The Prominence Of God’s Servant
Book of Mark Chapter 9:1-29
Jesus and the disciples are still located at the base of Mount Hermon at this time near the city Caesarea Philippi.
The disciples had finally realized that Jesus was truly the Messiah but they did not yet understand that Jesus would fulfill the will of God by being the sacrificial "Lamb of God".
The doctrine of substitution is important in that through Christ’s death the righteous demands of a Holy God have been met.
This was a legal transaction by God’s own law, in which Christ Jesus dealt with the sin problem for the entire human race.
Jesus Christ became the substitute for humanity’s sin!
And, Jesus has something special to show certain disciples before He takes aim at Jerusalem.
To the "Born Again" child of God, Jesus will give us a glimpse of what will take place on the day of the "Rapture" to all that are still living on that day and to those that come forth from the grave.
1Co 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
Before we look at our first verse we need to take a look at the previous verse:
Mar 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, [when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels].
When will this take place?
Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Rev 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Rev 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Rev 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
There seems to be no doubt that Jesus is referring to His Second Coming at the end of the Great Tribulation.
So let’s begin.
*****Mar 9:1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.
Before we look at this verse let’s look at what Peter wrote about it later because we know that Mark spent a great deal of time with Peter.
2Pe 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, "when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ", but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
2Pe 1:17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, [when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased].
2Pe 1:18 [And this voice which came from heaven we heard], when we were with him in the holy mount.
The disciples of Jesus Christ would soon begin to establish the Church, the Bride of Christ, but they were still blind to the fact that this was a separate event from the restoring of Israel under King Jesus.
Before Jesus went to the cross He wanted to firmly plant in the mind of these disciples that He would return a second time, not as a Servant but in in all His magnificent glory as King!
Of course none this could happen without His "death" and then His "resurrection"!
With the previous verse in mind and knowing that Peter was an "eyewitness" to this event let’s move on.
Spiritually, the transfiguration of Our Lord warns us that we must have a change in this life, to be in the image of Him!
Jesus Christ was about to be the 1st born of His many brethren!
Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
And everyone of us must then be "Born Again"!
*****Mar 9:2 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.
Transfigured simply means "changed in form".
The first thing we should see is that Jesus did not have to die to be "glorified"!
This is the event Peter was a witness to along with James and John.
That phrase "some of them that stand here" from verse 1, then referred to Peter, James, and John.
Some say this was Jesus Christ’s inner circle.
That being so, then this event must take place for the sole purpose of these three disciples and then placed in the scriptures for us all to see. (He was transfigured before them)
This event confirmed, in their own eyes, the status and authority of Jesus Christ the Messiah of Israel and Savior to this world!
That mountain was of course Mount Hermon.
To the Jew, from anywhere in Palestine, if he faced north, he could see Mount Hermon!
Even on the hottest of the summer days in Israel, white lines of snow streaked the head of Mount Hermon!
So, What was the description of Jesus when He was transfigured before them?
*****Mar 9:3 And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.
The raiment of Jesus was described as "white as snow" and we know that they were probably in the midst of a beautiful snowfall when this was said.
In the Book of Revelation we find a similar description for the Lord’s hair:
Rev 1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
The angel of the Lord at the Lord’s resurrection:
Mat 28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
The "Ancient of days" in the Book of Daniel:
Dan 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
And spiritually the Lord also describes the purified soul of His redeemed in this same manner:
Psa 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Again in Isaiah:
Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
This is long call from when we were lost and undone:
Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away
A "fuller" is a person who "fulls" or we say (bleaches) cloth.
And what about the believer?
Php 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Php 3:21 [Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body], according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
But Jesus was not alone in this vision.
*****Mar 9:4 And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.
What were they talking about?
Luk 9:31 Who appeared in glory, "and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem".
They were talking about the death of Jesus, which would happen in Jerusalem very soon.
Many people ask, "How will we be known in Heaven"?
Well Moses was still recognized as Moses!
