What Jesus Did! 'Elijah Comes First' — Mark 9:11-12

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The followers asked Jesus, "Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?" Jesus answered, "They are right to say that Elijah must come first. Elijah makes all things the way they should be. But why does the Scripture say that the Son of Man will suffer much and that people will think he is worth nothing?"
— Mark 9:11-12
Illustration of Mark 9:11-12 — "Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?"

Key Thought

The great ending hope of the Old Testament as we now have it is that God will send Elijah to prepare people's hearts for the Messiah. John the Baptist was identified as this Elijah. He did make a people ready for the Lord. But, Elijah was treated harshly, unfairly, and eventually murdered by the political and religious establishment. Jesus wants his disciples (and Mark wants us) to know that just as John has been rejected and treated harshly, so Jesus will also be treated unfairly and harshly. He wants them to realize what lies ahead for the Son of Man!

Today's Prayer

O God, I am not sure how Jesus endured the unfairness he endured, especially knowing that it was coming and knowing that he had the power to squash anyone or anything that opposed him. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for enduring all the indignities and unfairness that you faced. Thank you for sacrificing yourself for me. To you, O Lord Jesus, and in your name, we offer our thanks, praise, and prayer to the Father. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Then Jesus said, "I tell you the truth. Some of you people standing here will see the kingdom of God come before you die. The kingdom of God will come with power." Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John and went up on a high mountain. They were all alone there. While these followers watched him, Jesus was changed. Jesus' clothes became shining white. The clothes were whiter than any person could make them. Then two men were there, talking with Jesus. The men were Elijah and Moses. Peter said to Jesus, "Teacher, it is good that we are here. We will put three tents here—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." Peter did not know what to say, because he and the other two followers were very afraid. Then a cloud came and covered them. A voice came from the cloud and said, "This (Jesus) is my Son and I love him. Obey him!" Then Peter, James, and John looked, but they saw only Jesus there alone with them. Jesus and the followers were walking back down the mountain. Jesus commanded the followers, "Don't tell any person about the things you saw on the mountain. Wait until after the Son of Man rises from death. Then you can tell people what you saw." So the followers obeyed Jesus and said nothing about what they saw. But they discussed what Jesus meant about rising from death. The followers asked Jesus, "Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?" Jesus answered, "They are right to say that Elijah must come first. Elijah makes all things the way they should be. But why does the Scripture say that the Son of Man will suffer much and that people will think he is worth nothing? I tell you that Elijah has already come. And people did to him all the {bad} things they wanted to do. The Scriptures said this would happen to him."

Mark 9:1-13

Related Scripture Readings

{The Lord said,} "Look, I will send Elijah the prophet to you. He will come before that great and terrible time of judgment from the Lord. Elijah will help the parents become close to their children. And he will help the children become close to their parents. This must happen, or I (God) will come and completely destroy your country!"

Malachi 4:5-6

The Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begins with what the prophet Isaiah said would happen. Isaiah wrote: "Listen! I (God) will send my helper ahead of you. He will prepare the way for you." "There is a person shouting in the desert: 'Prepare the way for the Lord. Make his paths straight.'" So John the Baptizer came and was baptizing people in the desert area. He told the people to be baptized to show they wanted to change their lives. Then their sins would be forgiven.

Mark 1:1-4

Other people said, "He is Elijah. " Other people said, "Jesus is a prophet. He is like the prophets that lived long ago."

Mark 6:15

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.