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

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Then [the three apostles asked Jesus], "Why do the teachers of religious law insist that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes?"

Jesus responded, "Elijah is indeed coming first to get everything ready. Yet why do the Scriptures say that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be treated with utter contempt?"

— Mark 9:11-12 NLT

Key Thought

The climactic ending for the Old Testament in our Bibles was that God would send Elijah to prepare people's hearts for the Messiah (Malachi 4:5). Jesus identified John the Baptist as this Elijah. John did make a people ready for the Lord. But, John was treated harshly and unfairly and eventually murdered by the political establishment. Jesus wanted his disciples (and Mark wanted us) to know that just as the worldly powers rejected John and treated harshly, so they would also treat Jesus unfairly and harshly. Jesus wanted the disciples to realize what lay ahead for him as the Son of Man!

Today's Prayer

O God, I am not sure how Jesus endured the unfairness he suffered, 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. O Lord Jesus, it is in your name that we offer our thanks, praise, and prayer to the Father. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Malachi 4:5-6
  • Mark 1:1-4
  • Mark 6:15


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Illustration of Mark 9:11-12 NLT — "Why do the teachers of religious law insist that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes?"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.