Week 5: Mark 9

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Does a particular question or verse stand out to you? Feel free to comment responses to any and all questions you think are particularly interesting or challenging! Also, if you have additional questions you think other’s would benefit from, feel free to add them in the comments.

Note: Chapters 1-8 were about Jesus’ travels around Galilee. The end of Chapter 8 through Chapter 10 is focused on Jesus on the way to Jerusalem. This is one big Markan Sandwich between two healings of blind men. It’s interesting because in this section, the disciples are still blind to what Jesus is saying when they should see.  

Day 1: Mark 9:1-10

  1. Who is with Jesus?
  2. How does Mark describe Jesus’ appearance?
  3. How does Matthew describe his appearance? (Matthew 17:2)
  4. Read Psalm 104:1-2. How is this similar?
    • Do you think this is significant?
  5. What does it mean to be transfigured?
  6. What is the greater miracle: Jesus revealing his glory to them on the mountain or Jesus concealing his glory when he came to earth as a man?
  7. Contrast this glory with the humiliation that Jesus just predicted for himself in 8:31.
  8. Who appears beside Jesus?
    • Who are they to the Jews?
    • What do they represent from the Old Testament?
  9. What did they speak with Jesus about? (Luke 9:31)
  10. What does Peter do?
    • What would you do?
  11. Where else in scripture do we see the cloud of God’s glory? (Exodus 13:21-22, Exodus 19:9, Leviticus 16:2…)
  12. Who is told to listen to Jesus: Just the disciples or Moses and Elijah as well?

Research Question: What mountains are near Caesarea Philippi? Where did this event possibly take place and are there any additional implications of the text based on the possible locations?

Day 2: Mark 9:11-13

  1. Why did the disciples ask about Elijah’s return?
    • Has Elijah been connected with Jesus in previous parts of Mark?
  2. Read Malachi 4:5-6
    • What is a sign of the coming Messiah?
  3. Read Matthew 11:7-14
    • Who did Jesus say was Elijah?
  4. Read John 1:19-23
    • Did John claim to be Elijah?
  5. Read Luke 1:11-17
    • The angel speaking to Zachariah says that John will be in the spirit and power of what man?
    • Is there a difference between the idea of reincarnation and being in the same spirit and power of a person?

Research Question: What do Elijah and John the Baptist have in common? Read the accounts of Elijah and the accounts of John the Baptist. Compare and contrast.

Resource: https://www.gotquestions.org/John-Baptist-Elijah.html

Day 3:  Mark 9:14-29

Note: Jews at this time believed that you had to know the name of the demon you were trying to exorcise. If a demon made a person mute, they believed it would be almost impossible to cast it out because you could never learn its name.

  1. What was the crowd arguing about?
  2. What is the spirit preventing the boy from doing?
  3. Read Ephesians 6:12. Are there different levels of authorities amongst demons?
  4. The disciples had been given the authority to cast out demons. Were the disciples able to cast out this spirit?
  5. Do we know who Jesus is calling a “faithless people?”
  6. Does this father’s doubt seem understandable to you? Would you doubt in this situation? 
  7. Jesus says “Anything is possible if a person believes.” Believes what?
    • In their own ability or in him?
  8. Have you ever felt the way this father does? “I believe. Help my unbelief.”
    • Can you believe and doubt at the same time?
    • Do we need perfect belief for God to work in us and through us? (Matthew 17:20)
  9. Is it difficult for Jesus to cast out the demon?
  10. Why does Jesus say they couldn’t cast out the spirit?
  11. How do you think the disciples felt after this experience?

Research Question: Verse 29 is a spot of textual variance that is both meaningful and viable. This means that the differences have a difference in meaning and they are both options are possibly present in the original. We are not sure if the original manuscript simply says “prayer” or “prayer and fasting.” How would the meaning here change depending on which is the original?

Day 4: Mark 9:30-37

  1. Why did Jesus want to be away from the crowds?
  2. Compare what Jesus says in verse 31 to Daniel 7:14.
  3. Did the disciples understand this time?
  4. Are the disciples usually afraid to ask Jesus questions? (4:10; 7:17; 9:11, 10:10; 13:3)
    • Why would they be reluctant this time?
  5. What were the disciples arguing about?
    • Did they tell Jesus what they were arguing about?
    • Do you think he already knew when he asked?
  6. How does Jesus respond?
  7. Whom are we called to serve?
  8. Does Jesus model this? (Read John 13:12-17)
  9. How does this example of servitude differ from the world?
    •  Do we expect to receive as reward for our piety or do we seek to serve others?
  10. Who’s house in Capernaum? (Matthew 8:5 and 14)
    • Who’s child is this likely to be?
  11. Why would Jesus use a child in this illustration?
    • Where did children fall on the social authority spectrum?
  12. God’s care for the vulnerable, particularly orphans, widows and foreigners, is clear throughout scripture. How does your faith embrace and reflect God’s heart for these groups?

Research Question: Do a survey of the Bible for verses about caring for these vulnerable groups. What stands out to you the most in this survey?

Day 5: Mark 9:38-41

  1. What was the perceived problem with this other person doing miracles?
  2. Was the person teaching false things about Jesus?
  3. Read Numbers 11:26-29. How is this similar?
  4. Do we need to be in a special in-group to be able to experience the power of God and for Him to work through us?
  5. Do we sometimes exclude people because they are not a part of our perceived “in” group?
  6. How can we balance this attitude of inclusion with the problem of false Christs, false gospels and false teachers?
  7. Compare Luke 9:50 and Luke 11:23.
    • Is there a neutral ground regarding Jesus?

Day 6: Mark 9:42-50

  1. Who are the “little ones” in this context?
    • Are they children, believers or someone else?
  2. In light of verse 42, should we take teaching others lightly?
  3. How could someone cause someone else to sin?
  4. There are two types of warnings in this chapter. One about causing others to sin and the other about if something is causing you to sin.
    • Who is responsible for the sin: The sinner, the one who led them to sin or both?