We are still catching up in Mark. I’ve said it before, Mark is the Gospel that is often overlooked. Mark was the more Romanesque of all the gospel writers. He was not one of the original twelve disciples. That privilege was for only two of the Gospel writers – Matthew and John. Luke and Mark were kind of on the sidelines. Matthew and John were honest-to-God Jews. Mark was from a Roman family maybe converted to Judaism (as was Paul’s family) but that is only speculation. Doctor Luke was a Greek. They all were followers of Christ.
The first half of Chapter Nine deals with the transfiguration of Jesus into his heavenly body probably on Mount Herman. Then there is a miracle where Jesus casts out a demon and then a prophecy of Jesus death at the hands of men.
In the second half of Chapter Nine – where we are at this morning – we first get a lesson on what it takes to be great in the Kingdom of God. Then we will speak briefly of sectarianism or conforming to the world system. By definition Honest-to-God Christians cannot do this. It is truly sad that many who people profess to be Christians pattern their lives after worldly standards. We can thank our government school system for that as well as the godless idea of Separation of Church and State which is not a constitutional decree but an activist judge’s ruling.
In the last eight verses Mark writes about hell and how to get there on your own. We will find some controversial writing in these verses which has caused considerable debate among worldly Christians.
So let’s take a look at this message in the last half chapter of Mark 9.