Mark 9The kingdom of God come with power; the gospel established, and rendered mightily efficacious to the salvation of men. Mt 3:2; 16:28. The assurance of the speedy triumph of the Redeemer is a source of great encouragement to his people, and prepares them for all needful labors, hardships, and sacrifices in his cause. 2-10. The transfiguration. Mt 17:1-9. The great business of men is to hear the instructions of Christ, especially those which relate to his sufferings and death, and so to act as to influence as many as possible to believe on him, to the salvation of their souls. What the rising from the dead should mean; though Christ had clearly foretold his resurrection from the dead, his disciples appear not to have understood, or not to have believed it. 11-13.Elias must first come; Mt 17:10-13. Restoreth all things; the word "restore," used also in Mt 17:11, is taken from the Septuagint version of Mal 4:6: "Who [Elias] shall restore the heart of father to son," etc.: that is, bring them back to their former state of union in God's service. For the meaning of this prophecy, see note on Mal 4:6.And how it is written; the coming of Elias fulfils the prophecy concerning him, and also brings in its train the accomplishment of the sufferings predicted of the Son of man. Questioning; disputing or debating with them. 14-29. The dumb spirit cast out. Mt 17:14-21. Were greatly amazed; it has been supposed that a portion of the supernatural brightness of the Saviour's countenance on the mount of transfiguration yet remained. Whatever calamities come upon children, it is the privilege and duty of parents to apply for them to the Saviour; and all their difficulties, however grievous or long-continued, he can remove. There is often an important connection between the faith of parents and the blessings which Christ bestows on children; and never in this world will children fully know the benefits which their parents, through earnest application to, and strong faith in the Redeemer, have been instrumental in procuring for them. Help thou; teach me to believe more fully thy willingness and power to help. 30-32. Christ foretells his death. Mt 17:22,23. 33-37. Who are greatest. Mt 18:1. Held their peace; they were silent; ashamed, no doubt, as men always have reason to be when they contend which shall be the greatest. Desire of preeminence is a besetting sin even in ministers of the gospel. It is an evidence of wordly-mindedness which their Lord observes and highly disapproves, however unobserved by men. In thy name; in professed reliance on thy power.He followeth not us; he did not with them attend on the Saviour. Those who think that a man cannot be useful because he does not follow them, and who are therefore disposed to hinder his doing good, differ greatly from Jesus Christ. And if Christ works by his servants in overcoming the power of evil, and exterminating wicked propensities and habits, even if forbidden by Christians, they should not, on this account, suspend their labors, or lessen their efforts for the good of men. Forbid him not; the principle which the Saviour here lays down is one of wide application. When a man is laboring in Christ's cause with His manifest presence and blessing, forbid him not because he does not in all things agree with you, or is not of your party. 41, 42.Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name--whosoever shall offend; the charge respecting the man that followed not with the disciples, naturally led the Saviour to speak of the great preciousness in God's sight of deeds of kindness and love towards his disciples, especially the lowly among them, and the great sin of offending them. 42-48. Warning against offences, or occasions of sin. Mt 18:6-9. Offend thee; lead thee to commit an offence. The immediate reference here is to offences against Christ's little ones, whereby they are let into sin. The hand, the foot, and the eye represent men's strongest desires and the earthly objects dearest to them. Whatever sacrifices the doing of the will of God may require, it is wise cheerfully and promptly to make them; for the trouble it will occasion in this world is nothing to the misery which the neglect of it will occasion in the world to come. Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched; language borrowed from Isa 66:24, where the carcasses of God's enemies are represented as devoured by worms that never die, and fire that is never quenched. This terrible imagery teaches that in hell the misery of the wicked will never end. For every one shall be salted with fire--salted with salt; for the right understanding of this verse, the following particulars should be noted: first, the whole verse is better taken as a comparison, thus: For every one shall be salted with fire, as every sacrifice shall be salted with salt; secondly, the introductory word "for", as well as the terms used, shows that there is a reference backward to a salting with the fire of hell; thirdly, the words immediately following, "salt is good," "have salt in yourselves," make it clear that the present verse includes also the salting of God's Spirit. The meaning, then seems to be this: Allow yourselves to be salted with the fire of God's Spirit, [which includes the fire of affliction and severe self-denial,] or you will be salted with the fire of hell. In the former case men are living sacrifices, acceptable to God, seasoned with the salt of divine grace, as the Levitical sacrifices were seasoned with literal salt, Le 2:13; in the latter case, they are sacrifices to God's wrath. Men must, by the Holy Spirit, through trials, the discipline of Providence, and the word of truth, be purified from sin in this world, or remain under its power, and suffer its consequences for ever in the world to come. Heb 12:14; Re 22:10-15. Wherewith will ye season it? the man from whose soul the salt of God's grace has perished, is fit only to be salted with the fire of his wrath. Compare Mt 5:13.Have salt in yourselves; secure the preserving influences of divine grace, that you may be kept henceforward from contests for superiority and from all evil, and live in harmony and peace.
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