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Mark - Who is Christ?
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to MARK
PART 5 - Christ Reveals His Death and His Life to His Disciples (Mark 8:27 - 10:45)

8. Jesus Warns His Followers to Take Heed not to Cause Little Ones to Sin (Mark 9:42-50)

MARK 9:42-50
42 Whoever will cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him if he were thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around his neck. 43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having your two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire, 44 ‘where their worm doesn’t die, and the fire is not quenched.’ 45 If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life lame, rather than having your two feet to be cast into Gehenna, into the fire that will never be quenched— 46 ‘where their worm doesn’t die, and the fire is not quenched.’ 47 If your eye causes you to stumble, cast it out. It is better for you to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the Gehenna of fire, 48 ‘where their worm doesn’t die, and the fire is not quenched.’ 49 For everyone will be salted with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, with what will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

Christ protects the little ones. He loves new believers, and stands with all his power against the proud among his followers who considered themselves, due to their close relationship with Christ, better and more righteous than the new believers.

Woe to the priests, elders, and preachers who become a stumbling block in the way of the beginners in spiritual life through their pride, self-conceit, proud words, and excessive interest in their own families and themselves! Christ will seek the souls of the lost out of the hands of his servants. Woe to us if we spoke self-conceitedly about grace and sanctification, without recognizing that the millstone of God’s judgment would drown us in the deep wrath of the Holy One!

Christ asks you to give up your live and thought completely to him. If you are proud and selfish, he calls you to join the school of his Spirit that you may kill your pride, not through cutting your body, for he intends to sanctify your body and mind and not to destroy them. In the directive to cut off the offending limbs, and plucking out the evil eye, Christ shows you that the Holy Spirit does not accept a compromise, and does not play with your lust, shallow superficiality, hypersensitivity, or stony stubbornness. All such human characteristics have to be crucified, and crushed in the fellowship of Christ. You can never obtain peace in yourself unless you are crucified with Christ, and raised faithfully in his resurrection.

The Son of God testifies to the existence of hell, and tells us six times, in our reading, that hell fire is not quenched. Woe to those who deny the existence of heaven and hell! They will be burned in the fire of their false repentance, because of their painful distance from God, howling and trembling with great crying. Their consciences will trouble them, and they will be inflamed as an ifected wound, for they will then recognize how Christ came to them, humbly and faithfully, and they did not receive him, but despised his words, disbelieved in him, and refused his salvation.

Dear brother, God intends to inflame you with the fire of his Holy Spirit that you may not be burned in hell. This is why the Lord calls you to become a light of the world and salt of the earth, not because you are useful in yourself, but because Christ is your salt and your light. In spite of your outward piety, you are nothing in yourself. But Christ will make you a straight pillar in his temple if you give yourself, your body, members, and gifts to him forever. Then he will teach you to become humble as he is. He will give you purity and patience, and fill you with his peace that you may become changed in your insight, prefer the little ones to the great, seek those who are going astray, and keep away from the self-conceited.

PRAYER: O Father, forgive my pride, lusts, stubbornness, and all known and unknown sins. Cleanse me completely. Save me, by the sacrifice of your Son, from the fire of hell, which opens its mouth to swallow me. Grant me to live in the joy of your Spirit, and control, through your power, my body and my thoughts. Grant me to live in abstinence, kindness, and uprightness that I may be very careful not to do any thing that may be an occasion of stumbling to others, but guide them to you. Sanctify me that my behavior may become a testimony of your power. Amen.


  1. What is the occasion of stumbling to new believers?


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