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Ipoh Garden Baptist Church, English Section,
Have salt in
yourselves, have peace one with another.
Mark 9: 38 - 49
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
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:
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
- how to treat the little children of God:
9:41 For I tell
you the truth, whoever
gives you a cup of water because you bear Christ’s name will never lose
9:42 “If anyone
causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be
better for him to have a huge millstone tied around his neck and to be
thrown into the sea.
Elaborate from explanatory
notes: teaching about little ones, Mark 9: 37, and 9: 39
- how to be like little children of God:
9:43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better
for you to enter into life crippled than to have two hands and go into
hell, to the unquenchable fire.
9:45 If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better to
enter life lame than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.
9:47 If your eye causes you to sin,
tear it out. It is better to enter into the kingdom of God with
one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,
9:48 where their worm never dies and the fire is never quenched.
- Elaborate on 9: 48 - refer to explanatory notes on
Isaiah's last chapter, read from 66:22 - 24.
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.”
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.