Mark 9:38-50

Mark 9:38-50
Ordinary B44


38 JohnA saidB to him, “Teacher,C we sawD someone 

Notes on verse 38a

A “John” = Ioannes. From Hebrew yochanan (Johanan); from Yehochanan (“the Lord has been gracious”); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel); {from havah (to become); from hayah (to be, exist, happen)} + chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is John, meaning “the Lord has been gracious.”
B “said” = phemi. From phao (to shine). This is to declare, say, or use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view.
C “Teacher” = Didaskalos. From didasko (to teach, direct, instruct, or impart knowledge; in the New Testament, almost always used for teaching scripture); from dao (to learn). This is teacher or master.
D “saw” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.

casting outE demonsF in your name,G and we tried to stopH him, because he was not followingI us.” 

Notes on verse 38b

E “casting out” = ekballo. From ek (from, from out of) + ballo (to throw, cast, place, put, drop). This is to throw, put out, produce, expel, banish. It is eject in a literal or figurative sense.
F “demons” = daimonion. From daimon (evil spirit, demon, fallen angel); perhaps from daio (giving out destinies). This is demon, evil spirit, god of another religion, or fallen angel.
G “name” = onoma. May be from ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is a name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation. The name was thought to include something of the essence of the person so it was not thought to be separate from the person.
H “tried to stop” = koluo. Probably from the same as kolazo (to punish, particularly to punish slaves so that they are restricted or chastised); from kolos (docked, dwarf). This is to hinder or prevent, restrain, refuse. It can be prevent, whether through words or actions.
I “following” = akoloutheo. From a (with, fellowship, union) + keleuthos (road, way). This is to accompany or follow someone, especially the way a disciple does.

39 But JesusJ said, “Do not stop him; for no one who doesK a deed of powerL in my name will be ableM soon afterwardN to speak evilO of me. 40 Whoever is not against us is for us. 

Notes on verses 39-40

J “Jesus” = Iesous. Related to “John” in v38. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (see note A above) + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
K “does” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
L “deed of power” = dunamis. From dunamai (to be able, have power or ability). This is might, strength, physical power, efficacy, energy, and miraculous power. It is force literally or figuratively – the power of a miracle or the miracle itself.
M “be able” = dunamai. Related to “deed of power” in v39. See note L above.
N “soon afterward” = tachu. 12x in NT. From tachus (quickly, promptly; without unreasonable delay). This is quickly, but not immediately. It is without undue delay.
O “speak evil” = kakologeo. 4x in NT. From kakos (bad, evil, harm, ill. It is evil that is part of someone’s core character – intrinsic, rotted, worthless, depraved, causing harm. It refers to deep inner malice that comes from a rotten character) + logos (word, statement, speech, analogy; a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying; a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words; by implication, a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive; can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ); {from lego (to speak, tell, mention)}. This is to curse, speak evil of, abuse. It is words chosen specifically to cause harm or misconstrue – to make evil look like good or wrong like right.

41 For trulyP I tell you, whoever gives you a cupQ of waterR to drinkS

Notes on verse 41a

P “truly” = amen. From Hebrew amen (verily, truly, amen, truth, so be it, faithfulness); from aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This word is literally firmness, but figuratively fidelity, faithfulness, honesty, responsibility, trust, truth, steadfastness. Properly, it is to be sure, certain, or firm. This is a word of emphasis indicating that something crucial follows.
Q “cup” = poterion. Related to “gives…to drink” in v41. From pino (see note S below). This is a drinking vessel. Figuratively, it can refer to one’s lot, to fate, or to what God has in store for you.
R “water” = hudor. Perhaps from huetos (rain); from huo (to rain). This is water literal or figurative. It is one of the roots that “hydrogen” and “hydroelectric” come from.
S “gives…to drink” = potizo. 15x in NT. From potos (drink or for drinking) OR from pino (to drink literally or figuratively). This is to give to drink, water, furnish, irrigate, or feed.

because you bearT the name of ChristU will by no means loseV the reward.W

Notes on verse 41b

T “bear” = eimi. Literally, to be or exist.
U “Christ” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
V “lose” = apollumi. From apo (from, away from) + ollumi (to destroy or ruin; the loss that comes from a major ruination). This is to destroy, cut off, to perish – perhaps violently. It can also mean to cancel or remove.
W “reward” = misthos. This is wages, pay, or salary. It can also be reward, recompense, or punishment. It is pay for services rendered in a literal or figurative way, either good or bad.

