MARK - CHAPTER 9: 14-50 NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE
MARK – CHAPTER 9: 14-50
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE
Tuesday Morning Bible Study
February 28, 2023, the Year of Our Lord
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
Our story begins with Jesus descending from the Mount of Transfiguration to a scene of frustration and helplessness of the nine disciples who stayed below. A distraught father had brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus to be delivered. He had found nine of the disciples, but not Jesus Himself. The disciples attempted to exorcise the son, but to non-effect.
Mark 9:14-18: When (Jesus) came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed and running to Him, greeted Him. He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?” Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So, I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.
KJV reads “dumb” spirit. “Alalos – speechless, lacking the faculty of speech.
Mark 9:19: Jesus answered and said, "O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to me."
Jesus rebuked many times the generation to whom He was sent.
1. Of seeing miracles and not repenting. (Mt. 11:16-17)
2. An evil and adulterous generation (Mt. 12:39).
3. For failing to recognize Him as the Christ. (Mt. 12:41).
4. Their generation will be consumed with demons (Mt. 12:45).
5. Faithless and perverse generation. (Lk. 9:41).
6. The blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation. (Lk. 11:50).
7. That generation would reject the Son of God (Lk. 17:25).
8. Be saved from this perverse generation (Acts. 2:40).
“NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE TO HIM WHO BELIEVES”:
Mark 9:20-23: Then they brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked his father, how long has this been happening to him? He said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you can believe,” all things are possible to him who believes.”
Oh! What beautiful words! All things are possible to him who believes.
Mark 9:24: Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
In contrast to the disciples and scribes who were unbelieving, the boy’s father possessed faith, though a faith which he knew to be imperfect. Jesus informed him that someone who had faith should not say to him, “If you can,” but should set no limit to His divine ability. This ability and power are displayed for all to see when Christ healed the boy.
Faith Speaks – Fear filled words will defeat you, but faith filled words will cause you to prosper. Speaking faith activates the supernatural shift in the natural realm. Faith speaks the promise as though already received. Speaking faith creates the power you will walk in tomorrow.
FAITH SEES - Faith is never blind. Faith sees the solution not the problem. Faith sees the answer not the question. Faith sees the miracle not the mess. Faith gives us eyes to see what God sees.
FAITH ACTS - Faith doesn't second guess. Faith Trusts that what God has for you is better than what you think is best.
FAITH RECEIVES- Mark 11:24: Jesus said, Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. New Testament faith (the faith of Jesus) is revealed in Hebrews 12 faith. We can conquer death with it, obtain the promise, and become of no reputation.
PERFECT FAITH – This is the highest level of faith. James 1:6:" Let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind." James is referring to asking for Wisdom.
On March 20, 2000, the Lord spoke to me in the night, “Carolyn there are three levels of My Wisdom.” It is my conclusion that all the gifts of the Spirit and fruit of the Spirit operate in all three realms of the Spirit in different levels of power. I have often described this third realm as FAITH GLORY.
GREAT FAITH hears, receives, and believes the Word of God. Through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we are brought into another dimension of faith. This is the faith to operate in the gifts of the Spirit, believe God for miracles, healings, provision, safety, well-being and His providential care and intervention into our lives.
LITTLE FAITH relies and makes demands on everything and everybody except God. Those of "Little Faith" believe in God for salvation, but have not made Him LORD of their lives.
Mark 9:25-27: Jesus saw the people came running together. He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more! Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. He became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
“Unclean spirit “akathartos” = unclean in thought and life.”
“Deaf “Kophos” dull in hearing – blunted or lame in tongue.”
Note that Jesus not only commanded the spirit to come out of him, but to never again enter him. Jesus again predicts His death and resurrection.
Mark 9:30-32: They departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. For He taught His disciples and said to them, The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. After He is killed He will rise the third day. But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him.
The visitation of Moses and Elijah was to prepare him for his death. Jesus knew that even as He was speaking, plans were being made for His crucifixion.
“WHO WILL BE THE GREATEST?
Mark 9: 33: Then Jesus came to Capernaum. When He was in the house, He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the Road?”
Of course, we know Jesus already knew what their dispute was about. We should also remember that all of our disputes are also known by Jesus and we, too, will be called to account for them. Their dispute was “who was to be the greatest?” Nothing could be more contrary to the two great laws of Christ’s kingdom, which are humility and love, than desiring preferment and then disputing about it. We have a lot of that going on in the church of the 21st century. Humility has not been one of our best virtues.
Mark 9:34-37: But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. Jesus sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, if anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all. Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me, but Him who sent Me.
There are some who are childish which is not what the LORD is speaking of. Being like little children is not to act like a child, but to have a meek and trusting spirit to Jesus and thus to Father God. He invites all of us to be lay aside our pride and independence and crawl up in his arms and allow Him to love us and sometimes just as hard for us to accept His unconditional love----that we give and receive love with no strings attached. To follow-up on this rebuke, John reports their restraining someone praying in Christ’s name who was not part of their society of twelve.
JESUS REBUKES SECTARISM
Mark 9: 38-40: John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.” But Jesus said, do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. For he who is against us is on our side.
People of God let us never break fellowship with Christians of other denominations and persuasions.
CHRISTIAN LOVE, GRACE AND GENEROSITY OF SPIRIT.
Mark 9:41: For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.
