Rev. Mark Barz, pastor at Crown of Life Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Mark 9:38-50.
John breaks the disciples’ recent silence with a question for Jesus concerning an unnamed man who had been casting out demons in Jesus’ name. Jesus’ response calls His disciples to gentleness toward this man. His use of Jesus’ name indicates faith; he is not in league with the scribes and Pharisees who are against Jesus. This is not an excuse for false or sloppy doctrine; rather, Jesus teaches His disciples the patience that exemplifies the life of Christians together in the Church. Patience and gentleness within the kingdom of God go together with seriousness. This truly is a life or death matter. No disciple should become the cause of entrapment for another disciple, and no disciple should let sin go unchecked in his own life. What is needed is a new heart; this living heart of flesh is one that only Jesus can give. Connected to Him through faith, His people are salted to be living sacrifices in Him.
“The Gospel in Action” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the Gospel according to St. Mark. The Evangelist hits the ground running with the very first verse of his Gospel account, and he never lets up the pace. As one deed of Jesus comes right after another, always paired with His authoritative Word, St. Mark proclaims the good news that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, revealed conclusively by His death on the cross.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Anyone Not Against Us Is for Us
38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name,[a] and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39 But 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. 40 For the one who is not against us is for us. 41 For 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,[b] it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And 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,[c] to the unquenchable fire.[d] 45 And 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. 47 And 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.’ 49 For everyone will be salted with fire.[e] 50 Salt 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.”
- Mark 9:38 Some manuscripts add who does not follow us
- Mark 9:42 Greek to stumble; also verses 43, 45, 47
- Mark 9:43 Greek Gehenna; also verse 47
- Mark 9:43 Some manuscripts add verses 44 and 46 (which are identical with verse 48)
- Mark 9:49 Some manuscripts add and every sacrifice will be salted with salt
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.