They arrived at Capernaum; and when He was in the [a]house, He asked them, “What were you discussing and arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet, because on the road they had discussed and debated with one another which one [of them] was the greatest. Sitting down [to teach], He called the twelve [disciples] and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be last of all [in importance] and a servant of all.” Taking a child, He set him before them; and taking him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives and welcomes one child such as this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives not [only] Me, but Him who sent Me.”
John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to stop him because he was not accompanying us [as Your disciple].” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is for us. For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, I assure you and most solemnly say to you, he will not lose his reward.
“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe and trust in Me to stumble [that is, to sin or lose faith], it would be better for him if a heavy millstone [one requiring a donkey’s strength to turn it] were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble and sin, cut it off [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]! It is better for you to enter life crippled, than to have two hands and go into [b]hell, into the unquenchable fire, [c][where their worm does not die, and the fire is not put out.] If your foot causes you to stumble and sin, cut it off [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]! It would be better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and be thrown into hell, [d][where their worm does not die, and the fire is not put out.] If your eye causes you to stumble and sin, throw it out [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]! It would be better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where their worm [that feeds on the dead] does not die, and the fire is not put out.
“For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good and useful; but if salt has lost its saltiness (purpose), how will you make it salty? Have salt within yourselves continually, and be at peace with one another.”
- Mark 9:33 Probably Peter’s home.
- Mark 9:43 See note Matt 5:22.
- Mark 9:44 Vv 44 and 46 are not found in early mss.
- Mark 9:46 Vv 44 and 46 are not found in early mss.
Jesus’ Teaching about Divorce
Getting up, He left there (Capernaum) and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan; and crowds gathered around Him again and accompanied Him, and as was His custom, He once more began to teach them.
Pharisees came to Jesus to test Him [intending to trick Him into saying something wrong], and asked Him, “Is it lawful [according to Scripture] for a man to divorce his wife and send her away?” He replied to them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of hearts [your callousness and insensitivity toward your wives and the [a]provision of God] he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother [to establish a home with his wife], and the two shall become one flesh; so that they are no longer two, but [are united as] one flesh. Therefore, what God has united and joined together, man must not separate [by divorce].”
In the house the disciples began questioning Him again about this. And He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if a woman divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”
- Mark 10:5 God provided for divorce under certain circumstances, but the Pharisees expanded the reasons for divorce and abused God’s provision.