This sermon was based on Mark 9:38-50
Anyone Not Against Us Is for Us
38John 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.” 39But 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. 40For the one who is not against us is for us. 41For 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.
Temptations to Sin
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. 43And 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. 45And 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. 47And 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.’ 49For everyone will be salted with fire. 50Salt 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.”
What we do Matters
- What we do and how we behave matters. It matters for ourselves and it matters for others too.
- Our lifestyle, the way we speak about others, our behaviour at work, our relationships with friends and family all matter.
- In our modern culture we like to live as though no one affects us and we don’t affect others. We like the idea of community but in reality we like to live as individuals, going our own way without others influencing us. However this is not how it is – we each influence those around us and what we do matters to others.
Be at Peace with One Another
- The word for peace here (Shalom) refers to more than just a lack of chaos. It means being in right relationship, being healthy and whole together, prospering together as well as not having conflict and chaos.
- Peace is about the Kingdom not elitism. John thought only the ‘incrowd’ could minister. Jesus wants all to minister and to do it in his name not their own.
- Peace is about service not position. It doesn’t come from having a particular title but from serving others in whatever way you are able.
Have Salt in Yourselves
- God takes it seriously. Jesus uses an extreme illustration of a terrible place which would have been well known to his listeners to how how seriously God takes what we do.
- Live lives of worship. The imagery Jesus uses here is of being “salted with fire”. The disciples would know this was referring to the sacrifices made in the temple and speaking of acceptable worship and sacrifice to God.
- We need to be serious. Jesus is talking here about how serious we need to be about our sin. Again he uses extreme imagery of cutting off body parts.