From Mark 8-9
Jesus is aware that sometimes God’s people need a bit of encouragement to get along together. Unfortunately we can get carried away with our own agendas. We need him to remind us that we have a common King and a common cause. Q. Do you think conflict between Christians is common? How do we work things out?
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
I was reminded today about various disagreements and conflicts Christians have with one another. Jesus seems to be saying something about it here.
38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40 For the one who is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward. (Mk 9:38–41)
‘The one who is not against us is for us’. Thats a helpful guide. It seems a number of times some of the more ‘educated’ Christians want to correct and rebuke others for various assumptions and ministry practices. I realise some need to be corrected. But then again, I wonder if some who are corrected and publicly maligned should have been. Jesus seems to be saying here, if they don’t have a go at you, don’t reject them. You’re both on the same side.
42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ 49 For everyone will be salted with fire. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” (Mk 9:42–50)
Jesus’ statements stress the seriousness of sin and exhorting his listeners to remove it all all costs. The ending seems a similar vein to the previous paragraph. ‘Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another’.
Jesus is aware that sometimes God’s people need a bit of encouragement to get along together. Unfortunately we can get carried away with our own agendas. We need him to remind us that we have a common King and a common cause.
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