42 “If any of you put a stumbling blockX before oneY of these little onesZ who believeAA in me, 

Notes on verse 42a

X “put a stumbling block” = skandalizo. From skandalon (the bait or portion of the trap that closes down on the victim – the trap’s trigger; a stumbling block, offense, or cause for error; something that sets into motion a negative cause and effect; something that causes one to stumble); perhaps from kampto (to bend or bow). This is to put a stumbling block in someone’s way. Figuratively, causing someone to sin or preventing them from good action. It can also mean to shock or offend. Literally, this is falling into a trap or tripping someone up. So, here, enticing someone to sin or apostasy.
Y “one” = heis. This is one, a person, only, some.
Z “little ones” = mikros. This is small in reference to a size or the number of something, least or less. Figuratively, it can refer to little dignity.
AA “believe” = pisteuo. From pistis (faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.

it would be betterBB for you if a greatCC millstoneDD

Notes on verse 42b

BB “better” = kalos. This is good, noble, beautiful, correct, or worthy. This is external signs of goodness like beauty, demonstrations of honorable character, showing moral virtues. A different word, agathos, speaks of intrinsic good.
CC “great” = onikos. 2x in NT. From onos (donkey). This is related in some way to a donkey. Regarding this millstone, it is one so large that a donkey is used to work or turn it.
DD “millstone” = mulos. 5x in NT. Probably from the base of molis (with difficulty, scarcely); from molos (toil); probably akin to mogis (hardly, with difficulty); from mogos (laborious, toil). This is a hand-mill or grinder to use with grain.

were hungEE around your neckFF and you were thrownGG into the sea.HH 

Notes on verse 42c

EE “hung” = perikeimai. 5x in NT. From peri (about, concerning, all around, encompassing) + keimai (to lie, recline, be placed, lie outstretched, be appointed). This is to lie around, surround, be clothed in, be bound, hang, be subject to.
FF “neck” = trachelos. 7x in NT. Probably from trachus (rough, uneven). This is the neck or throat. It can also refer to an embrace. It shares a root with the word “trachea.”
GG “thrown” = ballo. Related to “casting out” in v38. See note E above.
HH “sea” = thalassa. Perhaps from hals (sea, salt, a boy of saltwater) or halas (salt; can be figurative for prudence). This is the sea, a lake, or seashore.

43 If your handII causes you to stumble,JJ cut it off;KK

Notes on verse 43a

II “hand” = cheir. This is the hand in a literal sense. Figuratively, the hand is the means a person uses to accomplish things so it can also mean power, means, or instrument.
JJ “causes…to stumble” = skandalizo. Same as “put a stumbling block” in v42. See note X above.
KK “cut…off” = apokopto. 6x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + kopto (to cut, strike, cut off; beating the chest to lament and so to mourn). This is to cut off or away, mutilate, amputate, emasculate.

it is better for you to enter lifeLL maimedMM than to have two hands and to go to hell,NN to the unquenchableOO fire.PP 

Notes on verse 43b

LL “life” = zoe. From zao (to live, be alive). This is life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.
MM “maimed” = kullos. 4x in NT. Perhaps from kulioo (to roll, wallow); from kulindo (to roll, roll along); from kuma (wave, billow, curve, bend); from kuo (to swell as one pregnant). This is crippled or lame. It is particularly a maiming of hands or feet.
NN “hell” = geenna. 12x in NT. From Hebrew Gehinnom (valley of Hinnom); from gay (valley; a gorge that is not a winter torrent) + Hinnom (most likely of foreign origin, perhaps from the Jebusites). This is Gehenna or hell, referring to a valley outside of Jerusalem and used figuratively for hell.
OO “unquenchable” = asbestos. 4x in NT. From a (not, without) + sbestos (extinguished); {from sbennumi (to quench or extinguish in a literal or figurative sense; to suppress)}. This is not extinguished, unquenchable. It can imply continual. This is where the word “asbestos” comes from.
PP “fire” = pur. This is fire, lightning, heat from the sun. Figuratively, it can refer to strife or trials.

