (KJ2000) ” 23 Jesus said unto him, If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes. ”
It is not a formula full of magic that I can wield -this faith. It is faith in a person. Jesus.
In one sense the disciples did the right thing. They asked Jesus why they could not cast it out.
And Jesus came through. He casts it out.
‘Jesus will you heal me? Will you cast out all evil?’
I believe in you. I know you are good and i know you will do it.’
Help my unbelief. Heal me of unbelief.
Mark 9:23-24 (KJ2000) ” 23 Jesus said unto him, If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes. 24 And immediately the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.”
Believe is from the Greek word πιστεύω pisteuo (pist-yoo’-o) v.
1. to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit
2. (by implication) to entrust (especially one’s spiritual well-being to Christ)
[from G4102]G4100 (Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries)
KJV: believe(-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with
Unbelief is from the Greek word ἀπιστία apistia (ap-is-tee’-ah) n.
2. (negatively) disbelief (lack of Christian faith)
3. (positively) unfaithfulness (disobedience)
KJV: unbelief (Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries)
‘I trust you Jesus. Help me rely on you more and more.
Help me be loyal and faithful to You always turning to you always asking you for help and understanding and Your words.’
Chapter 9 is the best chapter yet.
It has been about Jesus’ power.
Faith and belief in a person is not some ethereal spiritual thing that is hard to grasp.
It is trust. Like I trust someone to catch me when I fall.
I trust Jesus with my whole life.
Even now my first reaction is pride. ‘Oh I got this. I see how faith works.’
NO I don’t. I need Jesus desperately to help me do everything.
I don’t get right with God. I don’t wait for Him to come. He is here always. He guides and washes me. ‘Help me wash this world as you do.
Let Your light shine through me. Enlighten my life by Your love and guidance(truth).’
‘Thank you, Jesus. You are precious. You are worthy of praise. Only You.’