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Ipoh Garden Baptist Church, English Section, 12August2007

Have salt in yourselves, have peace one with another.

Mark 9: 38 - 49

Introduction

Begin with illustration of students who try attempt foolish action in trying to be smarter than others.

1) The Issue of being great

- The anxiety of the disciples

In 9: 28 "Why couldn't we cast out the demon?" about their failure to cast out a demon from a boy who was made mute, thrown down, foaming at the mouth and became rigid. (Answer from the Lord: this kind can only come out by prayer.)

In 9: 34, on the way back to Capernaum, they asked another question, "Who is the greatest disciple among us?" (Answer from the Lord: If anyone wants to be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.) (Followed by bringing in a little child as an example, taking him in his arms in 9: 36, 37)

In 9:  38, John told the  Lord, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him because he was not following us.” It was as if the disciples were implicitly asking a third question, "Why can others cast out demons?" (Answer from the Lord: whoever is not against us is for us.)

In the course of being anxious about greatness, being concerned for power to cast out demons, being worried who was greater and who was smaller, the disciples virtually neglected a very important message that the Lord conveyed to them , when they were passing through Galilee, “The Son of Man will be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”  9: 32 tells us that "they did not understand this statement and were afraid to ask him"

The disciples were indeed preoccupied with the Issue of being great.

Caution: let us beware of being likewise anxious and preoccupied with the desire to be great among our fellow church members.

2) The Importance of being little

- the advice of the Lord

3) The Indication of being sure

- the adherence to steadfastness and fidelity

9:49 Everyone will be salted with fire. (or "Everyone will be salted with fire, and every sacrifice will be salted with salt").

9:50 Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.

Conclusion

Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.

This final statement from the Lord makes it obvious that he was gently admonishing the disciples, "Don't worry about greatness and power, instead worry about steadfastness, don't try to compete against one another, instead be at peace with one another.