Bible Reading Blog — February 19, 2016

19 Feb

Today’s Readings — BREAK & Mark 9:42-50

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. 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, to the unquenchable fire. 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. 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.”

Much could be said about this passage. There are many questions which arise from a careful reading of Mark 9:42-50. What I saw as I read it this time was the relational nature of sin. In the first and last verses of this passage there are relational elements highlighted (causing little one to sin and being at peace with one another). In between there are several verses about dealing radically with sin. I have always thought of these verses as dealing with internals struggles, like lust or pride. But in context, it seems that these sin battles have a much more relational element. In other words, we should deal radically with sin not only because of the good it will do us, but also because of the good we will do others if we are not in the grip of sin. If you trace lack of harmony between people to sin as I do, you can see how if two people are dealing radically with sin they might more likely be able to live at peace with one another. Jesus spoke elsewhere about removing the plank from our own eyes. Of course this is not the whole story, but it is a start.

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