Sorry for missing last week! My week began with me not feeling well and then spiraled out of control from there! Thanks for your patience, we are back up and going this week.
Today we close out Mark 9 by looking at verses 42-50:
42 “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45 And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, 48 where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.
49 “For everyone will be salted with fire. 50 Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
Today in this passage Jesus speaks with some great hyperbole. He says if you hand causes you to sin, cut it off! If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out! If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off!
Is Jesus advocating mutilation? No, He is not doing that. Across scripture, we see that the body is good and we are called to take care of it. By the way, real quick, when the Bible talks about “the flesh” it isn’t talking about our literal body, it’s talking about the sinful desires that we all have. The “body” is good, it was created good. But after the fall, our desires were corrupted. So, when you hear “flesh” in scripture, know it’s not talking about the actual body, but the sinful desire.
The point Jesus is making here is this, sin is a big deal. It really is. It is destructive. It hurts. It causes pain, it causes ripples. It hurts you, it hurts others. Don’t, through your actions, cause others to fall. Especially one of the little ones.
I spend a lot of time talking about grace, because it all comes down to grace. Everything. But we need to be aware of the power of sin. Sin is destructive. Sin is harmful. Sin hurts so many, it hurts us, it hurts others, it hurts our walk with God.
Jesus is saying here, because with sin. Sin is not a play thing. It is not something to be ignored. It is something to take seriously. It is something to be aware of. Don’t ignore it, don’t play with it, don’t think it’s not a big deal.
It is. It is destructive. So, better to get rid of something that allow sin to run wild.
So, while maybe we don’t need to cut off a hand or a foot, is something in our lives we need to “cut” off or get rid of? Because if something is causing us or leading us to sin, it’s not a good thing. It’s a destructive, bad thing.
Today, may we look within and find the things that are destructive to us, to our souls, and to others. And may God give us the grace to get rid of them within our lives!
Tomorrow we’ll look at Mark 10:1-12.
If you’d like to receive these thoughts by email, be sure to click here and join my email devotional group!