Mark 9Expanded Bible (EXB)
9 Then Jesus said to the people, “I tell you the truth, some people standing here will not ·die [L taste death] before they see the kingdom of God ·come [arrive] with power.” [C “Seeing the kingdom of God” may refer to the Transfiguration that follows (9:1–8), Jesus’ resurrection, or the destruction of Jerusalem in ad 70.]
The Transfiguration on the Mountain
2 Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James, and John [L and led them] up on a high mountain by themselves. ·While they watched [In their presence; In front of them], Jesus’ appearance was ·changed [transformed; T transfigured]. 3 His clothes became shining white, whiter than any ·person [launderer on earth] could ·make them [bleach them]. 4 Then Elijah and Moses appeared to them, talking with Jesus. [C God had given the Law through Moses, and Elijah was an important prophet (see 6:1); together they signify that Jesus fulfills the OT.]
5 Peter said to Jesus, “·Teacher [L Rabbi], it is good that we are here. Let us make three ·tents [shelters; shrines; tabernacles; Lev. 23:42]—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” [C Perhaps Peter wanted to prolong their stay or to commemorate their visit.] 6 Peter did not know what to say, because he and the others were so frightened.
7 Then a cloud came and ·covered [overshadowed; Ex. 24:15] them, and a voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my ·Son, whom I love [dearly loved Son; Ps. 2:7; Gen. 22:2; Mark 1:11]. Listen to him [Deut. 18:15; Acts 3:22]!”
8 Suddenly Peter, James, and John looked around, but they saw only Jesus there alone with them.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ·commanded [instructed] them not to tell anyone about what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
10 So they ·obeyed Jesus [kept this statement/matter to themselves], but they discussed what he meant about rising from the dead.
12 Jesus answered, “·They are right to say that Elijah must come first and [L Elijah is indeed coming, and he will] ·make everything the way it should be [restore/prepare everything]. But why does the Scripture say that the Son of Man will suffer much and ·that people will treat him as if he were nothing [be despised; be treated with contempt; be rejected; Is. 52:13—53:12]? 13 [L But] I tell you that Elijah has already come. And ·people [L they] did to him whatever they wanted to do, just as ·the Scriptures said it would happen [it is written about him].”
Jesus Heals a Sick Boy
14 When Jesus, Peter, James, and John came back to the other ·followers [disciples], they saw a great crowd around them and the ·teachers of the law [scribes] arguing with them. 15 But as soon as the crowd saw Jesus, the people were ·surprised [amazed] and ran to welcome him.
16 Jesus asked, “What are you arguing about?”
17 A man [in the crowd] answered, “Teacher, I brought my son to you. He has an evil spirit in him that ·stops him from talking [makes him mute]. 18 When the spirit attacks him, it throws him on the ground. Then my son foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes ·very stiff [rigid]. I asked your ·followers [disciples] to ·force [drive; cast] the evil spirit out, but they couldn’t.”
19 Jesus answered, “You ·people have no faith [unbelieving/faithless generation]. How long must I stay with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
20 So ·the followers [L they] brought him to Jesus. As soon as the evil spirit saw Jesus, it ·made the boy lose control of himself [threw the boy into convulsions], and he fell down and rolled on the ground, foaming at the mouth.
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has this been happening?”
The father answered, “Since ·he was very young [childhood]. 22 The spirit often throws him into a fire or into water to ·kill [destroy] him. If you can do anything for him, please have ·pity [compassion] on us and help us.”
23 Jesus said to the father, “You said, ‘If you can!’ All things are possible for the one who believes.”
24 Immediately the father cried out, “I do believe! Help ·me to believe more [me not to doubt; me overcome my unbelief; L my unbelief]!”
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was quickly gathering, he ·ordered [rebuked] the ·evil [defiling; L unclean] spirit, saying, “You deaf and mute spirit, I command you to come out of this boy and never enter him again!”
