9 Jesus: Truly, some of you who are here now will not experience death before you see the kingdom of God coming in glory and power.
2 Six days after saying this, Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up onto a high mountaintop by themselves. There He was transformed 3 so that His clothing became intensely white, brighter than any earthly cleaner could bleach them. 4 Elijah and Moses appeared to them and talked with Jesus.
Peter (to Jesus): 5 Teacher, it’s a great thing that we’re here. We should build three shelters here: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.
6 He was babbling and did not know what he was saying because they were terrified by what they were witnessing.
7 Then a cloud surrounded them, and they heard a voice within that cloud.
Voice: This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him.
8 All of a sudden, they looked about and all they had seen was gone. They stood alone on the mountain with Jesus.
9 On their way back down, He urged them not to tell anyone what they had witnessed until the Son of Man had risen from the dead, 10 so they kept it all to themselves.
Mark doesn’t usually record events with much attention to chronology; but in this case, he mentions that the transfiguration took place six days after Peter’s confession of Jesus’ identity. In a dramatic confirmation of the truth Peter has spoken, the three disciples see that Jesus is indeed the Anointed One of God. The veil of Jesus’ human nature is pulled away, and the glory of His divinity shines through.
The appearance of Moses and Elijah shows that Jesus is the fulfillment of the law and the answer to all the promises of the prophets. The disciples hear God’s own voice commanding them to listen to Jesus as His beloved Son. What an incredible confirmation of the truth that Peter spoke in faith only six days before!
Disciples (to one another): What does He mean, “Until the Son of Man is risen”? 11 (to Jesus) Master, why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?
Jesus (thinking of John the Baptist): 12 Elijah does come first to restore all things. They have it right. But there is something else written in the Scriptures about the Son of Man: He will have to suffer and be rejected. 13 Here’s the truth: Elijah has come; his enemies treated him with contempt and did what they wanted to him, just as it was written.
14 When they reached the rest of the disciples, Jesus saw that a large crowd had gathered and that among them the scribes were asking questions. 15 Right when the crowd saw Jesus, they were overcome with awe and surged forward immediately, nearly running over the disciples.
Jesus (to the scribes): 16 What are you debating with My disciples? What would you like to know?
Father (in the crowd): 17 Teacher, I have brought my son to You. He is filled with an unclean spirit. He cannot speak, 18 and when the spirit takes control of him, he is thrown to the ground to wail and moan, to foam at the mouth, to grind his teeth, and to stiffen up. I brought him to Your followers, but they could do nothing with him. Can You help us?
Jesus: 19 O faithless generation, how long must I be among you? How long do I have to put up with you? Bring the boy to Me.
20 They brought the boy toward Jesus; but as soon as He drew near, the spirit took control of the boy and threw him on the ground, where he rolled, foaming at the mouth.
Jesus (to the father): 21 How long has he been like this?
Father: Since he was a baby. 22 This spirit has thrown him often into the fire and sometimes into the water, trying to destroy him. I have run out of options; I have tried everything. But if there’s anything You can do, please, have pity on us and help us.
Jesus: 23 What do you mean, “If there’s anything?” All things are possible, if you only believe.
Father (crying in desperation): 24 I believe, Lord. Help me to believe!
25 Jesus noticed that a crowd had gathered around them now. He issued a command to the unclean spirit.
Jesus: Listen up, you no-talking, no-hearing demon. I Myself am ordering you to come out of him now. Come out, and don’t ever come back!
26 The spirit shrieked and caused the boy to thrash about; then it came out of the boy and left him lying as still as death. Many of those in the crowd whispered that he was dead. 27 But Jesus took the boy by the hand and lifted him to his feet.
28 Later He and His disciples gathered privately in a house.
Disciples (to Jesus): Why couldn’t we cast out that unclean spirit?
Jesus: 29 That sort of powerful spirit can only be conquered with much prayer [and fasting].[a]
The father has enough faith to bring his son to Jesus for healing, but he asks hesitantly whether there is anything Jesus can do. In his desperation, the father recognizes the limits of his faith. Perhaps that very desperation is enough because Jesus immediately heals his son.