Elijah was still Elijah!
Jesus was transfigured for Peter, James, and John and then written down for us all.
Moses and Elijah had a purpose at that time but they also give us a picture of the "Raptured" Saint.
The Bible says:
1Co 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; "but then shall I know even as also I am known".
Today as I live in this flesh, I know very little about Heaven.
But when I see Jesus, I will fully know all things.
And I will still be known, just as Moses was still known here many years after his death.
Moses is known as the Jewish Lawgiver.
And, Elijah was known as the most zealous reformer and prophet of the Jewish church.
To have these two men present implied that the ministry of Christ fulfilled the Law as Jesus said He would do and that He fulfilled all prophesy of the Prophets as is written.
Moses had died and was buried in a place that only God knew.
Elijah did not die, at least not yet, but was taken straight to Heaven and they both were easily recognized for who they were by Peter, James, and John.
They represented the quick and the dead!
Spiritually, when the Lord comes in His glory in the clouds, the dead and the living will both be standing before the "Judgment seat of Christ".
2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
2Co 5:11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
And Peter answered.
*****Mar 9:5 And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
Mar 9:6 For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.
In most every case, when we do not know what to say, it is better to just keep our mouths shut!
Peter had a great desire to respond to what he was witnessing but he did not know the proper thing to say.
Here again, Peter made a mistake by placing the Lord on an even par with Moses and Elijah.
But, thank goodness, we have a Father in Heaven that would not allow this to happen.
*****Mar 9:7 And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
God had allowed these three men to see the Glory of Jesus, to strengthen their "Faith".
BUT, the magnificence of God cannot be compared with any magnified man, not even such as Moses nor Elijah.
Moses and Elijah were seen to prove Jesus was not some impostor.
Our message here is simple.
The "Glory" of God can never be overshadowed by any human.
God said, "listen to what my Son has to say"!
Every Word of Jesus is important to the Church, noting that "all scripture" is given by the inspiration of God.
A view of Moses and Elijah gives us another clue to what a glorified body will resemble.
1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, "we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is".
But we are also warned that salvation can only come from Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
God simply says "Here Him"!
Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son", whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
When we listen to the Son of God we are listening to Our Creator!
And when we listen to our Creator we are listening to Our Father in Heaven!
This where our hope lies!
Jesus said it this way:
Joh 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, "but his that sent me".
God having said what He did, ended the vision.
This was another thing that Peter never forgot!
*****Mar 9:8 And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.
When we look around in this world we live in, we will never see any man that we can place our hope in!
But the world is looking for such a man now!
Satan know this and Satan has prepared such a man as this, in every generation so far.
We could mention men like Hitler and there were and are many.
But in the end Satan will take this on for Himself!
2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
BUT, no matter the time or the day when we look around we will see Jesus standing and this is where our hope lies:
Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
*****Mar 9:9 And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.
Mar 9:10 And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.
To understand this more clearer, we should understand that the Jews do believe in the soul’s immortality.
They also believe in a future "general" resurrection of all practicing Jews.
But they also believed that the Messiah could not die and would live forever.
They could not understand if Jesus was truly the Messiah, then how could he die?
Jesus knew that these disciples did not have a clear understanding of what they had just witnessed.
Jesus also knew that from this time till the cross and then His death and His resurrection they would gain a better understanding of what they had just witnessed.
We know when Peter wrote of this in Second Peter it brought encouragement to all believers.
So they began at this time to ask better questions!
*****Mar 9:11 And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come?
This event caused these disciples to remember some other things that the prophets had said and they wanted answers to all these things.
They understood that Jesus was the Messiah but they could not understand that He should die.
They did not clearly understand of His "Resurrection".
And they could not understand how these things fit in, when they knew that Elijah had not yet returned as the prophets had foretold.
And Jesus responded.
*****Mar 9:12 And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought.
Mar 9:13 But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.
What were the prophecies concerning John the Baptist?
