Life's Greatest Decision

The Gospel of Mark

Chapter 9

Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth. Some people who are standing here will not experience death before they see the kingdom of God come with power."

Jesus is Changed Completely

Jesus took Peter, James, and John with Him, six days later. He brought them alone with Him up to a high mountain. Then Jesus became completely changed in front of them. His clothes shone and they were whiter than anyone in the world could make them. Then they saw Elijah and Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, "Teacher, it is good for us to be here. Let's put up three tents, one tent for You, one tent for Moses, and one tent for Elijah." (Peter did not know what to say because he and the other followers were very afraid.)

Then a cloud came over them and a voice came out from the cloud, "This is my Son, Whom I love. Listen to Him." They looked and saw that suddenly no one was with them except Jesus.

Jesus' Followers Ask about Elijah

As they came down from the mountain, Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone about the things they saw, until after the Son of Man would come back to life from death. They did not tell anyone, and they asked each other questions about what coming back to life from death meant. They asked Him, "Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?"

He said to them, "It is true that Elijah must come first, to put all things in the right order again. Why is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? I tell you that Elijah has come, and people have done the things to him that they wanted to do, just as it was written about him."

Jesus Orders an Evil Spirit to Leave a Boy

When they came to Jesus' other followers, they saw a large crowd of people near them, and some teachers of the law were arguing with them. The people in the crowd were very surprised immediately when they saw Jesus, and they ran to Him and greeted Him. He asked them, "What are you arguing about with them?"

Someone in the crowd answered Him, "Teacher, I brought my son to you. He has a spirit that makes him unable to speak. Whenever it takes power over him, it throws him down on the ground. Then he foams in his mouth, grinds his teeth, and his body becomes very hard and it cannot move. I asked your followers to order the spirit to leave, but they were not able to do it."

Jesus answered them, "You are a generation of people that does not believe! How long should I stay with you? How long should I be patient with you? Bring the boy to me." They brought the boy to Jesus and the spirit shook the boy violently when it saw Jesus, and the boy fell down on the ground. His body rolled around, and foam came out from his mouth. Jesus asked his father, "How long has this happened to him?"

He said, "Since he was a child. The spirit has thrown him into the fire often and into the water to kill him. But be merciful to us and help us, if You can do anything."

Jesus said to him, "'If You can!' All things are possible for the person who believes."

The child's father cried out immediately and said, "I believe. Help my unbelief!"

Jesus rebuked the evil spirit when He saw a crowd of people coming together toward Him. He said to the evil spirit, "You, spirit that makes this child unable to hear and speak, I order you to come out from him and never to go into him again!"

The spirit came out after it called out and shook the boy violently. The boy looked like he was dead and most of the people said, "He has died." But Jesus took his hand and helped him to stand. Then the boy stood.

His followers asked Him privately after He came into the house, "Why couldn't we order the evil spirit to leave?"

He said to them, "This kind of evil spirit can come out only when people pray."

Jesus Tells His Followers about His Death

They went away from there and went through Galilee , and Jesus did not want anyone to know it, because He was teaching His followers. He told them, "The Son of Man will be given to men, and they will kill Him. He will come back to life again three days after He is killed." But they did not understand what He said, and they were afraid to ask Him.

Jesus Tells His Followers Who is the Greatest

Jesus and His followers came to Capernaum , and when He was in the house, He asked them, "What did you argue about while you were coming here?" But they were quiet because they had argued with each other on the way about which one of them was the greatest person. Jesus sat down and called the Twelve and said to them, "A person must be last among everyone and he must be the servant of everyone, if he wants to be first." He took a little child and put him there among them. Then He took the child and put His arms around him, and said to His followers, "A person receives Me if he receives one of these little children in My name. A person who receives Me does not receive Me, but receives the One Who sent Me."

John said to Him, "Teacher, we saw a person order evil spirits to leave by the authority of Your name, and we tried to stop him because he did not follow You with us."

But Jesus said, "Do not stop him, because no one who does a miracle by My authority can say evil things about Me soon after that. This is because a person who is not against us is for us. I tell you the truth, a person will not lose his reward if he gives you even a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ.

Jesus Warns His Followers about Sin

It is better for a person if someone hangs a large heavy stone around his neck and throws him into the sea, than for him to cause one of these little ones who believes in Me, to sin. Cut off your hand if it makes you sin, because it is better for you to go into life with one hand, than to go with two hands into hell where the fire can never be stopped. Cut off your foot if it makes you sin, because it is better for you to go into life with one foot, than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. Take out your eye if it makes you sin, because it is better for you to go into the kingdom of God with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell where the worm does not die, and the fire never stops. Everyone will be salted by fire. Salt is good, but how can you make it salty again if it has lost its saltiness? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other."

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