Verse 1 – And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”
Verse 2 – Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them.
More than once, Jesus chose Peter, James, and John to witness miracles that the others did not see. These three were the closest of the twelve. They are the ones that were privileged to see Jesus in His glory.
Verse 3 – His clothes became shinning, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.
Verse 4 – And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.
Moses represented the Law and Elijah, the prophets. Their appearance showed Jesus as the fulfillment of both the Old Testament law and the prophetic promises.
This also tells me that Moses was not decaying somewhere in the ground. He was with Elijah, whom hadn’t died.
verse 5 – Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, is it good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles; one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” –
Verse 6 – because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.
Verse 7 – And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”
Verse 8 – Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, bu only Jesus with themselves.
God made it very plain to the disciples that they were to listen to Jesus in everything that He told them. He held all authority and power.
Verse 9 – Now when they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that they should till no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
Verse 10 – So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.
Jesus didn’t want them even telling the other disciples until they fully understood what had just happened – after the resurrection. Then they would see power over death that Jesus had. The disciples could not be a powerful witness for God until they grasp this truth.
Verse 11 – And they asked Him saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”
Verse 12 – Then He answered and told them, “Elijah does come first, and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt?
Verse 13 – “But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him”
Jesus told them that Elijah’s coming did not change the fact that the Son of Man would suffer many things. John the Baptist had fulfilled the role prophesied by Elijah.
I also believe that during the tribulation, the two witnesses that stand in the streets of Jerusalem, will be Elijah and Enoch, because their roles in God’s great plan is not finished. If you’ll remember, these two men never died, God took them.
Verse 14 – And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them.
Verse 15 – Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him.
Verse 16 – And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”
Verse 17 – Then one from the multitude answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son who has a mute spirit.
Verse 18 – And wherever he seizes him, he throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast him out, but they could not.”
We know that when the disciples had went out on a particular mission, Jesus had given them authority to cast out demons. But here they were unable to do so. Perhaps their faith had wavered. Perhaps Jesus wanted them to know all demons are not alike and not to take things for granted.
Verse 19 – He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.”
Verse 20 – Then they brought him to Him. and when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
To us, this sounds like a severe case of epilepsy, but does Jesus want us to connect certain diseases with being demonic? I’ve learned this: If a disease has a name, it can be cast out. Disease does not come form God.
Verse 21 – So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood.”
Verse 22 – “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.”
Verse 23 – Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.
The issue was a matter of faith when we believe that nothing is impossible for God to do.
Verse 24 – Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord I believe; help my unbelief!”
Faith is not something we can obtain on our own. Faith is a gift from God through trust and confidence in Jesus Christ. The more we trust and use our faith, the more it will grow.
Verse 25 – When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to him,”You deaf and dumb spirit, I command you , come out of him, and enter him no more!”
Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth. Every demon must obey His authority and command. He stopped the demon from ever coming back into this child!
Verse 26 – Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.”
Verse 27 – But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
Verse 28 – And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast him out?”
Verse 29 – So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
There are degrees of spiritual and moral wickedness so intense and malignant that they can be exorcised by only preparation, fasting and prayer. Unless someone is totally prepared by fasting and praying, they should not ever attempt to cast out demons, of any kind.
Verse 30 – Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it.
At about this time, Jesus limited His public ministries in order to train His disciples. It takes time to learn deep spiritual growth, so at times we need to be separated from a crowd.
Verse 31 – For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.”
Verse 32 – But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him.
Luke 9:45 explains why they didn’t understand, (Verse 45) But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying. It was not their fault that they didn’t understand, it was hidden from them. Why? I don’t know.
Verse 33 – Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?”
Verse 34 – But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest.
Perhaps the disciples were embarrassed about this, because when we are honest with Christ, our true motives will be exposed. It’s not wrong to want to be top in your field, but when ambition pushes obedience to the side, it can become sin. Pride can cause us to overvalue a position or prestige in God’s kingdom, such motives are destructive. God advances us in His kingdom when the timing is right. We keep our hearts humble before Him.
Verse 35 – And He 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.
Jesus knew their thoughts and also knew what they had been discussing. If your desire is to be first in anything, then one must have a servant’s heart. They have to be willing to serve others, putting others needs before their own.
Verse 36 – 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,
Verse 37 – “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.” (Jesus always puts the Father first.)
Keep in mind, the subject is still what the disciples had been discussing, “who would be the greatest.” Jesus uses this child to show they have no status and no rights as a child, therefore be like little children in their position which would keep them from placing themselves above others.
Verse 38 – Now 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.”
I always thought John had changed the subject, not so. The disciples thought they were the only ones who had the authority to cast out demons because of their close position with Jesus. So the subject hasn’t changed. We do the same thing when we won’t join another body of believers from a church, for a worthy cause, because they are a different denomination.
Verse 39 – But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me.
Verse 40 – “For he who is not against us is on our side.
Verse 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.
Jesus gave three reasons not to stop the man who was casting out demons. First, anyone who performed a miracle in Jesus’ name wouldn’t turn and speak evil of Him later. Second, there is no middle ground. A person is either against or for Jesus. Third, anyone who extends a gesture of kindness in His name. We don’t have to be of the same church to be a follower of Christ.
Verse 42 – “And whoever causes one of these little ones who believes 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.
New Christians are vulnerable to teachings. If what the older Christian is doing, causes a younger believer to sin, then they are in danger of punishment. Not the younger believer, but the more mature one. We have to think about this for a minute. Are we, as mature Christians, giving an example of truly being a disciple of Christ to the younger Christians? If not, its sin. Causing them to stumble, is them thinking, “They do it, so it must be ok,” to whatever it is that’s not right.
Verse 43 – “And if your hand makes you sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched –
Jesus uses extreme language to tell us to cut sin out of our lives. We should make our choices and decisions with an eternal perspective.
Verse 44 – “where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’
Verse 45 – “And if your foot makes you sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched –
Verse 46 – “where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’
Verse 47 – “And if your eye makes you sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire –
Verse 48 – “where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’
Jesus was warning His disciples to guard what they watched and guard against participation in evil. What we take in through the eyes can and does affect the soul. Recklessness can lead to spiritual downfall and decay. So, does our behavior matter in our Christian walk? You bet it does!!!
Verse 49 – “For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.
Verse 50 – “Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”
Jesus is talking about the consequences of sin. He uses salt to tell His disciples what should be in each of them, us. Just as salt changes the flavor of food, we apply goodness to our lives and to others, always making a difference, to the good. When we no longer have the desire to change the world around us, we have become useless for the kingdom. Don’t lose your effectiveness as a witness for Jesus.