February 28th 2018 Mark 9:30-10:12

30 Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. 31 For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.”

The likely reason Jesus did not want the multitudes to know is because of the importance of this trip and what He is teaching His disciples at the time. This will now be the second time that Jesus predicts His death. This is not a fun death either. It is not a story of some great adventure and a wild beast taking your life in the midst of that. But it is the most significant death in all of our lives. This is a death of betrayal, pain and resurrection. And what they did not understand was that this was what Jesus would choose to do. He choose the pain for you and I to be made holy like Him through His death.

32 But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him.

How many times is that true in our lives. We read His Word and we do not quite get it, but then we are afraid to ask. Or worse, we are reading His Word and He speaks directly to our hearts. We know that thing was for us, but we do not understand it. Are we afraid to ask? Sometimes we are. There can be many reasons that we do not ask. The most common one in my life, and the reason I think the disciples did not ask here, is nt likely what I heard and being afraid that the explanation is going to be harder then what I already thought I heard. Think about it. The disciples have been traveling with Jesus for close to three years now, three and a half years would be all they got with Him on this earth. They were close. They left their businesses, their homes, their lives to follow Jesus and now He is talking about His death and about betrayal. None of that sounds good to them, so the shy away from asking. When Jesus is speaking to you and you do not get it what is your reasoning or not asking?

33 Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?”34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest.

Jesus already knows what they were talking about. He is looking for a confession. Just like God in the garden with Adam and Eve after they sinned. He was not asking them where they were and what happened to find out information, but He was inviting confession. When we hear the Spirit asking us questions about what we were just doing or saying it is not because He does not know, but because He wants us to confess to Him. No matter what it was, it is best to just be honest with Him.

35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”

Even though they did not say what was going on Jesus still takes the opportunity to address what was going on in their hearts. Trying to force our way into first is not the way to go about things. Jesus was first, preeminent over all. Yet what we see is Him being a servant to all. Serving others is what puts us first, not forcing our way there. Now children back then were not regarded in high esteem, in fact they were truthfully seem more like property then and individual. So for Jesus to take a child and make the child the center of his lesson meant something. He said whoever receives one of these little ones in my name receives me. We need to be people who look after the needy in our societies.

38 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.”

This seems like an odd place for John to interject with this statement. At first I was lost, so I dug in some. In matthew Henry’s commentary he points out that they were just rebuked for wanting to be the greatest. What John is putting forth here could be a way of saying look at what we do with our authority, we defend your honor. Which is partially true, but they have it twisted. They are looking at this as this person has not continued with us and is now using your name to cast out demons. Remember too that we just heard about an instance were the disciples were unable to cast out a demon. I wonder if that played into this as well.

39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is on our side. 41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

Jesus did not see this the way the disciples did. If they are doing it in Jesus name then they are of Him. they cannot do something in His name and then turn around and curse Him. Jesus points out that it is not just those that walk directly with us that are on our side, but those that are not walking against us as well. How true is that for us today. There are times that the differing denominations and churches want to be against each other. But the truth is if we are not against each other we are on the same side as each other. There are certain distinctions that make us Christians, true followers of Christ. As long as the other churches in your area agree on the fundamentals, Jesus Christ is Creator God, the Holy trinity, Jesus’ death burial and resurrection, and the future second coming of Christ, then we should be working together for Christ and not striving against them. Whatever we do in Jesus’ name will be rewarded us, and that reward cannot be taken away.

42 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.

This should be a sobering verse for us America. We truthfully do great injustice to our children. For starters just the filth that we have allowed to infiltrate their television shows. Those of you who have children take an honest look at the content of some of the shows you allow your kids to watch. They are filled with evolutionary thought now. They teach disrespect to adults and authority. They have sex and relationship things in them that are above what your child should know about. And that is just one aspect of life that we have them in. I am not saying that we need to completely shelter our kids, but we need to watch out for them and protect them from sinning. Then you have the people that are just wicked and sin with kids in varying ways. Then we have the people that know, or are suspicious of those things happening and stand by saying nothing. It would be better for them to have a millstone tied around their neck and for them to die by drowning then for this to take place. We need to watch out for the safety of our children, even if you do not have children this should be a concern of yours.

43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 44 where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’ 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 46 where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.’ 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, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire—  48 where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’

Jesus here is pointing out the seriousness of sinning. We need to do whatever it takes not to sin. The point is not to literally cut of your hand or pluck out your eye. What Jesus is getting at is that hell is not a place we want to go. It is pure torture. We need to take the necessary steps to stop sinning. Is there an area of your life where you repeatedly fall into the same temptation of sin? Have you asked God to show you a way out? He will. I promise you that. Not like what He is going to show you, because stopping a sin habit often causes us to be uncomfortable in the moment. But I promise you the reward for doing so is far greater and so worth it. I would give up anything this life has to offer for the knowledge that I am walking in right relationship with the Lord.

49 “For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

We will through trials and temptations and they will season us. This is where we do must of our growing. Salt is one of those things that makes the food taste amazing. But if the salt is not salt there is literally nothing you can do to make it salty again, it needs to just be discarded.

1 Then He arose from there and came to the region of Judea by the other side of the Jordan. And multitudes gathered to Him again, and as He was accustomed, He taught them again.

I love that this was Jesus’ custom. He taught them. What is your custom? Is it something to be proud of, or something you wish people really did not know about you? We can change them. It can become our custom to love others and to be gracious. The choice of what we are accustomed to is really up to us.

2 The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him.

Whenever the Pharisees ask question it is truthfully only to try and trap Jesus with His answer.

3 And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.” 5 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6 But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh’;  so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Moses gave them an out, not because it was lawful and right though. What God had intended from the beginning was one man and one woman come together and they make a new family. They then leave their households and become one. God is the one that joins them together and it is His desire that they never be separated. We need to get back to that way of thinking ourselves. The rate of divorce even among confessing believes is staggeringly high. When we make a commitment it should mean something. We should be people who count the cost before we enter into anything. Marriage is definitely one of those things.

10 In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter. 11 So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

With that being said if you are in a marriage when you are being abused physically, sexually, or mentally you need to find a safe place to stay. You need to try and work things out with your partner. However if they will not change and continuing in the marriage would be unsafe for you or your children you are not required to stay. God’s heart would never desire that for your life. This is more about those that find reason for a divorce because they want it.

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