Isa 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
We already know that the word "desert" refers to a place without Christ Jesus!
John was to make a highway to God.
Mal 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
With that highway prepared, the lost could then seek the new life through Jesus Christ!
John the Baptist came as a "type" of Elijah’s future coming!
The complete fulfillment of Elijah’s prophesy was still future, then and now!
Mal 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
Mal 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
But this prophecy concerns the Jew and not the church!
They had witnessed Elijah in the vision of the "Transfiguration" of Jesus, but Jesus said Elijah will certainly return in the flesh.
So, who are the "two witnesses of the Book of Revelation?
Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
There are many questions about these two witnesses but with these statements of Jesus it is almost certain that one of them will be Elijah.
Not only for these statements of Jesus but there is another statement used very often.
Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
If this statement holds true for Elijah, then it would make sense to believe that Enoch would be that other witness but we cannot know these things for certain.
Many also say the other witness would be Moses because of the "transfiguration vision" and because of the miracles performed before Pharaoh.
What we do know for sure is that Jesus said Elijah shall truly first come and restore all things!
Mat 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
*****Mar 9:14 And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.
Mar 9:15 And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him.
Mar 9:16 And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them?
The first thing we should notice here and in "typology", is that when Christ Jesus is not among His disciples there will be a great attack from the religious world.
We simply cannot rely on our own strength in this world, we need Jesus, Who is Our Victory!
Satan has a death grip on this world and he will battle the work of the Church until the return of Jesus Christ!
But when Jesus shows up, Satan will have no questions for Him, just as these scribes had no questions!
It is the Lord who will ask the questions!
But the religious world will have no answers and every knee will bough!
*****Mar 9:17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;
Mar 9:18 And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.
Since these scribes refuse to answer the Lord, a father stepped out and gave the explanation of the dispute in a direct and simple way.
The 9 disciples that had remained at the foot of the mountain were at a lost with themselves because they had not been able to heal this young man, after all Jesus had given them the power to do this.
Luk 9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
Luk 9:2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
How is this boy described?
1) "He taketh" is the Greek word "katalambano" which means this dumb spirit completely took over this boy.
2) "He teareth" is the Greek word "rhegnumi" which means this dumb spirit would throw this boy to the ground in severe convulsions.
3) "He foameth" is the Greek word "afridzo" which means this boy would foam at the mouth much like a mad dog.
4) "Gnasheth" his teeth is the Greek word "trizo" which means this boy would grind his teeth together while making a shrill cry.
5) "Pineth away" is the Greek word "xeraino" which means this boy was shriveling away like dried fruit.
6) Then add to this the fact that this boy could not speak to explain his turmoil nor could he hear to understand what his parents were asking him.
This was a terrible situation for any human being!
What we should learn here is, that it is not so much important the amount of our faith as it is the kind of faith!
Mat 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
The disciples had faith but their doubts or their unbelief overwhelmed their belief!
They did not have the kind of faith that empowered God in their behalf!
This father did not have faith in the power of God, so these disciples were not willing to put forth the needed effort.So this dumb spirit, knowing this was stubborn and he resisted.
Even faith compared to the size of the mustard seed should grow as our faith in God grows!
Remember the mustard seed will grow into a tree.
These disciples had failed and Jesus points out why.
*****Mar 9:19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.
Mar 9:20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.
Jesus may have been speaking to the crowd that was gathered and to those scribes but Jesus was speaking specifically to this father, this parent of this young boy.
God had said this to Moses many years earlier:
Deu 32:5 They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.
It is these things that hinder the work of the Church!
It was these people that had hindered the work of the disciples!
When we fail with a disciple of Christ then we must go directly to Jesus!
Jesus Christ will not allow His church to fail!
But the blessing that is given will always be in proportion to the degree of faith!
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
When this evil spirit saw the Lord, he went into a rage, knowing his time was short.
But Jesus keeps talking to the boys father, allowing this evil spirit to tremble.
Jas 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: ‘the devils also believe, and tremble’.
