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Mark 9:42-50 – There is a central message here that we need to be sure not to miss. Sin is serious.
As we go in to this we need to be sure to remember that we will never be sin free people. We will always be in need of the grace and cleansing of Christ.
What is a millstone? This is a big rock, turned by a donkey. Who is this warning directed towards? Anyone… Anyone who causes a “little one” to fall.
Causing Someone to Stumble
What does it mean to cause someone to “sin”, “be offended”, etc. Sometimes it clearly means “to be offended” or “to make someone angry.”
Matthew 13:21 – sometimes this has the meaning to of causing someone to fall away.
So, what does it mean here in Mark 9? After weeding a few of the possibilities, we’ll go with “causing to sin.”
Who are we not supposed to call to sin? Does this mean literal children? Does it mean spiritual children?
Jesus introduced the idea of “spiritual children” back in Matthew 18:3-4. There is a strong transition earlier between “little one” and “brother.”
How do we “cause someone to sin?” If you are the one through whom the temptation comes, you are one step from being the one who causes someone to stumble.
1 Corinthians 8:7 – This passage is very clear that Paul is speaking about a brother in the church and causing him to stumble.
The one who stumbles does have a choice. With every temptation comes a way of escape. We are all accountable.
Sin is serious.
Sin is Serious because it is Contaminating
If we are living in sin we can encourage others to sin. If you have a sin problem it is contaminating to those around you.
The Jews in Jesus day did believe in an eternal hell. They used the valley as a reference to “the lake of fire.”
Sin is Serious Because it Can Destroy Us
Does this warning really apply to us? Should we tear out an eye if it causes us to sin? If we are not at a place where we are willing to make serious sacrifices to deal with a sin problem. We are in a serious place.
We are promised a way of escape with every temptation. We often wish it would be “like an elevator” to lift us out of the temptation. Instead a lot of times its more like climbing a vertical rock wall.
How do we apply this?
- If you’ve sinned. Repent.
- If it isn’t your calling to go down this path, you are probably called to cut it off.
Sin is serious because if we ignore a sin problem it can destroy us spiritually.
Let us be willing to look out for these issues and take severe measures to deal with them.