Episode 53: Purpose in the Pain

Mark 9:49 Everyone will be salted with fire. 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.”

 

Jesus now joins the metaphors of fire and salt. Although he has just described the eternal flames of hell, he implies that every one of us will pass through the refining fire of trials.

 

Trials are inevitable. Continue reading “Episode 53: Purpose in the Pain”

Episode 52: Amputation vs. Regeneration

Jesus challenges us to reject anything that might keep us from following him wholeheartedly.

 

Mark 9:43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where ” ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ Continue reading “Episode 52: Amputation vs. Regeneration”

Episode 51: Who’s With Us (and Who’s Not)?

Mark 9:38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

 

As word of the Messiah spreads, people outside Jesus’ immediate circle begin to preach and heal in his Name. He tells his men not to be threatened by this development, because henceforth the world will be dividing itself into those who are for Christ and those Continue reading “Episode 51: Who’s With Us (and Who’s Not)?”

Episode 50: True Greatness

Mark 9:33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.

 

Jesus has surely overheard their conversation, but he wants them to “come clean” about their selfish ambitions. It’s fascinating that the people who recounted these Gospels were so transparent about their own foolishness and pride.

 

35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” 36 He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” Continue reading “Episode 50: True Greatness”

Episode 49: Stealing Away With Jesus

Mark 9:30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.

 

Christ withdraws from the masses to invest in his men. He pours himself into the Twelve so that each of them might pour themselves into dozens more. In this way, the Kingdom will Continue reading “Episode 49: Stealing Away With Jesus”