Mark 9:38-50 NASB
³⁸John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.”
³⁹But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me.
⁴⁰For he who is not against us is for us.
⁴¹For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.
⁴²Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.
⁴³If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire ⁴⁴[where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.]
⁴⁵If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell, ⁴⁶[where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.]
⁴⁷If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, ⁴⁸where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.
⁴⁹For everyone will be salted with fire.
⁵⁰Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.
What a sharp contrasts in these verses!
There are all kinds of things that can hinder a person from really living with the Lord, all kinds of situations occur where the question arises: are you choosing for God or for yourself?
Jesus begins with the responsibility to others.
Do not get others into trouble, do not hinder anyone from belonging to God.
▪︎ Even though another person may seem so small and insignificant to you,
▪︎ Even though another person may not go to your local church, or maybe not even belong to your denomination,
Remember that he or she is important to God too.
If you make such a person sin, it is very bad. A direct death is more preferable to you than a life in which you are practicing these kind of sins (Mark 9:42)!
In Mark 9:43-48 we read the same thing over and over in other words.
▪︎ They are about hands with which people grab and hold something, have, and cannot let go, or hands that hit and hurt others.
▪︎ About feet to walk to places where you don’t belong, or to walk away from someone who needs you.
▪︎ About eyes to look enviously at the happiness of another, or at things that divert your attention from God and His Kingdom.
“No,” says Jesus.
Your entire life — spirit, soul, and body — must be in the service of the Lord.
If your greed, your jealousy, your tendency to put yourself first, keep you from God and His Kingdom, even just a little bit, then you must end it radically.
That may hurt, but consider what will happen when you are in judgment without God, when you are not welcome in His Kingdom (Compare Matthew 7:21-23).
You must make a radical choice now and act accordingly (Cf. Romans 6:12,13; Colossians 3:5-17).
God gives a new, beautiful life (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Salt and fire were used for cleaning, and salt for preserving. In Mark 9:49, Jesus uses these words to indicate that we will be purified, cleansed.
That is a painful process. And once you’re clean, keep it that way.
Not only on the outside, but especially on the inside.
Keep the new life the Lord gives carefully, without ambition or jealousy.
Allow the other person his place.
That too is peace – with God and with each other (Mark 9:50)!
Questions for self-reflection
▪︎ What are the moments of choice in your life?
▪︎ What determines your choice? (Compare 2 Timothy 2:19.)
▪︎ Ask the Lord to make you strong in your choice for Him.
Website 1: https://devotionals.harryschoemaker.nl
Website 2: http://bijbelplaatjes.nl