August 9, 2021 – Mark 9: 43-47 – Know Thyself

Good Morning y’all, and good to be back.  Today we are going to look at Mark 9: 43-47:

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,

This is one of those sayings from Jesus that always makes us do a double take. What exactly is Jesus saying here?  What is He talking about?  Is He telling us to cut off fingers and eyes and all this kind of stuff?  

Jesus would use a lot of big language sometimes, very common in His culture.  He was a storyteller.  Jesus is not telling us to maim ourselves, that flies contrary to other parts of scripture that tell us that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, we are to take care of it.   Well, then, what is He talking about? 

He is talking about the fact that we must take seriously our weakness and the things within us that can lead us away from God.  Notice here the emphasis is on us.  If your foot, your eye, your hand.  Our temptations often come from within ourselves.  

There’s an old saying, know thyself.  What this means is this. We have to know our weaknesses. We have to know our temptations. We have to know the areas of our lives where we aren’t as strong. And be on watch for an attack from the evil one there. 

We all have places of weakness. That doesn’t make us failures or worthless, it makes us human. Know yourself.  Keep watch on yourself. Trust others to help you and give you wisdom and guidance.  And turn away from those places.  

I tend to run hot, and when I get too tired, I can get a little depressed.  I know that about myself, and I don’t enjoy those moments.  So, for me, I have to make sure I’m getting enough rest, or I’m not in a good place to encourage others. Keeping watch over myself means I need to know myself well enough to be aware of this.  

What is that area in your life? What is that area that you need to keep watch over, keep aware of?  Today, Jesus tells us to be aware of these things and places, to be on the lookout.  

Because He offers us a better way.  He offers us a better path.  He offers us life.  

If Facebook or the News is making you angry, turn them off, read your Bible, pray, go for a walk, go do something. Know yourself.  If something is going to make you miserable don’t do it. 

Let’s turn from these places and these things, and turn to what is life-giving – Jesus.  Today let’s remember He always offers a better path. 

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