Mark 9d Notes

Mark9d (vs42-50)                                      Notes



42 "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in   Me to sin,


Innocent believer treated with care, not to be discouraged   from their faith.      Note1


it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung   around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.


Severe judgment on stumbling blocks. A Large Millstone   turned by donkey would certainly doom one to drown in sea.


43 and if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.


Literally amputate (as with the foot next). Medical practice   known. A gangrenous member must be removed.


It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two   hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.


Short enjoyment of privilege here followed by eternal   torture. Loss of pleasure here well worth eternal life instead.           Note2


44 (no text in ESV)


see v48                                                Note3


45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off.


Condition: leads to sin. Not bodily mutilation, but   priorities stressed here.


It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet   to be thrown into hell.


Worth loss of pivotal function here to preserve vital   life.


46 (no text in ESV)


see v48


47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out.


Again, IF lead to sin. Literally, force it out of socket   & throw it away.                        Note4


It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God   with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell,


Choice of two: Divine Rule or the trash heap. Better to be   one-eyed with God than cast out two-eyed.                                 Note5


48 'where their worm does not die and the fire is not   quenched.'


Eternal punishment without relief. The body is not   consumed by worm or fire. Direct quote from Isa66.24.


49 For everyone will be salted with fire.


As every offering to Yahweh must be presented with salt   (Lev2.13). Seems in reference to Isa66.20.


50 Salt is good, but if the salt as lost its saltiness,   how will you make it salty again?


There is no way to recover the seasoning of salt which has   lost its peculiar trait.


Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one   another."


The excellence of God's people must be preserved by us,   including harmony.



Note1: The Lord passes from 'little ones' as children to considering innocent disciples, young in faith and easily discouraged as His 'little ones.' He cares for His people, desiring to nourish their trust and understanding in Him into maturity.


Note2: Gehenna -- Greek word transliterating the Hebrew phrase "Valley of Hinnom." Valley on the south side of Jerusalem (Josh15.8 / 18.16). Ahaz and Manesseh built idol shrines here and offered child sacrifices to Molech (2Chron28.3 / 33.6). This behavior amazed and offended Yahweh God (Jer7.31 / 32.35). King Josiah defiled the place called Topheth in this gorge, to stop the human sacrifice (2Kgs23.10). Jeremiah prophesies its use as a burial ground when God destroys Jerusalem (Jer7.32 / 19.1-7f). Known in Jesus' day as the city dump, where refuse was thrown and burned. The Lord refers to the state of rejection, but transfers this to people and capitalizes on the anguish experienced by them.


Note3: The phrase which comprises these verses (44&46) does not appear in the oldest manuscripts, but once only in v48. It appears to have been added in these earlier instances in anticipation of the Lord's conclusion. Perhaps a later scribe thought it deserves to be considered in each of the three cases for emphasis.


Note4: Each case may be more limiting: from losing aid or agency, to limiting movements, to loss of clear vision. Each of us has his own capacities he holds most dear, which may prove to be a stumbling block to self, keeping us from God.


Note5: Will there be self-mutilated cripples in glory? Or voluntarily limiting exercise of ability here, will God restore all we may have sacrificed to remain true to Him?


Note6: The precarious balance of two character traits: excellence / spiritual ambition to please God / zeal for His things and harmony among those striving to serve Him. How easy it is for us to become critical of other's attempts and judge them unworthy. We had best put aside our strong points if we must brag about them and tear others down by them. If we think we are God's servants in a certain attribute, but in that point are superior to others, we have reversed the assumed blessing into a curse. A strength can only be a blessing if it is used to accomplish God's will.


notes by David Teel Friday, June 27, 2014