Three Rules for the Disciple, Mark 9:30-41

Biblical hope isn’t a wish for something that we’re uncertain will happen – its longing for what we’re certain of. It is our certainty that something will happen because God said it will, and that makes us yearn for it to be here

Mark 9:30-41


We are flies on the wall again for one of those private “members-only” teachings Jesus was giving to His 12 disciples.  This was exclusive content, not for the public.  What does Jesus teach them?  He tells them again that He must suffer, die and be raised up.  A couple of points here.  

First, notice the repetition.  This not the first time Jesus has informed them about his coming death and resurrection.  It isn’t even the 2nd, or 3rd or 4th.  This has come up numerous times in their private sessions.  As a parent have you ever thought to yourself, “Why don’t they get it?  We talked about this last week?” One of the things about parenting I’m learning is that the most important lessons take a long time to teach.  The better character traits require repeated talks, repeated discipline, and patience. The things that will make them good and virtuous adults will not be won overnight, but, rather over longer seasons stretching months and even years.

The things that would make the disciples great men of God didn’t happen overnight either.  And Jesus was in it for the long haul – He was committed to them. So He was ready to repeat lessons over and over again.  Our Lord is committed to our spiritual development. Are we?

Second, Jesus is giving them revelation.  He’s telling them the future.  He’s giving them a prophecy.  “I am telling you now before it happens”, he said in John 13, “so that when it does happen you will believe in me.”  Did you catch that?  One of the evidences that Jesus is God in the flesh is that he could do something that no mere man could do:  he told them the future.

Application:  the future will happen exactly as Jesus tells us it will happen.  This is where the biblical idea of hope comes into play.  The Bible mentions hope all the time:

  • “Be joyful in hope” Romans 12:12
  • “Now these three remain:  faith, hope, and love” – 1Cor. 13:13
  • “Faith is being sure of what we hope for” -Heb 11:6

Now the Bible doesn’t use the word hope like we do.  When we say hope we mean that we really wish something will or will not happen, but, we don’t know if it will.  “I hope I don’t get COVID-19”, or, “I hope we’ll have enough toilet paper”  By “hope”, we mean we really want or don’t want something to happen, but, we’re not sure whether it will or not.  

The Bible uses the word hope totally differently.  When the Bible uses the word hope it uses it to mean that we want something to happen that we know is going to happen.  There’s no uncertainty on our part, there’s no “maybe it will, maybe it won’t, but, gosh I’d sure like it to”.  The hope Christians have is that what God says will happen we have rock-solid trust it will happen and our hope is the longing for it to finally happen.  We hope for new bodies,, we hope for the kingdom to come, we hope for the glorious return of Jesus, we hope for the resurrection, we hope for our reward, we hope for the Judgment of God on all evil, we hope to behold the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus our Savior.  

Thirdly, we see the resignation of the disciples.    Verse 32….  So they are quiet this time, and we take special note that Peter says nothing.  Remember a short time ago Peter pulled Jesus aside to rebuke Him for talking that way – suffering and dying and so forth.  Jesus sternly rebuked him, we might use the phrase:  Peter was put in his place, or Jesus backed him up.  you remember with those famous words:  “Get behind me Satan, you do not have in mind the things of God, but, the things of men.”  Peter probably didn’t want to hear that again from Jesus so he is quiet.  All of them are.  They seem to be resigned to what Jesus is saying, even if they don’t understand it.  

Why didn’t they get it?  Well for one thing they were still not able to get their minds around the idea that the Christ was supposed to suffer.  They never did a bible study on Psalm 22 or Isaiah 53.  

But another more fundamental reason, we might say theological reason, is that they were hearing all of this before they had the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Why does that matter, you might ask?  We’re told in 1 Corinthians 2:14, “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit [words/teachings], for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them…”  So the truth-bombs Jesus was dropping on the disciples were incomprehensible to them because they required the Holy Spirit’s help to understand them.  This is basic Christian truth, as Jesus said in John 14, “But the Holy Spirit will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you.”  The Spirit would teach the believer, that is enable them to understand Jesus’ teachings, and, He would remind the believer of what Jesus said, meaning help the believer to have those “Aha!  I get it” moments.  

Application:  the real takeaway I see is that jESUS DEFINES JESUS.  Disciples are people who are on board with who Jesus is according to what He said about Himself.  His mission today in the world is the same mission as back then.  Disciples don’t get to reimagine Jesus’ purpose for the world.  Anyone who redefines the meaning of Jesus’ life, miracles, death on the cross or resurrection, is a false teacher and you do well to avoid them.


theyre quiet again…a sign 9f embarassment…

vying, jockeying for rank, competition, a lot of testosterone

bragging about who sacrificed more, who did more miracles, who had more privilege (after the transfiguration i cant believe any of the other 9 would think they would be greater than peter, james, and john

its who we are: always wanting to be better than others:  looks, money, possessions, clothes, skills, spirituality, bible knowledge, morality, always looking for people worse than us, or, things about others to make us relieved theyre not as great as we thought they were, always comparing ourselves to others, looking for their faults to latch onto, trying to conceal ours and magnify our strengths to make us look good, frustrated because we know our flaes and think others have everyrhing foing dor them

deny self means quit trying to be the greatest, popular, admired, out rank all, praised, better than, higher up than

jesus says quit all that. God has a high opinion of someone who has a lowly spirit.

another paradox from jesus

  • he who exalts himself god humbles, he who humbles himself will be exalted
  • whoever wants to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for me will save it
  • whoever believes in me will live even though he dies, whoever lives and believes in me will never die
  • who ever wants to be the greatest must become the servant of all, 

lower than all, obligated to all, paul obligated to jew and greek, basis for voluntary restrictions of personal christian freedom for the benefit of others in their faith, honor others above self, php 2, rom 12, others needs, dont act like something or someone is beneath you, see the plusses of others, see your own weaknesses when seeing theirs

what is the relationahip btw humility and loving welcoming kids?

strange lesson to use kids

god loves kids

godly men love kids

leading kids to Jesus, a parenting priority


so some guy rather than follow jesus around, he got busy in kingdom work, started his own deliverance ministry driving out demons.  he may have seen a team of two apostles come through his town, 6:12-13, 30…seeing them drive out demons he may have thought he could use that name he heard them using and do the same thing…doesnt say he was profiting off this, so we can assume he was out really trying to help people

christian helping christian “in my name” meaning they believe in jesus and thus are doing the good deed, for those who “belong to christ”, also christians

elitist attitude of disciples?  monopolizing kingdom work, turf mentality, 

embrace those in whom the name and power of jesus are found

expectation of reward:  mt 10:41-42

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