Mark 9: The Enigmatic Teacher

(We have just finished half of the first book.  Good job!  Keep it up!)

So Jesus calls a woman a dog.  And tells people to get ready to die.  He scolds his most loyal follower and calls him Satan.  He says the way to be first is to be last.  Today he seems to condone maiming oneself (Surely not literal, right?  Go read Flannery O’Connor’s “Wise Blood” if you think physically blinding oneself would eliminate a spiritual problem like sin).  This Jesus is such an enigma!

I understand why it says twice in today’s chapter that his followers were confused:

They held on to this saying amount themselves, puzzling about what this “rising from the dead” might mean. (9:10)

They didn’t understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him. (9:32)

I am convinced that much like the apostles were finding out, following Jesus is not as easy and clear-cut as we sometimes make it.  I think, as someone said on here last week, that is why this whole enterprise is called “faith.”

However, we know, by the end, because of the Holy Spirit most of all (contrast the apostles in Acts 1 and Acts 2 and ask yourself what is the only thing that changes), that they did get it.  The tough shell of their everyday thinking cracked open and spiritual wisdom was birthed.  Timidity gave way to boldness.  Those that ran from the cross, ran to their own crosses — sometimes literally.  A Pharisee became the greatest missionary ever.

There is hope for us still.  Because God is good.  Because today is “Friday” but “Sunday’s” coming.  Because God’s not done with us yet!

What is one thing about Jesus that you have begun to understand a whole lot better than you did before?  

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Categories: Mark | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Mark 9: The Enigmatic Teacher

  1. Eddy Efaw

    I’m understanding (as of Sunday morning in my Sunday School class that Rusty Woods taught) that King Jesus is indeed enthroned in heaven and I have the backing of the power of his Kingship to bring his Kingdom reign into my circle of influence every day.

  2. Eddy Efaw

    Another thing Rusty mentioned is that some commentators believe that the two men in white that appear at the tomb of Jesus and then again at the ascension of Jesus are Moses and Elijah (who show up in today’s reading in the transfigureation section. I’d never heard that before. Interesting.

  3. I’d go one further. “This is my father’s world.” “The whole earth is his, and everything in it” (Psa. 24:1). There are a few tyrants still here who have erected their own thrones in halls of power and who rule little corners of the Kingdom thinking themselves gods of a sort. But God is “already” king. We have just “not yet” seen it in fullness. “Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev 21:20).

    Oh, and sometimes I am one of those pretend “gods,” feeling I have to rule over the kingdom of my heart. But that is changing too.

    Do you remember what passages Rusty used in his lesson? That point about Moses and Elijah is a new one for me. Cool!

  4. Who was in the better place?

    The father of the demon-possessed boy who is tentative about Jesus’ ability (“IF you can do anything”) then claims a belief filled with doubt (“Then I believe. Help me with my doubts”).

    Or the disciples who were sure they could cast out a demon, who were stopping people who were not from “our group” from speaking about Jesus, and who argued over who was the greatest among them.

    Lord, have mercy on us all.

  5. I can so relate to a belief that filled with doubts. Please, Lord, help me with my lack of belief.

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