Having successfully healed many demon-possessed people when Jesus sent them out earlier, the disciples are at a loss to know why they are completely unable to heal this little boy. Jesus’ reply is cryptic and surprising: “That sort of powerful spirit is only conquered with much prayer [and fasting].” It seems that although the disciples have faith that they can heal the boy, they are spiritually unprepared for the depth of evil residing in the world. They need to be saturated in the presence of God to face the challenge.
30 When they left that place, they passed secretly through Galilee.
Jesus (to the disciples as they traveled): 31 The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of the people, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise on the third day.
32 But again they did not understand His meaning, and they were afraid to ask Him for an explanation.
33 At last, they came to Capernaum where they gathered in a house.
Jesus: What was it I heard you arguing about along the way?
34 They looked down at the floor and wouldn’t answer, for they had been arguing among themselves about who was the greatest of Jesus’ disciples.
It is only natural for the disciples to wonder which of them will be His right-hand man. Even the three disciples who have just seen Jesus’ glory revealed in the transfiguration cannot resist the attraction of honor. After all, who has a better claim than they do to being the greatest of Jesus’ disciples?
Fortunately Jesus overhears what is said and is quick to respond in mercy to correct their mistake. Greatness in His eyes doesn’t consist of seeing wonders or performing miracles or even fasting and praying. Instead, greatness is about humility and service. These are the heart of the kingdom of heaven.
35 He sat down with the twelve to teach them.
Jesus: Whoever wants to be first must be last, and whoever wants to be the greatest must be the servant of all.
36 He then called forward a child, set the child in the middle of them, and took the child in His arms.
Jesus: 37 Whoever welcomes a child like this in My name welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me is welcoming not Me, but the One who sent Me.
John (to Jesus): 38 Master, we saw another man casting out unclean spirits in Your name, but he was not one of our group. So we told him to stop what he was doing.
Jesus: 39 You shouldn’t have said that. Anyone using My name to do a miracle cannot turn quickly to speak evil of Me. 40 Anyone who isn’t against us is for us. 41 The truth of the matter is this: anyone who gives you a cup of cool water to drink because you carry the name of your Anointed One will be rewarded.
42 But if anyone turns even the smallest of My followers away from Me, it would be better for him if someone had hung a millstone around his neck and flung him into the deepest part of the sea.
43 If your hand turns you away from the things of God, then you should cut it off. It’s better to come into eternal life maimed than to have two hands and be flung into hell— [44 where the worm will not die and the fire will not be smothered.][b]
45 If your foot trips you on the path, you should cut it off. It’s better to come into eternal life crawling than to have two feet and be flung into hell— [46 where the worm will not die and the fire will not be smothered.][c]
47 And if your eye keeps you from seeing clearly, then you should pull it out. It’s better to come into the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be flung into hell, 48 where the worm will not die and the fire will not be smothered.[d] 49 Everyone will be salted with fire[, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt].[e] 50 Salt is a good thing; but if it has lost its zest, how can it be seasoned again? You should have salt within yourselves and peace with one another.
New International Version
2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John(E) with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became dazzling white,(F) whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.
5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi,(G) it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)
8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone(J) what they had seen until the Son of Man(K) had risen from the dead. 10 They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.
11 And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”
12 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man(L) must suffer much(M) and be rejected?(N) 13 But I tell you, Elijah has come,(O) and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”
Jesus Heals a Boy Possessed by an Impure Spirit(P)
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.
17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”
19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.(Q)
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”(R)
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene,(S) he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately,(T) “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.[a]”
Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time(U)
30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man(V) is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him,(W) and after three days(X) he will rise.”(Y) 32 But they did not understand what he meant(Z) and were afraid to ask him about it.
33 They came to Capernaum.(AA) When he was in the house,(AB) he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.(AC)
35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”(AD)
36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms,(AE) he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”(AF)
Whoever Is Not Against Us Is for Us(AG)
38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”(AH)
39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us.(AI) 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.(AJ)
Causing to Stumble
42 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble,(AK) it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.(AL) 43 If your hand causes you to stumble,(AM) cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell,(AN) where the fire never goes out.(AO)  [b] 45 And if your foot causes you to stumble,(AP) cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.(AQ)  [c] 47 And if your eye causes you to stumble,(AR) pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,(AS) 48 where
49 Everyone will be salted(AU) with fire.