Mark 9

Three disciples see how great Jesus is

1 Jesus then said to them, ‘I tell you this: Some people who are standing here will see God begin to rule in his kingdom with great power. They will see that before they die.’

2 Six days after that, Jesus asked Peter, James and John to go with him. Jesus led them up a high mountain, where they were alone together. Peter, James and John saw Jesus change in front of them. 3 His clothes became very white; they were shining. They were a brighter white than anyone on earth could wash them. 4 Then Elijah and Moses appeared in front of the three disciples. Elijah and Moses were talking with Jesus.

9:4Moses had lived a long time before Jesus. He was a leader of God's people. He died about 1400 years before Jesus was born. We can read about Moses in the book of Exodus.
9:4Elijah was one of God's special servants who spoke God's messages to the people. He lived about 850 years before Jesus was born. He was still alive when God took him up to live in heaven. We can read about Elijah in 1 Kings.

5 So Peter said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, it is good that we are here. Please let us build three huts. One hut will be for you. One hut will be for Moses. And one hut will be for Elijah.’ 6 Peter did not really know what to say. That was because the three disciples were very afraid.

9:6Peter and his friends wanted to build the huts so that these important people could stay with them longer. But God did not want them to remain on the mountain. God sent these two men to talk to Jesus. They talked about the things that would happen in Jerusalem. Jesus would die on a cross there. See Luke 9:31.

7 Then a cloud appeared and it covered them all. A voice spoke from the cloud and it said, ‘This is my Son, and I love him. Listen to him.’

8 At that moment, the three disciples looked around. They saw that nobody else was there now. Only Jesus was there with them.

9 While they were walking down the mountain, Jesus said to the three disciples, ‘You must not tell anyone now about the things that you have just seen. One day the Son of Man will become alive again after his death. Then you can tell people about these things.’ 10 The three disciples kept these words secret. But they talked together about the words, ‘become alive again after his death’. They asked each other, ‘What does this mean?’

11 Then the three disciples asked Jesus, ‘Why do the teachers of God's Law say that God's prophet Elijah must return first, before the Messiah comes?’

12 Jesus said to them, ‘Elijah does come first. He makes everything ready. But what is written in the Bible about the Son of Man? It says that people will cause him to suffer a lot. They will think that he is nothing. 13 But I tell you that Elijah has already come. People did to him everything that they wanted to do. The Bible already showed that those things would happen to him.’

9:13When Jesus talked to them about Elijah, he was also talking about John the Baptist. Herod did cruel things to John. See Mark 6:14-28

Jesus helps a boy who has a bad spirit

14 They reached the place where the other disciples were. They saw that there was a large crowd there with them. Some teachers of God's Law were arguing with the disciples. 15 The people in the crowd saw Jesus and immediately they were very surprised. They ran to say ‘hello’ to Jesus.

16 Jesus asked his disciples, ‘What are you arguing about with the teachers of God's Law?’

17 A man in the crowd answered. He said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, I brought my son to you. He is not able to speak because he has a bad spirit. 18 When the bad spirit takes hold of him, it throws him to the ground. Water comes out of his mouth and he bites his teeth together. Then his body stops moving. I asked your disciples to send the spirit out of him. But they were not able to do it.’

19 Jesus replied, ‘You people today still do not believe in God. I have been with you for a long time and still you do not believe. It is difficult for me to be patient with you. Bring the boy to me.’

20 So the people brought the boy to Jesus. When the bad spirit saw Jesus, it immediately caused the boy's body to shake strongly. The boy fell onto the ground and he rolled about. Water was coming from his mouth.

21 Jesus asked the boy's father, ‘How long has he been like this?’

‘He has been like this since he was a small boy,’ the father replied. 22 ‘Often the spirit has caused him to fall into the fire or into water. It is trying to kill him. Please be kind to us. If you can do anything, help us!’

23 Jesus said to the father, ‘You should not say, “If you can do anything.” Everything is possible for those people who believe.’

24 Immediately, the boy's father shouted, ‘Oh! I believe! Help me to believe more!’

25 Jesus saw that the crowd of people was quickly becoming bigger. So he told the bad spirit to stop. Jesus said to it, ‘Spirit, I am telling you that you must leave this boy. He cannot hear or speak because of you. I tell you to come out of him! You must never go into him again.’

26 The spirit screamed. It caused the boy's body to shake many times. Then it came out of him. The boy seemed to be dead, so many people said, ‘He is dead.’ 27 But Jesus held the boy's hand and he helped the boy to stand up.

28 Jesus went into a house and the disciples were alone with him. Then they asked him, ‘Why could we not cause the bad spirit to leave the boy?’

29 Jesus said to them, ‘You must pray. This kind of spirit will not leave a person unless you pray.’

30 Jesus and his disciples left that place. They passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where he was. 31 That was because he was teaching his disciples. He told them, ‘Soon, they will give the Son of Man to powerful people. They will take him away and they will kill him. But three days after that, he will become alive again.’ 32 The disciples did not understand what Jesus had said. But they were afraid to ask him.

Jesus explains who will be the most important person

33 Jesus and his disciples arrived at Capernaum. When they were in the house, Jesus asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ 34 But they did not say anything. They did not want to tell Jesus why they were arguing. On the way, they had argued about who was the most important disciple.

35 Jesus sat down. He told the 12 apostles to come to him. Then he said to them, ‘If you want to be the leader, make yourself less important than everyone else. You must become the servant of everyone.’

36 Then Jesus brought a child to stand in the middle of them all. He took hold of the child and he said to the disciples, 37 ‘If someone accepts a child like this because of me, then that person also accepts me. If he accepts me, then he is not only accepting me. He is also accepting my Father God, who sent me.’

9:37Jesus loved children. And he showed his disciples that a child is important to God. We should also love people who do not seem important.

38 John said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we saw a man who was causing bad spirits to go out of people. He was using your authority to do it. But he is not in our group. So we told him that he must not do it.’

39 ‘Do not tell him to stop,’ Jesus said. ‘That man is using my authority to do powerful things. Someone who does that cannot immediately say anything bad about me. 40 If someone is not against us, he is working to help us. 41 Somebody may give you a cup of water because you are a servant of the Messiah. I tell you this: God will bless that person and he will never lose God's help.

42 A person who believes in me may not seem important. But you should never make that person do wrong things. Do not do that! It would be better if someone tied a big stone around your neck and then he threw you into the sea!

43-44 If your hand causes you to do wrong things, you should cut it off. You will only have one hand, but you can have God's true life. It will be much worse for you if you keep both your hands and go to hell. There, the fire always burns and never stops. 45-46 If your foot causes you to do wrong things, you should cut it off. You will only have one foot, but you can have God's true life. It will be much worse if you keep your two feet and go to hell. 47 If your eye causes you to do wrong things, then you should remove it. Then you will only have one eye, but you can go into the kingdom of God. It will be much worse if you keep both your eyes and God throws you into hell.

9:43-44Jesus does not want his disciples to cut their bodies. But it is very important for them not to do wrong things. That is what Jesus is telling them.

48 “In hell, the worms do not die,

and the fire never goes out.” 

9:48See Isaiah 66:24. These worms live in dead bodies.
9:48Some old copies of the Bible repeat the words of verse 48 in verse 44 and in verse 46.

49 God will put fire on everybody, as people put salt on food. 50 Salt is good. But if your salt is not salty any more, you cannot make it salty again. You should be like good salt and love each other. Do not cause trouble among yourselves.’

9:49The fire will show what is good in everyone's lives.