Pastor's Blog

Suggested Readings To Read Through The Bible In A Year

Friday   February 5, 2010    Mark 7-9 and Proverbs 4

Who is the greatest? That is the title written above the section of Mark 9:33 in my ESV study Bible that I am reading this morning. Verse 33 and 34 strike me as being a bit humorous. The disciples and Jesus had been walking down the road or path that led into Capernaum. In my mind I visualize Jesus leading the way. There may have been one or two of the 12 walking along side of him, but most of them were several paces (or more) behind him. That group of guys were carrying on a rather animated, yet quiet conversation as they walked. When they arrive at their destination and sit down to rest from their walk, Jesus asked them what they had been talking about – but there is no one in the room who wants to answer him. Why? Because they were embarrassed by the answer. Their discussion had been an argument about which one of them was the greatest. So I guess Cassius Clay was not the first one who wanted to be known as the greatest!

In this context Jesus shares with the 12 several foundational principles about the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God does not resemble the kingdoms of this world in many ways. To begin with, Jesus says that the way to greatness in the kingdom of God has nothing to do with trying to get ahead or trying to be number one. The way to greatness in the kingdom of God is all about forgetting about how important you are and living to serve other people. In our culture greatness is about how many people you have under you – in Jesus kingdom greatness is about how sincere you are in ministering to other people.

Jesus went on in his teaching on the subject to let the disciples know that there is no need or place for competition in doing kingdom ministry . . .

Verses 42-50 contain some of Jesus most intense teachings in regards to the importance of the kingdom of God. Jesus makes it clear that eternal destiny is at stake. To make his point about how awful it will be to miss being a part of the kingdom of God and being damned to eternity in hell he says it would be better to cut off body parts if you cannot control them and refrain from disobeying the Word of God . . . better to live here and now without an arm, a hand, or both eyes than to burn forever in hell with all your body parts in place. . .

Then we come to verses 49 and 50. Up to this point I believe that I have a fairly good understanding of what Jesus is saying. However, verse 49 makes a statement that causes me to have to stop and ask, “what does this mean?” I do know that in the book of Leviticus God told Moses that part of the process of offering burnt offerings to God included the use of salt being thrown on the offering and placed in the fire. So perhaps there is some connection with what Jesus says here and the intended meaning behind the sacrifices that were to be offered in the place of worship. I went to several of my commentaries, as well as the footnotes in my study Bible to see if I could get insight into what verses 49-50 mean. One commentator said that there are 15 different explanations for these two verses. Some of the commentators have a difficult time connecting these two verses with the context in which they appear. No one was willing to say, this is exactly what this text means to the hearer of that day and this is what it means to us. After reading several of the scholars comments, and thinking about this context, as well as some of the things that Peter wrote in his epistles . . . this is what I take away from Jesus words in Mark 9:49-50. . . .

Gentlemen, in your pursuit to define greatness in the kingdom of God you need to know that there are going to be difficult times that will come your way that will test your mettle. Your faith is going to be tested by “fire”. (See 1 Peter 1:6-7) In that testing you need to hold fast to the truth that I have spoken into your lives – hold fast to the Word of God, because that is what is going to preserve you and to influence the world in which you live. Gentlemen, in your pursuit of greatness in the kingdom you are going to experience tests that will reveal what is really of value and what is not. Be willing to let go of those things that have no eternal value.

What Jesus was saying in the end of Mark 9 could be directly related to then truth he shared at the end of chapter 8. The kingdom of God calls for the sacrifice of self – it calls for the willingness to lay down my life, my will, my dreams and my agenda and say Jesus it is all about you – have your way in my life today.

Mark 9:49-50 have definitely given me something to think about today – I welcome your input.

Have a blessed day as you serve Him.

Suggested Readings To Read Through The Bible In A Year

Saturday     February 6, 2010     Mark 10-12 and Proverbs 5

Sunday        February 7, 2010     Mark 13-16 and Proverbs 6:1-19

Monday       February 8, 2010     Acts 1-3 and Proverbs 6:20-35

Tuesday      February 9, 2010     Acts 4-6 and Proverbs 7

Wednesday February 10, 2010   Acts 7-9 and Proverbs 8

Thursday     February 11, 2010   Acts 10-12 and Proverbs 9


Powered by mod LCA

Daily Bible Reading Plan

Daily Way Bible Reading Calendar
Simple. Fast. Secure.

To make giving an easy process for our church, we have partnered with PushPay® for our online and mobile giving platforms. PushPay is completely safe and very secure. You can read more about PushPay security here.

You can give online by clicking the "DONATE online" button
or by downloading the Faith Family Christian Center App in your favorite App Store.

android apple
Get the App

s5 Box


For the Week of