THE CROSS COMES BEFORE THE CROWN: Mark 9:9-13

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SCRIPTURE

Mark 9:9-13 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean. 11 And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 12 And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. 

DISCUSSION

1. Study through Mark 9:9-13 together. What stands out to you and why?

2. How does Malachi 4:5 shed light on why the Scribes were saying “Elijah must come first”? How does Revelation 21:1-6 help us understand what “the great and awesome day of the Lord” is? 

3. How does Matthew 11:11-14 help us understand what Jesus means when He says, “Elijah has come”? 

In verses 12 and 13 Jesus is essentially saying, “Death comes before eternal life, suffering before glory, the cross before the crown. I’m going to suffer. John suffered. You can bet you’ll suffer too.”

4. Is the message that a majority of Christians make known? Why or why not, do you think? How is it absolutely necessary to be up front about what the gospel does and does not promise when it comes to suffering?

Why do we suffer?

  • Sometimes we suffer simply because we live in a fallen world, fractured by sin, full of sinners.
  • Sometimes we suffer because of our own sin (we make bad decision & reap what we’ve sown: health, etc).
  • Sometimes we suffer because we tell people the gospel or stand true to the Word (John 15:20).
  • Sometimes we suffer because God loves us and disciplines those He loves (Hebrews 12).

5. Which of these reasons most stand out to you and why?

What is God doing in our suffering?

  • Many times our suffering reveals to us in a way that nothing else can how good and satisfying Jesus is (sometimes you don’t realize Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have).
  • Always our suffering is used by God to transform us to be more like Jesus (1 Peter 4:12, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you”).
  • Always our suffering is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory, when we see Jesus face to face (2 Cor. 4:16-17, “We do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison”).

6. Which of these things that God is doing in our suffering most stand out to you and why?

GOOD WORD

“Suffering, come on! There’re two things you can do to me: one is you just hurt me, and because I know what God is doing, because I am going to trust in Him, all you are going to do is to make me richer, deeper, better, wiser, and ultimately a happier person. Or the worst thing you can do is to kill me, take off my head, and you will make me happier than before. Because I have a God who turns all deaths into resurrections — literally as well as figuratively! I have a God, who doesn’t create evil, but He overrules it, so it destroys itself. I have a God, who turns all deaths into resurrections! Come on, graves! Come on, crosses!”
Dr. Timothy Keller

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