Mark 9:30-32 “…He did not want anyone to know it…after He is killed, He will rise the third day…they did not understand this saying…”
Another indication Jesus was turning the focus of His ministry to His death and resurrection and away from any idea of Him becoming an earthly ruler. He doesn’t want the people knowing He’s around, and He reminds His disciples of what is to come. I imagine the weight of what was to come was beginning to weigh on Him. Can’t imagine what that was like.
33 “…Capernaum…He was in the house…”
Probably Peter’s home.
35 “…If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last…”
Not a formula for getting ahead. The idea that greatness in the Kingdom of God is love and compassion for all, to be like Jesus. You don’t do it for placement, but to grow to be more like Him. And as you do that, it becomes less a personal ambition and more what you do out of love for Him.
36 “…when He had taken him in His arms…”
Picked him up. The gentleness of Jesus.
37 “…receives one of these little children in My name receives Me…”
Example of what He’s teaching them. If you can come to the place of receiving, caring for one of these little ones, the least, you’ve come to the place of becoming like Him.
39 “…no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me”
Appears pretty straight forward as it is. One would apparently need to be for Christ in order for God to use him to work a miracle. Yet, in Matthew 7:22, Jesus speaks of those who call Him Lord and cast out demons in His name, but don’t know Him. Seeming contradiction which I know isn’t there so need to find the correct path for both. Checked commentaries on both passages. Nothing to really connect them. Perhaps I’m assuming too much. In verse 40, Jesus says he who is not against us is on our side. He didn’t say the person was a true Christian. Those He mentions in Matthew were obviously followers, just not true believers. They’d never completely repented and surrendered to Him. The movement of God is the same regardless of who He chooses to use, so we don’t have to worry about the presentation. Paul said some preached the true gospel out of spite for him. Yet he was grateful that the message of Jesus was being preached regardless of the motivation of the speakers. Here Jesus must be saying as long as God chooses to move through the people, what they’re doing is OK. Obviously the power is of God and not of them. But we should make sure they understand they must have a personal relationship with Jesus in order to be saved. Works, even those of the power of God, won’t save you.
42 “..whoever causes…”
Obviously any sin is enough to warrant Hell. I think Jesus is emphasizing the importance of little ones, impressionable people, in the kingdom. They are trusting by nature. Of the utmost importance that we tell them the truth of Jesus and not lead them astray in any way.
43 “…It is better for you…”
Not a command to cut off limbs or pluck out eyes. Reminder of the severity of sin. And the fact that nothing is worth going to Hell over. As Jesus mentioned in a previous chapter, what does it profit to gain the whole world and lose your own soul.
48 “…And the fire is not quenched”
To me, the most dreadful thing about Hell is that there is no hope, it never ends. I wish there was some sense that we’ve misunderstood what Jesus said about Hell and it’s eternal existence, but every mention of it speaks of it never ending. I would wish that all in Hell would someday simply be wiped out of existence rather than remain in that state forever, but that’s not what we’re told. Such information should goad us on to warn others of the danger coming.
49 “…everyone will be seasoned with fire…”
Commentaries have trouble with this section. Can’t say for sure, but it just seems to me to be a reference to purification. Sort of a reference to how our works will be tested in the end. What is worth something will make it through the fire. And we should have the salt of seasoning within ourselves to make ourselves worth something to others in helping them and point them to Christ.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.