Mark 9:40-50 NLT
40 Anyone who is not against us is for us. 41 If anyone gives you even a cup of water because you belong to the Messiah, I tell you the truth, that person will surely be rewarded.
42 “But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck. 43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands. 45 If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It’s better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where the maggots never die and the fire never goes out.’
49 “For everyone will be tested with fire. 50 Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other.”
What a highly packed lesson Jesus delivers in this package. And it all started when Jesus began with a child among them, but we will talk about that tomorrow. There are many, today, who are 'against' Jesus and the Body of Christ followers around the world. Even in this North American nation that, once upon a time, dared to call itself a 'Christian Nation.' It is hardly that now as God and Christ are rejected at most levels high and low in favor of any other religion at all. In once sense, the only truly revered religion of our nation is politics. And it is an utter failure at giving us peace. The stern warning about anyone who is so much against Christ that he or she would teach children to disbelieve should not be taken lightly, especially by those who have custodial care over children. You may not be required to teach a child about Christ but you are in pretty heavy duty trouble if you teach Against Christ to a child. Those who insist on doing so better get ready to do some deep see diving without scuba gear, according to the paragraph beginning with verse 42. If our body parts are engaged in sinning against a child, we may want to consider doing without those body parts, Jesus said. We also learn some more about the environmental conditions of "Hell." Apparently maggots overrun the place and limitless fire is ever burning. It is essential that we caution people about what they do to children, where Jesus is concerned.
In the first paragraph, we learn that those who bless Christ's followers will, themselves be blessed. in the last paragraph, starting with verse 49 Jesus gives us the metaphor of Salt-- one that is most often used in English. We are to be the most commonly used flavoring substance for human relationships. Having the capacity to enrich flavor in relationships requires us to live in peace with others. If we are not bringing peace into the life of another, we may need to question just how much Spiritual flavor we are packing around to share.
Into whose life will you bring flavor today?
Your Servant in Christ's Love