44 where their wormQQ never dies,RR and the fire is never quenched.SS 45 And if your footTT causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lameUU than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell.VV 46 where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched

Notes on verses 44-46

QQ “worm” = skolex. 3x in NT. This is a gnawing worm like a maggot or earthworm. It can also refer to anguish.
RR “dies” = teleutao. 13x in NT. From teleute (end, finishing, consummation; can also be used for death); from teleo (to complete, fulfill, accomplish, end); from telos (an end, aim, purpose, completion, end goal, consummation, tax; going through the steps to complete a stage or phase and then moving on to the next one). This is to complete or come to the end/end goal. It can also mean to finish life or to meet one’s ultimate fate in heaven or hell.
SS “quenched” = sbennumi. Related to “unquenchable” in v43. 8x in NT. See note OO above.
TT “foot” = pous. This is foot in a literal or figurative sense.
UU “lame” = cholos. 14x in NT. This is lame or limping. It can also mean missing a foot.
VV Some manuscripts add, “to the unquenchable fire” as in v43.

.47 And if your eyeWW causes you to stumble, tear it out;XX it is better for you to enter the kingdomYY of GodZZ with one eyeAAA than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, 48 where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

Notes on verses 47-48

WW “eye” = ophthalmos. Related to “saw” in v38. From optanomai (to appear, be seen by); from horao (see note D above). This is eye or sight. It is used figuratively for the mind’s eye, a vision, or for envy.
XX “tear…out” = ekballo. Same as “casting” in v38. See note E above.
YY “kingdom” = basileia. From basileus (king, emperor, sovereign); probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is kingdom, rule, authority, sovereignty, royalty, a realm.
ZZ “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
AAA “with one eye” = monophthalmos. Related to “saw” in v38 & “eye” in v47. 2x in NT. From monos (alone, only, solitary, sole, mere, desolate); {probably from meno (to stay, remain, wait, continue, endure)} + ophthalmos (see note WW above). This is one-eyed.

49 “For everyone will be saltedBBB with fire.CCC 50 SaltDDD is good;EEE

Notes on verses 49-50a

BBB “salted” = halizo. Related to “sea” in v42. 3x in NT. From hals (see note HH above). This is to salt, keep fresh. It can be used as a part of preparing sacrifices.
CCC Some manuscripts add, “and every sacrifice with salt will be salted” = kai + pas + thusia + hals + halizo. Thusia is from thuo (to breathe violently, seethe, rage; properly, to rush as breathing heavy; so smoke as in offering an animal sacrifice by fire; by extension, killing or slaying in general). This is a sacrifice or offering. It can refer to the act of sacrifice or the thig being sacrificed. Also, this is sacrifice in a literal or figurative sense. Hals is related to “sea” in v42 & “salted” in v49. 1x in NT. See note HH above.
DDD “salt” = halas. Related to “sea” in v42 & “salted” in v49 & {untranslated} in v49. 8x in NT. See note HH above.
EEE “good” = kalos. Same as “better” in v42. See note BB above.

but if saltFFF has lost its saltiness,GGG how can you seasonHHH it? Have saltIII in yourselves, and be at peaceJJJ with one another.”

Notes on verse 50b

FFF “salt” = halas. Same as “salt” in v50. See note DDD above.
GGG “lost its saltiness” = analos + ginomai. Analos is related to “sea” in v42 & “salted” in v49 & {untranslated} in v49 & “salt” in v50. 1x in NT. From a (not, without) + hals (see note HH above). This is saltless or tasteless. Figuratively, it is insipid. Ginomai is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.
HHH “season” = artuo. 3x in NT. Probably from airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is to prepare, season, make salty, add spices.
III “salt” = halas. Same as “salt” in v50. See note DDD above.
JJJ “be at peace” = eireneuo. 4x in NT. From eirene (one, peace, quietness, rest, peace of mind, harmony; a common farewell among Jews (i.e. shalom) as a well-wishing that included a blessing of health and wholeness for the individual; indicates when everything that is essential is joined together properly; peace literally or figuratively; by implication, it is prosperity –not in the sense of excessive wealth, but having enough from day to day); perhaps from eiro (to join, tie together to form a whole). This is to live in peace, be peaceful, have peace, to have integrity and wholeness.

Image credit: “Christ Teaching the Disciples” by Hans Leonhard Schäufelein, 1517.

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