I have a testimony of the shame of my selfishness and how I unwittingly walked into this blessing totally undeserved; and I have received my reward many times over. On a very hot summer day in mid-July, Kelly and I were driving back from Gonzales, Louisiana to our home in Baton Rouge. Even with the air-conditioner blowing strong in the car, it was still hot. Kelly was maybe 10 or 12. There were two little black girls (maybe 8 and 10 years old) selling fruit on the roadside. We stopped and I purchased the fruit. The little girl said to me, “Mam would you please bring us some water. We don’t have any water.” I don’t have any water in the car. I am probably 4 or 5 miles from the nearest service station. That would mean 4 miles there and 4 miles back. I am ready to get home. We are both hot and tired. You would think any good Christian woman would not think twice, but would do whatever they had to do to get the water. Well, I managed to crucify my flesh that day and made the effort to bring the water back to those children. Kelly only asked once, “Mama what are you doing?” ‘Kelly, I am going to take those two little girls some water.” When I handed the water to the children, the little girl said, “Thank you mam.” I said, “sweetheart this water is not from me, it is from Jesus.” I didn’t think about this scripture. I was only thinking how hot we were and how we wanted to get home. I will never forget that day. I repented at my selfishness. I am so grateful for the Holy Spirit moving on me to obey the Lord. I would be so ashamed of myself if I had gone on home. I am still ashamed that I thought twice before I did the right thing. What kindness is done to Christ’s poor must be done for His sake. Don’t even think about giving to the poor according to what they deserve or don’t deserve. Whatever we give, let us give as the hands of Christ.
Jesus continues his sermon to the disciples. This next scripture warns of offenses and the horrors of hell.
Mark 9:42-48: Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. If you hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched---where “There worm does not die, and the fire is not quenches.” If you foot causes to sin, cut if off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched---"where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire ---"where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.
These scriptures that describe Hell are repeated four times in the Holy Bible. Isaiah uses this scripture for the judgment of those who transgress against the LORD: Isa. 66:24: They shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.
Worm = “tola” = maggot – coccus ilicis – scarlet worm
1. "When the female of the scarlet worm species was ready to give birth to her young, she would attach her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to enter their own life cycle. As the mother died, the crimson fluid stained her body and the surrounding wood. From the dead bodies of such female scarlet worms, the commercial scarlet dyes of antiquity were extracted. What a picture this gives of Christ, dying on the tree, shedding his precious blood that he might 'bring many sons unto glory' (Hbr. 2:10)! He died for us, that we might live through him! Psa 22:6 describes such a worm and gives us this picture of Christ. (cf. Isa 1:18)" (Henry Morris. Biblical Basis for Modern Science, Baker Book House, 1985, p. 73)
The word for “worm” in Mark 9 is “skolex” – a worm that preys upon dead bodies. Several commentaries align this scripture with Gehenna or “valley of Hinnon.” Here at one time children were consumed by fire in sacrifices to the heathen god, Molech. After the practice had been stamped out by King Josiah, the valley became Jerusalem’s refuse dump. Fires were always kept smoldering there so as to burn up the garbage and maggots bred there in abundance.
Matthew Henry: “The reflections and reproaches of the sinners’ own conscience are the worm that dies not. The wrath of God fastening upon a guilty and polluted conscience, is the fire that is not quenched; for it is the wrath of the living God into whose hands it is a fearful thing to fall. Philo says, ‘the punishment of the wicked is to live forever dying.’”
SALTED WITH FIRE
SALT: If our lifestyle is not a rebuke to the darkness of this world system, we have lost our effectiveness and are worthy of contempt. Evil is the willful disregard of the norms of society that cause suffering, destruction or death.
Mark 9: 49-50: Everyone shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good; but if the salt loses his saltiness, wherewith will you season It? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.
Every disciple of Christ will be salted with fire. Every disciple in order to be spiritually purified is made like salt. At sometime in our Christian walk, we will go through the Baptism of Fire.
Matthew 5: 13-16: You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is therefore good for nothing, but to cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
“Lost its savor: (flat, play the fool, tasteless, become foolish; lost its strength or ability and become good for not even one thing; lost its quality = Amplified); cast out (thrown out; “completely useless” = Phillips); trodden (trampled, trodden down).
Salt speaks of the covenant relationship: Numbers 18:19: All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer to the Lord, have I given you, and your sons and your daughters with you, by a statute forever: it is a covenant of salt for ever before the Lord to you and to your seed with you. Salt makes Christ the Bread of life more palatable and it also counteracts corruption.
Genesis 6:5: God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Genesis 6:11: The earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. We are the preserver of the earth.
1 Thess. 2:7: For the mystery of iniquity does already work; only He who now lets will let, until He be taken out of the way.
Without Christ, life is tasteless (no purpose). Be as salt and gives others a taste of the Kingdom. “The inclusion of salt, therefore, can represent the preservation and maintenance of purity in a world that can cause corruption. In conclusion, the meaning of a salt covenant is an agreement that is meant to endure regardless of the circumstances. It was an ancient symbol of unbreakable friendships and alliances that were to be preserved”(Wikipedia).
2 Kings 2:19-23: The men of the city said to Elisha, Behold, I pray you, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is nothing, and the ground barren. And he went forth to the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, thus says the Lord, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from there any more death or barren land. So, the waters were healed to this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spoke…
We need prophets like Elisha who carry the Salt of the Kingdom of God and are able to deposit it in our cities... Un-salty salt cannot be reconstituted. If our life-style is not a rebuke to the darkness of this world system, we have lost our effectiveness. Will the Christian church run and hide in fear or arise with the Boldness of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah? Will you be a pleaser of man, or a pleaser of God?
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor Eastgate Ministries Church, 10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, TX.
Scripture from K.J.V. and N.K.J.V.; I entered into the labors of Sermon on the Mount by: Kelly Varner; III THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT by Pastor Carolyn Sissom, 4/25/2010; Matthew Henry and F. F. Bruce Bible Commentary.