Mark 9:31
because He was teaching His disciples. He told them, "The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill Him, and after three days He will rise."
Christ Teaching His DisciplesExpository Discourses.Mark 9:30-32
Prediction of His PassionJ.J. Given Mark 9:30-32
Renewed Prediction of DeathE. Johnson Mark 9:30-32
The Complete TruthJ. Parker, D. D.Mark 9:30-32
The Gospel a Source of Sorrow and PerplexityA.F. Muir Mark 9:30-32
The Utility of Truth not UnderstoodDr. Whichcote.Mark 9:30-32
Understood NotFrances Ridley Havergal.Mark 9:30-32

Something very grand and pathetic in those rehearsals of the drama of redemption. The great heart of Christ yearning for sympathy, and yet shrinking from the kind that was evoked; wondering, meanwhile, at the "hardness of heart" of his disciples, who "understood not the saying." How inexplicable this failure to affect their moral nature! So far as words are concerned, it was the same gospel as that which woke the nations at Pentecost; yet it was as if still-born; an abstraction; a mystery past finding out. It is a sad monologue; a recitative upon a minor key. Reasons for this failure and ineffectiveness -

I. IT WAS NOT UNDERSTOOD. From human standpoint all but incomprehensible; as it certainly could not have been originally conceived by man. A mood and sentiment too elevated for ordinary moral natures. An important consideration in determining the question as to who founded Christianity - Christ or his disciples. The "prophet" must not discourse in an unknown tongue.

II. IT COULD NOT BE UNDERSTOOD UNTIL IT WAS ACCOMPLISHED. Intelligence, moral perception, and spiritual illumination waited upon the finished work. It was, so to speak, a moral creation, which beforehand only the Author could comprehend, and afterwards still he alone perfectly. Each step in the evolution of it, up to a certain point, only deepened the mystery. When Christ realized his work of salvation in act, his people began to realize it in thought and experience.

III. AND THEN ONLY COULD IT BE UNDERSTOOD THROUGH THE SPIRITUAL LIFE IT CALLED FORTH. Christ had to evoke the very faculty by which the plan and spirit of his work were to be discerned. It is "unto Jews a stumbling-block, and unto Gentiles foolishness; but unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:23, 24). The world by wisdom knew it not, "but we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged" (1 Corinthians 2:12 -14). It is not until we learn the true character of God, and, in the light of that, the nature of sin, that we can from the heart approve of the career of Jesus as "the way of salvation." - M.

And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee.
I. HE EXPLAINED TO THEM HIS PRESENT STATE. He was about to be delivered by a traitorous disciple, etc.


1. To be delivered into the hands of men, is to be put into their power — to do to Him, and with Him, as they chose.

2. They could have this power only by special permission — from the Father, and Himself.

3. It is marvellous that He should have been so delivered. God in humanity! It brought out their desperate wickedness, proved the voluntariness of His obedience, showed how blind sin is in its supposed triumphs, etc.


1. That Christ was to die, was not now foretold for the first time, predicted, etc.

2. This death of Christ was necessary, etc.

IV. HE FURTHER REVEALED TO THEM THE FUTURE, BY TELLING THEM OF HIS RESURRECTION. The result of an agency, neither human nor satanic, but Divine; prophecy, etc., called for it. Conclusion:

1. Christ had His sufferings ever in view (Luke 12:50; John 12:27).

2. In His sufferings and resurrection He saw His people.

3. He unveiled the future to His disciples. They were contending for honour — on the brink of sufferings — understood not the warning of Christ

(Expository Discourses.)

About this announcement there are two things remarkable — Christ's care in preparing His disciples for the cross, and the confidence with which Christ affirms His own resurrection. To have spoken of the betrayal alone, would have been to have put before His disciples a fragmentary truth; over the darkness of death Christ sheds the light of resurrection. The revelation of Christ's purposes can occasion grief only when it is incompletely apprehended; sorrow attaches to some of the intermediate points, but never to the issue; "the Lamb slain" is a part of the process; the Lamb slain, but seated in the midst of the throne, is the sublime consummation.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

It is not to no purpose, to speak things that are not immediately understood. Seed, though it lies in the ground awhile unseen, is not lost or thrown away, but will bring forth fruit. If you confine your teacher, you hinder your learning; if you limit his discourses to your present apprehensions, how shall he raise your understandings? If he accommodate all things to your present weakness, you will never be the wiser, than you are now; you will be always in swaddling clothes.

(Dr. Whichcote.)

When I was a little girl I had a sovereign given to me. If it had been a shilling I might have put it in my own little purse, and spent it at once; but, being a sovereign, my dear father took care of it for me, and I expect I forgot all about it. But one day when I was quite grown up, he called me into his study and gave me the sovereign, reminding me how it had been given me when I was about as high as the back of a chair. And I was very glad to have it then, for I understood how much it was worth and knew very well what to do with it. Now, when you come to some saying of the Lord Jesus that you do not understand or see how to make any use of yourself, do not think it of no consequence whether you read it or not. When you are older you will find that it is just like my sovereign, coming back to you when you want it and are able to make use of it.

(Frances Ridley Havergal.)

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