Mark 9:42-50, Temptations to Sin


Mark 9:42-50

Temptations to Sin

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. The identity of “the little ones” is key: perhaps the child in the question of who is the greatest (see Mark 935-37) or maybe the unknown exorcist in 38-41, both and more. My idea is “more.”
  8. The millstone for offenders, above, tie the mill stone around their own neck, and this per the obvious Greek grammar.
  9. Cutting off a hand or a foot – if such cause one to sin. Gouging out an eye if such causes one to sin – we would all be blind and crippled.
  10. Jesus’ use of hyperbole, or exaggeration, to make a dramatic point is characteristic of His method of teaching. If Christians throughout the ages were to take such statements literally, then what a horrid state of affairs. And this is a point Jesus makes.
  11. To the people of Jesus day, to be without a hand, a foot, or an eye would render them unable, mostly and usually, to make a living, care for a family, and even survive. (Did Muhammad take this passage literally?)
  12. Undying worms, unquenchable fire – idioms that described Ghenna, a large garbage dump just outside the walls of Jerusalem, that was kept burning, always, and had nevertheless organisms that consumed rotten matter. This was not a place to be and meant that a person was without usefulness.
  13. It must be noted that verses 44 and 46, identical to verse 48, do not have the best manuscript support.
  14. Salt, and are we are the salt of the earth, (see Matthew 5:13) for salt is necessary to life, and it would be lost by striving for power, position, and scandalizing each other. This is Jesus’ teaching for those who follow Him.


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