Mark 9:11-15

Mark 9:11 (KJB)
And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come?

The question which troubled the disciples, even in spite of what they just experienced, was that they heard that Elijah was to come first. The Scribes had been teaching that since Elijah has not yet come back to Israel, it was impossible for the Messiah to come. This was just another ploy to reject the claims that Jesus was the Messiah. The scribes were looking for a physical return of Elijah and not one who came in spirit. It is a good thing that the physical Elijah did not come back because knowing what type of prophet he was, he would have denounced all the Pharisees and Sadducees because of their unbelief and lifestyles of greed.

Mark 9:12 (KJB)
And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought.

Jesus did confirm the teaching of the scribes that Elijah was to come and restore all things. The restoration was not one of political nature but of a spiritual and moral nature. (Mal 4:6 KJV) And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. The disciples, like the others in Israel were looking for a physical Messiah to throw off the yoke of Rome. Johnís ministry was a mending ministry of repentance. Then Jesus wanted His disciples to focus on the fact that He too was going to suffer according to what was written in the Scriptures, especially Psalm 22, Psalm 69, Isaiah 53 et al.

Mark 9:13 (KJB)
But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.

Then Jesus confirms to them that Elijah had already come and they did not know him. He was not speaking of a return of the actual prophet but He was speaking about the ministry of John the Baptist. The disciples knew that Herod had him thrown in prison because he pronounced his marriage as sinful and eventually John the Baptist was beheaded for his unrelenting ministry. Then Jesus tells the disciples that just as John had suffered at the hands of these evil leaders, He will also suffer the same fate as He will be crucified.

Mark 9:14 (KJB)
And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.

At this point, Peter, James, and John had rejoined the other disciples at the base of the mountain. The people had gathered knowing that Jesus had gone up to the mountain and that He would be returning to His other disciples. It is not known why the Scribes were questioning the other disciples but maybe to gain information about Jesus or because in the following verses, a man brought his devil vexed son and they could not expunge the devil from him. This should have been something they were familiar with because when they went out two by two, they encountered those with devil possession. The Scribes may have been ridiculing the nine for their inability to cast out the devil from that person.

Mark 9:15 (KJB)
And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him.

Once the crowd of people had seen that Jesus was coming toward them, they had gone toward Him and were greeting Him. They may have had joy because Jesus came at an opportune time to help the boy possessed by a devil. This is the way the Christian life goes. We go from a mountaintop experience to hand to hand combat with the forces of Satan. Some believe that Jesus had some of the glow from the Mount of Transfiguration still on Him when He descended the mountain and that is why they were amazed. (Exo 34:29 KJV) And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. Moses had the same residual glory.

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