26 The evil spirit screamed and ·caused the boy to fall on the ground again [convulsed him violently]. Then the spirit came out. The boy looked as if he were dead, and many people said, “He is dead!” 27 But Jesus took hold of the boy’s hand and helped him to stand up.
28 When Jesus went into the house, his ·followers [disciples] began asking him privately, “Why couldn’t we ·force [drive; cast] that evil spirit out?”
29 Jesus answered, “That kind of spirit can only be forced out by prayer.”[a]
Jesus Again Talks About His Death
30 Then Jesus and his ·followers [disciples] left that place and went through Galilee. He didn’t want anyone to know where he was, 31 because he was teaching his ·followers [disciples]. He said to them, “The Son of Man will be ·handed over [delivered over; betrayed] to ·people [L human hands], and they will kill him [C the “handing over” may be Judas’ betrayal or God’s actions in “giving up” his Son to accomplish salvation; Rom. 4:25]. After three days, he will rise from the dead.” 32 But they did not understand what Jesus meant, and they were afraid to ask him.
Who Is the Greatest?
33 Jesus and his ·followers [disciples] went to Capernaum. When they went into a house there, he asked them, “What were you ·arguing about [discussing] on the road?” 34 But they did not answer, because their ·argument [discussion] on the road was about which one of them was the greatest.
35 Jesus sat down and called ·the twelve apostles [the Twelve] to him. He said, “Whoever wants to be ·the most important [first] must be last of all and servant of all.”
36 Then Jesus took a small child and had ·him [or her; C the Greek here does not specify gender] stand among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said, 37 “Whoever ·accepts [welcomes; receives] a child like this in my name [C as a representative or follower of Jesus] accepts me. And whoever ·accepts [welcomes; receives] me accepts [not only me, but] the One who sent me.” [C Children had low social status, so the saying indicates concern for the lowly.]
Anyone Not Against Us Is for Us
38 Then John said, “Teacher, we saw someone using your name [C invoking your authority] to ·force [drive; cast] demons out of a person. We told him to stop, because he does not belong to our group.”
39 But Jesus said, “Don’t stop him, because anyone who uses my name to do powerful things will not ·easily [quickly] say evil things about me. 40 Whoever is not against us is ·with [for] us. 41 I tell you the truth, whoever gives you a drink of water because you belong to the ·Christ [Messiah] will ·truly get [L certainly not lose] his reward.
42 “If someone causes one of these little children who believes in me to ·sin [lose faith; stumble], it would be better for that person to have a ·large stone [large millstone; L millstone of a donkey] tied around his neck and be ·drowned [L thrown] in the sea. 43 If your hand causes you ·to sin [lose faith; stumble], cut it off. It is better for you ·to lose part of your body and live forever [L to enter life maimed] than to have two hands and go to ·hell [L Gehenna; C a valley outside of Jerusalem where in the OT period children were sacrificed to a pagan god; later used as a burning trash heap; a metaphor for hell], where the fire never goes out. |44 In hell the worm does not die; the fire is never put out.|[b] 45 If your foot causes you to ·sin [lose faith; stumble], cut it off. It is better for you ·to lose part of your body and to live forever [L to enter life crippled] than to have two feet and be thrown into ·hell [Gehenna; v. 43]. |46 In hell the worm does not die; the fire is never put out.|[c] 47 If your eye causes you to ·sin [lose faith; stumble], take it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into ·hell [Gehenna; v. 43]. 48 In hell the worm does not die; the fire is never put out. 49 Every person will be salted with fire. [C The meaning of this proverb is uncertain; it may mean that the testing of believers purifies (fire) and preserves (salt); or it may refer to believers as God’s covenant people, since salt and fire were part of the OT sacrificial system; see Lev. 2:3; Num. 18:9.]
50 “Salt is good, but if the salt loses its salty taste, you cannot make it salty again. So, ·be full of salt [L have salt in/among yourselves; C salt here may symbolize fellowship within the covenant], and have peace with each other.”
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