*****Mar 9:21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
Mar 9:22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
This boy had had a terrible childhood and we already know he was fast withering away.
This father had to think back to many of the things that had happened to his son all these years and it humbled him before Jesus.
We can be sure, since this evil thing came on this boy as a child, then he had not been afflicted because of his some sin, even though no one is sin free.
Many times this boy had sought death to relieve him of his pain and suffering.
But even this boy had a purpose this day!
*****Mar 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
Jesus Christ threw this man’s "if" back at him.
As Christians we must realize that our lack of power "comes from our lack of faith"!
Jesus said that not just "anything" but "all things" are possible to those that believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!
What is the most important decision we will ever make in our lives?
"Taking God At His Word"!
We do this all the time with individuals but we seem to draw back when it comes to the Lord who has proven to be who He says He is!
Besides, the Lord Jesus, the author of our faith, we have great examples of unbelievable faith in the Word of God.
How can we question the faith of Abraham?
How can we question the faith of those three Jewish boys, Shadrach, Meshach, or Abednego?
How can we question the faith of Daniel?
They proved that what Jesus said is true!
All things are possible to those that believe!
These words of Jesus reached deep into a father who had no means of helping his own son!
*****Mar 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Job said these words:
Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
The biggest problem we have in this world is that we sometimes forget who is in control of our world!
We see that the biggest reason that this young boy could not be healed was the fact that his own father had refused to believe.
He did not believe that God had such power and he certainly did not believe that the disciples of Jesus could do anything to help his son.
When Jesus pointed this out, it became very clear to him and we should all remember this response he gave to Jesus.
Unbelief removes the power of God in our lives!
I have used this verse many times but the truth is in this scripture:
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
If we refuse to believe that Our Lord is who He says He is, then He will not move on our behalf!
The power of God rest in His mercy!
When we doubt God’s "goodness", God will withdraw His hand of mercy!
Mar 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
*****Mar 9:25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
Mar 9:26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.
Mar 9:27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
It was obvious to those that were watching that Jesus was about to do another miracle and many came running to see if He would also fail.
But Jesus did not wait to make a display of what He was about to do. Jesus just removed that "foul" spirit.
That word "foul" meant a demonic spirit!
Matthew wrote it like this:
Mat 17:18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
In other words Jesus deprived this demon of the power that Satan had given him.
I believe it can be said, that there some souls whose cure God reserves to Himself.
I know in our day many healings that God does every day go unnoticed but when that soul reaches a point when everyone including all doctors say they have done all they can do and then for some reason known only to God, He heals that person or prolongs their days above what is said, then these things are sometimes more noticeable.
God’s power is still the same today as it has always been!
We should all respond with, "I believe, help my unbelief"!
This demon, sent this boy into a great epileptic fit before he left him motionless in so much that he appeared to be dead.
But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up, and he arose.
And now a lesson for the disciples.
*****Mar 9:28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?
Mar 9:29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
What is fasting?
Prayer is being in conversation with God!
Not with the mind, not in meditation even though there is nothing wrong with these things but direct conversation!
Addressing God with our voice, though it can still be silent but also even loud at times.
Prayer is the pouring out, the emptying of, the soul before the Lord!
Prayer is responding to the Lord because He has sent us this great love letter, we call the Word of God and deserves our response.
Prayer is humbling ourselves before a righteous God and drawing near to Him!
BUT, Prayer presupposes "faith" that Our God has the ability and the willingness to listen to us and can control all things in this, His created world.
Prayer is reaching out after the unseen power of God!
"Fasting" is then the letting go of everything we see and all the temporary things that hinder our prayers!
"Fasting" is our own willingness to sacrifice anything, even ourselves, to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God!
"Fasting" is more often observed by abstaining from nourishment, which sustains our physical life, for a spiritual purpose!
Jesus tells us all that sometimes we must do more than just ask!
"Fasting" is the key to releasing God’s power into our world!